Charles Schwab review

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Charles Schwab IRA Review 2015: Pricing, Fees, Pros/Cons, and Promotions for Traditional, ROTH, SEP, Simple, Rollover IRA Accounts

Charles Schwab Investments IRA Accounts

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • Inherited IRA
  • Custodial IRA
  • Individual 401(k)
  • Personal Defined Benefit Plan
  • Profit-sharing Plan
  • Business 401(k) Plan
  • Company Retirement Account

Charles Schwab Investments IRA Fees

  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual (maintenance, custodial) IRA fee: $0
  • IRA termination fee: $0
  • Account inactivity fee: $0
  • Outbound Full Account Transfer: $50
  • Outbound Partial Account Transfer: $25

Charles Schwab Investments Commissions

Stocks and ETFs $8.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $33.95
Stocks and ETFs phone trades $13.95
Options $8.95 + $0.75 per contract
Mutual funds $76 to buy, $0 to sell
CDs, Corporate Bonds, Municipal Bonds, Government Agencies, Zero-Coupon Treasuries, including STRIPS and Mortgage-Backed Securities $1 per bond, $10 minimum, $250 maximum
Preferred Stocks and REITs $8.95
Commercial Paper and Foreign Bonds, Unit Investment Trusts call for pricing

Investments stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures, Treasury issues, options, CDs, insurance, ETFs, annuities, non-U.S. securities and ADRs, WEBs and Canadian foreign orders
Charles Schwab minimum deposit to open account $1,000
FeesCharles Schwab fees
Promotion and login linksCharles Schwab login, Charles Schwab promotions

Charles Schwab IRA Pros

  • Personal guidance is available at no additional cost
  • 300+ offices for personal visits
  • Rich selection of investment products, including large number of mutual funds - over 14,500
  • No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Great customer service
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • Investment research from a several companies
  • 198 ETFs with no commissions

Charles Schwab IRA Cons

  • High commissions on stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs
  • High margin rates

Opening Charles Schwab IRA

In order to start an IRA account with Schwab, you need an initial $1,000 of investing capital. Once account is open, you can then begin to select which investments are right for you. Schwab helps you to pick stocks, no-fee ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, index funds and much more as a means to build your portfolio. As a general rule of thumb, the younger you are, the more aggressive you will want your investments to be. Inversely, if you are older, you may want to be more conservative with your investments. If you are unsure of which investment to choose, just call Charles Schwab directly and a licensed investment consultant will help you.

If you do not have the initial $1,000 that is required to start a Schwab IRA, you can also start a new account by making monthly $100 payments to Schwab in lieu of the initial investment. Comparatively speaking, Etrade (Etrade review) requires a $500 minimum investment while Fidelity (Fidelity review) requires a $2,500 minimum initial investment. With Schwab, you can setup your account to automatically deduct from each paycheck or you can decide to fund your account at your own pace by sending a check to Schwab or wiring money to your IRA account as it becomes available to you.

Charles Schwab IRA Review

Charles Schwab IRA Account

Now that you’ve made the conscious decision to begin saving for retirement, the most important question you need to ask yourself is “Which IRA is right for me?” With so many companies competing for your business, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. It is imperative that you read the fine print when it comes to rolling over your 401k into an IRA or starting a new IRA altogether.

If you’ve researched the Schwab IRA, you’ll be happy to know that this investment firm prides itself on never charging any account fees on IRAs. While other IRA providers may charge maintenance fees or account inactivity fees, Schwab’s promise to consumers has always been “No Account Fees.” In addition, the firm freely provides retirement calculators and other types of financial tools which will help you to get a clear vision for your financial future.

Schwab IRAs are designed to be easy to use even for beginer investors and their trading platform is not powerful enough to attract sophisticated traders.

Charles Schwab IRA Review 2015

“Talk to Chuck” isn’t just a catchy marketing slogan. Charles Schwab prides itself in being helpful and available to talk to you about your investing and retirement needs. Unlike other banks and brokerage firms, Schwab's customer service is available from 7am EST to 11pm EST each and every day. You can also talk to an agent by clicking on the "Live Chat" button on their website. Out of all the major investing firms, the customer service agents at Charles Schwab have consistently been rated as some of the friendliest and most helpful agents within the industry. The agents can help you with any of your questions such as finding a feature within the website, general account questions or they can help you locate a Schwab representative in your neighborhood.

Outside of IRAs, Charles Schwab is internationally known for being a discount brokerage firm that has stood the test of time. Started in 1971 by Charles Schwab in San Francisco, California, the company has grown to manage over 75 billion dollars in assets. Charles Schwab was the first discount brokerage company in the US, but these days it’s no longer considered as inexpensive as it used to be. The firm's $8.95 rate per stock trade is pretty high for 2015, and the $76 fee to buy mutual fund is the most expensive among all online brokers.

In 2012 Charles Schwab bought one of the best brokerage firms in the industry, OptionsXpress (see review), that still functions as a separate company (though it is in process of integrating into Schwab). OptionsXpress provides a much better set of trading tools, a great selection of free services, a simulated trading environment, and 50 free trades bonus for opening an IRA account. Transaction-fee, no-load mutual funds are $9.95 per transaction at OptionsXpress versus $76 at Charles Schwab! There is a chance that if Schwab discontinues OptionsXpress brand, OptionsXpress customers will get to keep their lower rates.

Charles Schwab IRA Promotion

None right now.

Open Schwab account

Updated on 9/10/2015.

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