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Charles Schwab vs TradeStation 2020

Is Charles Schwab better than TradeStation? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Charles Schwab (93.11%) is better than TradeStation (82.4%). Founded in 1973, Charles Schwab is a full-service brokerage with over $3 trillion in total client assets. As a low-cost leader offering $0 stock trades, Charles Schwab provides investors excellent stock research, quality trade tools, and professional planning for the future.

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Overall Rating

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Overall 4.5 4
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 5
Mobile Trading 4 4.5
Research 5 2
Education 4.5 2.5
Ease of Use 5 4
Banking 4.5 0.5
Charles Schwab Review TradeStation Review
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Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $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 $0.65 $0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 $14.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $50.00

Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Under $24,999.99 8.33% 9.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.83% 9.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 6.88% 8.75%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 6.83% 8.75%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 6.58% 8.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.08% 5.50%
Above $1,000,000.00 4.70% 5.50%

Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
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 $100.00 $150.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $15.00
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 $1.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 $1.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00 $25.00
International Wire Fee $25.00 $35.00

Investment Options

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 4
Futures Trading
Yes Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Crypto Trading No Yes
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7223 887
Mutual Funds (Total)
9860 4357
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
Yes No

Order Types

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
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

Trading Platforms

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
130 335
Heat Mapping
Yes No
AI Assistant Bot
Yes No

Charting Features

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
41 290
Charting - Drawing Tools
15 23
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
7 12
Charting - Custom Studies
No Yes

Day Trading

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

Mobile Trading Apps

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

Mobile App Features

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Charting - After Hours
No Yes
Charting - Drawing
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes No
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No

Research Overview

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

Stock Research

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

ETF Research

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
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

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
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

Options Trading

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
44 32
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

Beginners

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes No
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes No
Education (Retirement)
Yes No
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
100 10
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No

Banking

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Retail Locations
360 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

Overall

Feature Charles Schwab TradeStation
Overall 4.5 4
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 5
Mobile Trading 4 4.5
Research 5 2
Education 4.5 2.5
Ease of Use 5 4
Banking 4.5 0.5
Charles Schwab Review TradeStation Review
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Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2020 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 15 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Charles Schwab vs TradeStation.

Is Charles Schwab or TradeStation better for beginners?
Charles Schwab is better for beginner investors than TradeStation. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Fixed Income) and Education (Retirement).

What about Charles Schwab vs TradeStation pricing?
Charles Schwab and TradeStation charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0. For options trading, both Charles Schwab and TradeStation charge the same base fee of $0. TradeStation's per contract rate of $0.50 is less than Charles Schwab which charges $0.65. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Charles Schwab or TradeStation offer a wider range of investment options?
Charles Schwab offers a more diverse selection of investment options than TradeStation. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading, Advisor Services and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Charles Schwab boasts an offering of 9860 mutual funds compared to TradeStation's 4357 available funds.

Which trading platform is better: Charles Schwab or TradeStation?
To compare the trading platforms of both Charles Schwab and TradeStation, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, TradeStation offers a better experience. With research, Charles Schwab offers superior market research. Finally, we found TradeStation to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Charles Schwab while customers at TradeStation can have none of these.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and TradeStation, Charles Schwab is the better online broker.

Charles Schwab Review
TradeStation Review

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 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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