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Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

With Schwab as your online broker, what you see is what you get. Charles Schwab applies a simplified flat-fee based commissions structure with few catches or fine print notes. There are no limits on total trade size or price, and the site simply let's investors know that if they are trading positions of over 10,000 shares or $500,000 that they may be eligible for a special handling and/or pricing.

Stock Trades - All online trades are a flat $4.95. Our research found no additional fees or charges for trading stocks under $1 or trading during pre and post market hours

If using the Schwab automated phone system to place a trade, a $5 fee will be added to the order. There is a $25 additional fee for broker assisted trades.

Options Trades - Options trades are $4.95 + $0.65 per contract.

Mutual Funds - All transaction fee mutual funds cost $76.00 per trade. Note, unlike most brokers, Charles Schwab alongside Fidelity only charge for the original purchase. There is no additional charge for selling.

For investors seeking No Transaction Fee (NTF) funds, Schwab offers clients access to its OneSource Funds. OneSource funds are NTF, No Load (NL) funds selected based on a variety of factors, the biggest being past performance.


Trade Commissions Breakdown

Feature Value
Stock Trade Fee (flat) $4.95
Stock Trade Fee (per share) N/A
Options Base Fee $4.95
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65
Options Exercise Fee $4.95
Options Assignment Fee $4.95
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $76.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00
Minimum Deposit $1,000.00

Margin Rates

Feature Value
Margin Rate Under $24,999.99 8.50%
Margin Rate $25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.00%
Margin Rate $50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.00%
Margin Rate $100,000.00 to $249,999.99 6.88%
Margin Rate $250,000.00 to $499,999.99 6.75%
Margin Rate $500,000.00 to $999,999.99 6.75%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000.00 6.25%

Miscellaneous Fees

Feature Value
Bond Trade Fee $1.00
Treasury Trade Fee Varies
IRA Annual Fee $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00
Returned ACH Fee $25.00
Returned Wire Fee $25.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $500.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A
Paper Statement Fee $0.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00
International Wire Fee $25.00

Account Features

Offering of Investments

Feature Value Definition
Advisor Services Yes Offers formal investment advisory services. **Note - This variable is not incorporated into the Review.
Bonds (Corporate) Yes Offers corporate bonds.
Bonds (Municipal) Yes Offers municipal bonds.
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes Offers US treasury bonds.
CDs Yes Offers certificates of deposit (CDs).
Clearing Firm Self-clearing The clearing firm. **Note - This variable is not incorporated into the Review.
Commission Free ETFs 229 Total number of commission free ETFs offered.
Direct Market Routing - Stocks Yes Ability to route stock orders directly to a specific exchange designated by the client.
Direct Market Routing - Options No Ability to route option orders directly to a specific exchange designated by the client.
DRIPs Yes Offers dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs).
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks 5975 Total number of equities considered
Forex Trading No Offers forex trading.
Futures Trading Yes Offers futures trading.
Member FINRA Yes Member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) - finra.org.
Member SIPC Yes Member of SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) - sipc.org.
Mutual Funds Yes Offers mutual funds trading.
Mutual Funds (No Load) 5165 Total number of No Load mutual funds offered.
Mutual Funds (Load) 0 Total number of Load mutual funds offered. **NOTE - This variable is NOT included in the Review.
Mutual Funds (NTF) 3371 Total number of No Transaction Fee (NTF) mutual funds offered. **NOTE - This variable is NOT included in the Review.
Mutual Funds (Total) 5165 Total number of mutual funds offered. **NOTE - This variable is NOT included in the Review.
Mutual Funds Phone Trades Yes Can place mutual fund trades via phone.
Mutual Funds Web Trades Yes Can place mutual fund trades via the website or platform.
No Fee IRAs Yes Offers no fee IRAs. Requirement: no annual maintenance fee.
No Inactivity Fees Yes Charges no yearly inactivity fee for not placing a trade or not actively engaging in the account.
No Minimum Deposit No No minimum deposit required to open an account.
Options Exercising (Web) No Exercise an option via the website or platform.
Options Exercising (Phone) Yes Exercise an option via phone.
Options Trading Yes Offers options trading.
Complex Options Max Legs 4 The max number of individual legs supported when trading options.
Options Trading (Mini) Yes Offers mini options.
Options Trading (Weekly) Yes Offers weekly options.
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes Offers OTCBB / Pink Sheet stocks trading.
Stock Trading Yes Offers stock trading.

