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TradeStation vs Charles Schwab 2019

Is TradeStation better than Charles Schwab? After scoring brokers in nine separate categories for our 2019 review, Charles Schwab (84.06%) is better than TradeStation (71.75%).

Charles Schwab

Best for IRA accounts - Open Account
Special Offer: $0 online stock, ETF, and options commissions at Schwab.

For investors seeking access to $0 stock and ETF trades alongside excellent research tools for performing market analysis, Charles Schwab will not disappoint. Charles Schwab is also our number one pick for IRA accounts and broader retirement investing. Read full review

TradeStation

Best for Platform Technology - Open Account
Promo Offer: Commission-Free Trades on Stocks, ETFs & Options Trades

TradeStation's advanced trading platform has been awarded Best Platform Technology for the past six years. For active traders and day traders, TradeStation was rated 5 stars and comes packed full of tools and functionality. And, for traders who do not require all the bells and whistles of the TradeStation desktop platform, a $0 trading plan option is available.Read full review.

Overall Rating

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Overall 3.5 4
TradeStation Review Charles Schwab Review

Trading Fees

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Minimum Deposit $500.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.50 $0.65
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95 $49.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $50.00 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature TradeStation
Open Account
Charles Schwab
Open Account
Under $24,999.99 9.25% 9.58%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.25% 9.08%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 8.50% 8.13%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 8.50% 8.08%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 8.50% 7.83%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.25% 6.58%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.25% 6.25%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
IRA Annual Fee $35.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00 $50.00
Returned ACH Fee $25.00 $25.00
Returned Wire Fee $25.00 $25.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $150.00 $100.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $15.00 N/A
Paper Statement Fee $1.00 $0.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $1.00 $0.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00 $25.00
International Wire Fee $35.00 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5

Investment Options

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
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 all all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
887 5846
Mutual Funds (Total)
4357 5846
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No Yes
International Trading
No Yes
Offering of Investments 4 4.5
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
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 4.5
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
No Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Trade Journal
No Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields
335 108
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
No Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
282 41
Charting - Drawing Tools
23 15
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
No Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
12 6
Charting - Custom Studies
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

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

Mobile Trading Apps

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

Mobile App Features

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Customizable Homescreen
No No
Heatmapping
No Yes
Stream Live TV
No Yes
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
No Yes
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
No Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
No Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
No Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
No Yes
Research 1.5 5
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Stock Research - Reports
0 8
Stock Research - Earnings
No Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
No Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
No Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
No Yes
Stock Research - Social
No Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
No Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
No Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No
Research 1.5 5
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
ETFs - Strategy Overview
No Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
No Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
No Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
No Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
No Yes
ETFs - Ratings
No Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
No Yes
ETFs - Reports
No Yes
Research 1.5 5
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
No Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
No Yes
Research 1.5 5
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
32 41
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
No Yes
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
No Yes
Has Education - Retirement
No Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
30 50
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No
Investor Magazine
Yes Yes
Education 3 4.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

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

Overall

Feature TradeStation Charles Schwab
TradeStation Review Charles Schwab Review
Overall 3.5 4
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 TradeStation 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 and TradeStation have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $0 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. TradeStation's per contract rate of $0.50 is less than Charles Schwab which charges $0.65. 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. Charles Schwab and TradeStation provide clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, TradeStation trails Charles Schwab by 1,489 total mutual funds, with Charles Schwab offering 5846 and TradeStation offering 4357.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. TradeStation offers virtual trading while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and TradeStation 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 TradeStation offers customers none of these.

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

Charles Schwab Review
TradeStation 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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