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 Securities 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. TradeStation Securities charges more than Charles Schwab for placing regular stock trades ($5.00 and $4.95, respectively). For options trading, TradeStation Securities has a base fee of $5.00, and Charles Schwab a base fee of $4.95. Option contracts are pricier at Charles Schwab, costing $0.65 versus $0.50 at TradeStation Securities. 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. Both Charles Schwab and TradeStation Securities support Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab offers its clients access to 5509 different mutual funds while TradeStation Securities has 4951 available funds, a difference of 558. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Charles Schwab having the upper hand thanks to its 244 available commission free ETFs compared to TradeStation Securities's offering of 0.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. TradeStation Securities offers virtual trading while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab along with TradeStation Securities both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. 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. All factors considered, when it comes to platform 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 takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over TradeStation Securities's 4.00 stars.