Customer Service

Feature Value Definition
Phone Support Yes Offers phone support.
Email Support Yes Email support for clients.
Live Chat (Current Clients) Yes Live chat support for current clients.
Live Chat (Prospect Clients) No Live chat support for prospective clients.
24/7 Support Yes Is customer service offered 24 hours, 7 days a week?

Platforms & Tools

Feature Value Definition
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes A downloadable, windows based desktop trading platform.
Desktop Platform (Mac) Yes A downloadable, Mac based desktop trading platform.
Web Platform Yes Offers a web (browser) based trading platform. Broker website does NOT count.
Active Trading Platform StreetSmart Edge The flagship trading platform.
Charting - Display Corporate Events Yes Can show or hide multiple corporate events on a stock chart. Examples: dividends, earnings, splits, news.
Charting - View Historical Trades No The ability to see past buy and sells, typically marked with a buy or sell symbol, on the stock chart.
Charting - Indicators / Studies 40 The total number of indicators / studies available to be included on a stock chart. Examples: SMA, MACD, RSI.
Charting - Drawing Tools 15 The number of drawing tools available for analyzing a stock chart. Examples include: pointer, trendline, arrow, note.
Charting - Trade Off Chart Yes The ability to pre-populate or execute a trade from the chart. Most commonly this is done by right clicking on the chart and selecting an order. Linking the user from the chart to an empty (non pre-populated) order form does NOT count.
Charting - Notes Yes Add notes to any stock chart.
Heat Mapping Yes Colored heat map view of a watch list, portfolio, or market index. Heat maps are a visual tool used to view gainers and losers.
Ladder Trading No A ladder tool provides active trading clients the ability to one click buy and sell equities off a real-time streaming window of fanned bids and asks.
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks Yes Level II stock quotes available.
Level 2 Quotes - Options Yes Level II options quotes available.
Option Chains - Streaming Real-time Yes Option chains with streaming real-time data.
Option Chains - Total Columns 34 Option chains total available columns for display. Duplicates do not count.
Option Chains - Quick Analysis Yes The ability to jump straight from the option chain to a P&L chart or probability chart for deeper analysis. Viewing a summary P&L within the chain itself also qualifies.
Options Analysis - P&L Charts Yes When analyzing a theoretical option trade, a P&L chart is available.
Options Analysis - Probability Analysis Basic Yes A basic probability calculator.
Option Analysis - Probability Analysis Adv Yes A tool to analyze a hypothetical option position. Displays a probability histogram / chart with optional customizations.
Option Positions - Contract Rolling Yes Ability to pre-populate a trade ticket and seamlessly roll an option position to the next relative expiration.
Stock Alerts Delivery - Email Yes Stock alert optional delivery method: email.
Stock Alerts Delivery - Sound Yes Stock alert optional delivery method: sound.
Stock Alerts Delivery - Text SMS Yes Stock alert optional delivery method: mobile text SMS.
Streaming Time & Sales Yes Streaming time & sales for any equity viewable.
Streaming TV Yes Offers live TV. Examples - CNBC, Bloomberg.
Trade Hot Keys Yes Ability to designate keyboard hotkeys for on the fly trading.
Virtual Trading No Offers virtual (simulated) trading.
Watch Lists - Streaming Real-time Quotes Yes Site or platform (only one needed) watch lists stream real-time quote data.
Watch Lists - Total Fields 94 Total available fields when viewing a watch list. Examples: price, symbol, bid, ask, volume.

