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 Trading 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 Trading 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 Trading). Option contracts are pricier at Charles Schwab, costing $0.65 versus $0.60 at Lightspeed Trading. 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 Trading supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab boasts an offering of 5509 mutual funds compared to Lightspeed Trading's 0 available funds. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Charles Schwab having the upper hand thanks to its 244 available commission free ETFs compared to Lightspeed Trading's offering of 0.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Lightspeed Trading has virtual trading, Charles Schwab doesn't. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and Lightspeed Trading 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 available to clients of Charles Schwab while Lightspeed Trading offers customers none of these. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab was rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research, while Lightspeed Trading was rated none of these.
Overall, Charles Schwab comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Lightspeed Trading's 3.00 stars.