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Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed 2019

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is Lightspeed better than Charles Schwab? After scoring brokers in nine separate categories for our 2019 review, Charles Schwab (84.06%) is better than Lightspeed (51.8%). Founded in 1973, Charles Schwab is a full-service brokerage with over $3 trillion in total client assets. As a low-cost leader offering $4.95 stock trades, Charles Schwab provides investors excellent stock research, quality trade tools, and professional planning for the future.

Special Offer $4.95 online equity trades + $0.65 per options contract Open Account
Open Account

Overall Rating

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Overall 4 2.5
Charles Schwab Review Lightspeed Review

Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $10,000.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $4.95 $4.50
ETF Trade Fee $4.95 $4.50
Options Base Fee $4.95 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.60
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 N/A
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 3.5 3
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab
Open Account
Lightspeed
Under $24,999.99 9.58% 8.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.08% 8.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 8.13% 7.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 8.08% 7.50%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.83% 6.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 6.58% 6.25%
Above $1,000,000.00 6.25% 6.00%
Commissions & Fees 3.5 3
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00 $95.00
Returned ACH Fee $25.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $25.00 $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $100.00 $75.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $50.00
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 $2.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00 $20.00
International Wire Fee $25.00 $50.00
Commissions & Fees 3.5 3

Investment Options

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 4
Futures Trading
Yes Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs 503 0
Mutual Funds (No Load)
5846 0
Mutual Funds (Total)
5846 0
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes No
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes No
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
108 141
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
41 20
Charting - Drawing Tools
15 8
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 4
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes No
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options
No Yes
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes No
Short Locator
No Yes
Client Liquidity Rebates
No Yes
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes No
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes No
Trading - Complex Options
Yes No
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes No
Winner check_circle

Mobile App Features

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Watch List Syncing
Yes No
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
No No
Charting - After Hours
No No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes No
Customizable Homescreen
No No
Heatmapping
Yes No
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4 1.5
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes No
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes No
Research - Fixed Income
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
Yes No
Screener - Bonds
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No
Research 5 1
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Stock Research - Reports
8 0
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes No
Stock Research - Social
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes No
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes No
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No
Research 5 1
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Ratings
Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - Reports
Yes No
Research 5 1
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes No
Research 5 1
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
41 60
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes No
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes No
Has Education - Retirement
Yes No
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
50 1
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No
Investor Magazine
Yes No
Education 4.5 2.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Retail Locations
357 0
Member FDIC
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes No
Savings Accounts
Yes No
Credit Cards
Yes No
Debit Cards
Yes No
Mortgage Loans
Yes No
No Fee Banking
Yes No
Banking 4.5 0.5
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Charles Schwab Review Lightspeed Review
Overall 4 2.5
Winner check_circle
Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers over six months, we can compare Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.

First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Charles Schwab charges more than Lightspeed for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $4.50, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $4.95 (Charles Schwab) and $0 (Lightspeed). Option contracts are pricier at Charles Schwab, costing $0.65 versus $0.60 at Lightspeed. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews.

Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. Lightspeed provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading while Charles Schwab provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab boasts an offering of 5846 mutual funds compared to Lightspeed's 0 available funds.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Lightspeed makes virtual trading available to clients, while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and Lightspeed offer clients access to an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Charles Schwab while Lightspeed offers none of these.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and Lightspeed, Charles Schwab is the winner.

Charles Schwab Review
Lightspeed Review


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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