Research

Feature Value Definition
Research - ETFs Yes Offers ETFs research. Full quote and research results must be available for 4 of the 5 following tickers: SPY, GLD, OIH, QID, FAZ.
Research - Mutual Funds Yes Offers mutual funds research. Full quote and research results must be available for 2 of the 3 following tickers: VTSMX, FCNTX, CAIBX.
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB Yes Offers pink sheet / OTCBB research. Full quote and research results must be available for 2 of the 3 following tickers: FNMA, ITYBY, NENE.
Research - Fixed Income Yes Offers fixed income research. Full quote and research results must be available for fixed income securities such as individual US Treasuries.
Misc - Global Markets Overview Yes A featured quote summary of worldwide indices. Interactive chart optional. Must be via website or platform, mobile excluded as separate category.
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Breakdown Yes Displays a pie graph or bullet list breakdown of the client's current portfolio including % allocations. Examples: domestic equities, foreign equities, bonds, cash, fixed income.
Misc - Portfolio Builder Yes A tool that asks hypothetical risk tolerance questions then assists clients with building a diversified portfolio of ETFs based on their answers.
Equity Research - Earnings Analysis Yes View analysis of past earnings. At least one chart / graph required. Examples: Consensus vs actual data, EPS growth, sales growth.
Equity Research - Insider Analysis Yes View a list of recent insider transactions.
Equity Research - Metric Comparisons Yes View a multi-column table comparing fundamental and/or technical data of at least two stocks side by side. Note - Stocks included must be customizable, ie AAPL, BABA, DIS.
Equity Research - SEC Filings Yes View a list of recent SEC filings.
Equity Research - Social Sentiment Yes View social sentiment analysis, eg twitter analysis, for individual equities.
Equity Research - Research Reports 8 Total number of downloadable PDF research report providers available for equities research (using symbol AAPL). Examples: S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, Ned Davis Research.
ETF Research - Performance Analysis Yes The ability to view historical performance.
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings Yes A list of the ETF's top 10 holdings.
ETF Research - Morningstar Style Box Yes The infamous Morningstar style box which visually marks the ETF's investment strategy in one of nine boxes.
ETF Research - 3rd Party Ratings Yes Are third party ratings available for the ETF SPY? Examples: Morningstar, Lippers.
ETF Research - Research Reports Yes Are downloadable research reports available for the ETF SPY? Examples: Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ.
Mutual Fund Research - Fees Breakdown Yes A clear breakdown of the fund's fees beyond just the expense ratio. 12b-1, minimum investment, total fees estimate, all examples of a detailed breakdown.
Mutual Fund Research - Top 10 Holdings Yes A list of the fund's top 10 holdings.
Mutual Fund Research - Performance Analysis Yes The ability to view multi-year historical performance.
Mutual Fund Research - Prospectus Yes Access to the fund's prospectus in PDF format.
Mutual Fund Research - 3rd Party Ratings Yes Are 3rd party ratings available for the fund VTSMX? Examples: Morningstar, Lippers.
Mutual Fund Research - Research Reports Yes Are downloadable research reports available for the fund VTSMX? Examples: Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ.
Screener - Stocks Yes Offers a equities screener.
Screener - ETFs Yes Offers a ETF screener.
Screener - Mutual Funds Yes Offers a mutual fund screener.
Screener - Options Yes Offers a options screener. Commonly referred to as a spread creation tool or similar.
Screener - Bonds Yes Offers a bond screener. **Note - ETF bond screeners do NOT count.

Education

Feature Value Definition
Has Education - Stocks Yes A minimum of 10 educational pieces (articles, videos, archived webinars, or similar) with the primary subject being stocks. All content must be easily found within the website's Learning Center. Platform tutorials, FAQs, etc do NOT count.
Has Education - ETFs Yes A minimum of 10 educational pieces (articles, videos, archived webinars, or similar) with the primary subject being ETFs. All content must be easily found within the website's Learning Center. Platform tutorials, FAQs, etc do NOT count.
Has Education - Options Yes A minimum of 10 educational pieces (articles, videos, archived webinars, or similar) with the primary subject being options. All content must be easily found within the website's Learning Center. Platform tutorials, FAQs, etc do NOT count.
Has Education - Mutual Funds Yes A minimum of 10 educational pieces (articles, videos, archived webinars, or similar) with the primary subject being mutual funds. All content must be easily found within the website's Learning Center. Platform tutorials, FAQs, etc do NOT count.
Has Education - Fixed Income Yes A minimum of 10 educational pieces (articles, videos, archived webinars, or similar) with the primary subject being fixed income. All content must be easily found within the website's Learning Center. Platform tutorials, FAQs, etc do NOT count.
Has Education - Retirement Yes A minimum of 10 educational pieces (articles, videos, archived webinars, or similar) with the primary subject being retirement. Platform tutorials, FAQs, etc do NOT count.
Investor Dictionary Yes An online dictionary of at least 50 investing terms.
Client Webinars Yes Provides educational client webinars through the web, at least one per month.
Client Webinars (Archived) Yes Provides an archived area to search and watch previously recorded client webinars.
Live Seminars Yes Provides at least 10 live, face-to-face educational seminars for clients each year. Must be delivered by a broker staff member.
Videos Yes Are educational videos available? At least 10. A video is a short clip, typically several minutes in duration, that explains a trading concept, term, or strategy. Archived webinars and platform demos do NOT count.
Retirement Calculator Yes Offers a retirement calculator.
Progress Tracking No Clients can track their progress and see which articles and/or videos they've completed to date.
Interactive Learning - Quizzes No Quizzes offered within the education center. Must include multiple questions and score results. Example service provider - Morningstar, InvestingTeacher.com

