Charles Schwab Competitors


Who are the biggest Charles Schwab competitors and alternatives? Companies like Charles Schwab (similar companies) in 2022.


Charles Schwab Competitors Overview


Charles Schwab is a leading discount broker, offering its clients a variety of financial products and trading tools. But Charles Schwab has strong competitors in TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and Ally Invest. So how does it compare to its biggest rivals? Let's take a look.


No-cost Mutual Funds and ETFs


Schwab offers its clients access to more than 3,500 OneSource mutual funds, which carry no loads and no transaction fees. Furthermore, customers have access to all ETF’s commission-free.

In comparison, TD Ameritrade has access to more than 13,000 mutual funds, of which over 4,200 carry no transaction fee and no load. This broker also offers all ETFs commission-free.

Fidelity offers over 10,000 mutual funds, 3,375 of which have no transaction fee, and many of those have no load. Furthermore, traders have access to all ETF’s commission-free.

The Ally Invest mutual fund screener returns 12,000+ securities that are open to new investors. From this group, there are 2,672 funds that have no load. All ETFs could be traded with $0 commission.


Schwab and Competitors Costs


Broker Review Promotion
Offer
Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Ally Invest Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades. $0 $9.95 $0 $0
Fidelity Get $0 stock commissions. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
Charles Schwab Get commission-free online stock trades. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
TD Ameritrade $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement. $0 $49.99 ($0 to sell) $0 $0


Ally Invest is the best priced brokerage firm among Schwab competitors.


Schwab and Competitors Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Ally Invest
Fidelity
Charles Schwab
TD Ameritrade


Research


Schwab offers in-depth research for stocks, ETF’s, and mutual funds. Customers have access to free stock reports from Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, Credit Suisse, and others. Fidelity also has a plethora of research tools with good-quality reports from independent providers.

TD Ameritrade has the best selection of independent, third-party investment research from 13 firms (Standard & Poor's, Morningstar, Jaywalk, TheStreet, etc.)

Ally Invest website boasts some pretty good charting. Chart comparisons can be made to stocks, ETF's, and commodities, which is rare. Graph styles include OHLC bars, mountain, and candlesticks.


Charles Schwab Competitors


Customer Service


Schwab customer service can be contacted via an on-line chat system, phone, fax, or e-mail. The phone service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the reps have a history of being trained and actually knowing what they’re talking about.

Ally offers customer service 7am-10pm ET, 7 days a week over the phone. Broker also has associates who can be reached through an on-line chat function.

TD Ameritrade has phone service staffed 24/7. Representatives are available certain hours of the day who speak Cantonese, Spanish, or Mandarin. The brokerage has more than 450 brick-and-mortar branches located across the United States for old school investors who want more personal investment assistance.

Fidelity can be contacted via an on-line chat system or phone. The phone service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The chat service is on-line from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm EST.


Trading Tools


Schwab's website is easy to navigate. A basic trade bar is able to display a chart, although it can't place a trade. The broker also provides a sophisticated desktop platform. It only requires a $1,000 account balance. There is an app for Apple Watch, and the broker has a mobile app that streams CNBC news at no charge.

TD Ameritrade offers several different platforms, all with free Level II quotes. First is the standard web site, which is user friendly. Next is Trade Architect, a Java-based platform launched from the web site. Finally, there is Thinkorswim. This platform is a stand-alone program. It is considered the best in the market.

Ally's website is very easy to use and a pleasure to work with. Ally Invest LIVE is an easy-to-use browser-based trading platform that is free for all customers. There is a handy trade ticket at the bottom of broker’s investment site.

Fidelity's website is also easy to navigate. The site has a trade ticket for quick order entry. Frequent traders can use an advanced platform. Fidelity recently announced an app for Apple TV.


Mobile Trading


Schwab has applications for Android, iPhone, iPad, and mobile web. The interface is user friendly and intuitive. Users can transfer funds between Schwab and non-Schwab accounts, place trades, make a mobile check deposit, and contact customer representative.

Charles Schwab's competitors also offer mobile trading platforms. Fidelity has an app for Windows 8, certainly an advantage for some customers. TD Ameritrade offers mix of three different mobile apps for investors with every experience level: beginners, advanced investors, and day traders.

Ally Invest customers can use the Ally Bank mobile app, which also has investment functions. It can be used to make trades for stocks, ETFs, and options. Limited market news is available. A charting feature can show price histories of stocks along with technical studies and comparisons. Option chains are on the app as well.


Schwab's Pros and Cons


Compared to competitors, Charles Schwab has the second best (after TD Ameritrade) offering of mutual funds with no load and no transaction fees. Its mobile platform is very good compared to its rivals. Its selection of physical branches is attractive for customers who want some extra financial guidance, though there are fewer of them than at TD Ameritrade. StreetSmart Edge is the second best (after TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim) trading platform of the four brokers surveyed.

Schwab faired less well on pricing, being undercut by Ally Invest. It's mid-range trading platform, StreetSmart.com, also performed less well than its competitors.


Our Recommendations

Beginner Investors: we recommend TD Ameritrade, Ally Invest and Schwab.

IRA accounts: all four brokers.

Stocks/ETFs Traders: TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest.

Options Traders: Ally Invest.

Long Term, Inactive Investors: all four brokers.

Mutual Funds Investors: all four brokers.


New Customer Offers

Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Open Ally Invest Account



TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Open TD Ameritrade Account



Charles Schwab: Get commission-free online stock trades.

Open Schwab Account



Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Open Fidelity Account


Updated on 5/2/2022.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.