Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Charles Schwab vs TradeStation Securities.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. TradeStation Securities charges more than Charles Schwab for placing regular stock trades ($5.00 and $4.95, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $5.00 (TradeStation Securities) and $4.95 (Charles Schwab). Option contracts are pricier at Charles Schwab, costing $0.65 versus $0.50 at TradeStation Securities. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Charles Schwab alongside TradeStation Securities offer clients Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, TradeStation Securities trails Charles Schwab by 558 total mutual funds, with Charles Schwab offering 5509 and TradeStation Securities offering 4951. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Charles Schwab having the upper hand thanks to its 244 available commission free ETFs compared to TradeStation Securities's offering of 0.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. TradeStation Securities offers virtual trading while Charles Schwab does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Charles Schwab along with TradeStation Securities both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Charles Schwab while customers at TradeStation Securities can have none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research, while TradeStation Securities came up with Best in Class - Platforms & Tools.
Overall, Charles Schwab comes out on top with 4.50 stars over TradeStation Securities's 4.00 stars.