Mobile Trading

Feature Value Definition
iPhone App Yes Offers a downloadable iPhone app through the iOS app store.
iPad App Yes Offers a downloadable iPad app through the iOS app store.
Apple Watch App Yes Offers a downloadable Apple Watch app through the iOS app store.
Android App Yes An Android smartphone app available in the Google Play store.
Android Tablet App No An Android tablet app available in the Google Play store.
Mobile Site Yes Has a mobile website, typically m.broker.com. If on mobile phone and navigate to homepage, homepage should redirect to mobile site automatically. Having a responsive website is also acceptable.
Touch ID Yes Offers optional Touch ID security (fingerprint verification) for iOS mobile app. Account login most common integration.
Account Transfers Yes Ability to perform ACH deposits and withdrawals from the mobile App.
Quotes (Real-time) Yes Mobile app offers real-time quote data.
Quotes (Streaming Real-time) No Mobile app offers streaming (or auto refreshing) real-time stock quote results.
Watch List (Real-time) Yes Watch list in mobile app uses real-time quotes.
Watch List (Streaming Real-time) Yes Watch list in mobile app uses streaming real-time quotes.
Watch List Syncing Yes Watch list in mobile app syncs with client's online account. Updates made in the mobile app migrate to the online account and vice versa.
Market Movers (Top Gainers) Yes Stocks top gainers list viewable in the mobile app.
Custom Screening / Scanning No Mobile app supports custom screening for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and/or options. Must be customizable filters, not just predefined searches.
Charting - Stock Comparisons Yes Display multiple stock charts at once for performance comparison in the mobile app.
Charting - Technical Studies 32 How many technical studies / indicators are available to add to a stock chart in the mobile app.
Charting - After Hours No Stock charts in mobile app display after hours trade activity.
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields No Set basic stocks alerts in the mobile app. Examples: price alerts, volume alerts.
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields No Set advanced stocks alerts in the mobile app. All studies (SMA, MACD, RSI, etc) are considered advanced fields.
Stock Alerts Delivery - Push Notifications No Optional smartphone push notifications for stock alerts in the mobile app.
Customizable Homescreen No Client dashboard customizable in the mobile app. Examples: Portfolio, watch lists, quotes, quick links.
Streaming TV Yes Offers live TV. Examples - CNBC, Bloomberg.
Trading - Stocks Yes Stocks trades supported in the mobile app.
Trading - After-Hours Yes After-hours trading supported in the mobile app.
Trading - Conditional Orders No Conditional orders (Contingent, OTO, OCO, OTOCO, etc) supported in the mobile app.
Trading - Mutual Funds Yes Mutual fund trades supported in the mobile app.
Trading - Simple Options Yes Single-leg option trades supported in the mobile app.
Trading - Complex Options Yes Multi-legged option trades supported in the mobile app.
Trading - Option Rolling No Ability to pre-populate a trade ticket and seamlessly roll an option position to the next relative expiration in the mobile app.

Banking

Feature Value Definition
Member FDIC Yes Member of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) - fdic.gov.
Checking Accounts Yes Offers formal checking accounts and checking services. To qualify, checking services must be marketed on the website as a client service. Basic checking through the clearing firm does not count.
Savings Accounts Yes Offers savings accounts.
Debit Cards Yes Offers debit cards as part of a formal banking service.
Credit Cards Yes Offers credit cards.
Mortgage Loans Yes Offers mortgage loans.
Mobile Check Deposit Yes Check deposits can be made through the mobile app.
Online Bill Pay Yes Ability for clients to add and pay bills using the website.
Mobile Bill Pay Yes Ability for clients to add and pay bills using the mobile app.
ATM Fee Reimbursement Yes Are debit card ATM fees reimbursed?
No Fee Banking Yes Offers no fee banking. Requirements: no minimum balance required, no monthly maintenance fees, no debit card fees, no annual fees.
Retail Locations 300 Total retail locations. Company HQ or similar corporate offices do not count. Must be a formally branded, publicly accessible branch office marketed on the public website.

Order Execution

Feature Value Definition
Receives Payment for Order Flow (Equities) Yes The broker receives payment for order flow for equities trades. http://www.sec.gov/answers/payordf.htm.
Receives Payment for Order Flow (Options) Yes The broker receives payment for order flow for options trades. http://www.sec.gov/answers/payordf.htm.
Client Liquidity Rebates No Instead of keeping the market rebate for executing a trade that added liquidity (or paying the charge for taking liquidity), the broker passes on this savings (or charge) to the client.
Financial Information Forum (FIF) Participant Yes Member of the Financial Information Forum (FIF) and participant in the Retail Execution Statistics program - https://fif.com/.

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. 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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