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Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge Review, Cost, and Requirements (2020)

Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge trading platform review. Direct access software pricing, fees, requirements, charts, pros and cons. Is it free?

Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge overview

Charles Schwab, a leading discount brokerage, offers an array of financial products and services to investors. Its flagship trading platform, StreetSmart Edge, has numerous features that many traders are sure to find unbeatable. Let's check it out in this StreetSmart Edge Review.

Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge cost

StreetSmart Edge is available at no cost to Schwab Trading Services clients.

Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge requirements

To qualify as a Schwab Trading Services customer, traders simply need to keep a $1,000 minimum account balance in their regular brokerage account. Combined with $0 stock trades, this platform will prove to be a real value to many investors.

Logging in

StreetSmart Edge is a desktop application. So first, traders must download and install the program. After successful installation, the next step is to launch the program. Doing so produces a small window where traders can input log-in credentials.

Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge Cost

After logging in, a new user's guide is displayed. Several videos cover various topics such as customization, layout, finding account positions, and placing a trade. These tutorials can help new traders learn the ropes of this sophisticated platform.

StreetSmart Edge Platform Review

Research on the platform

StreetSmart Edge has a research section where traders can screen and research stocks. Some of the possible screens include highest volume stocks for the day, largest gains for the day on specific exchanges, such as NASDAQ or NYSE, and stocks whose 15-day simple moving average has crossed above its 50-day SMA. Many more screens are available, and they can be saved.

The platform displays the very useful Schwab Equity Ratings, which cover approximately 3,000 U.S. stocks and grade them on an A, B, C, D, and F scale. Traders can quickly view a stock's rating within the platform.

Research capability is on the slim side. For example, on StreetSmart Edge, American Electric Power (AEP) has limited ratings information from two sources: Schwab Equity Ratings and S&P Capital IQ. On Schwab's web site, the same security has full reports from Schwab, S&P Capital IQ, Ned Davis, Credit Suisse, Thomson Reuters, Argus, and Vickers. Obviously, the platform is designed for trading. Investors who want to do thorough research need to use the web site. There, they will find free equity reports from several third-party providers.

Trading on the StreetSmart Edge

Clicking on the trade tab produces relevant trading tools. In the upper-left corner is data on bid-ask spread, volume, and the day's high and low figures. On the right-hand side is watchlist information. At the bottom of the screen is account information.

StreetSmart Edge Review

In the middle is the all-important chart. It is very customizable. The time scale of the price action can be displayed anywhere from monthly to tick-by-tick. The graph style can be line, area, OHLC bars, point and figure, or candlesticks (hollow or solid). Several technical analysis tools are available with a variety of colors and stroke styles.

StreetSmart Edge Platform Review

Right clicking on the chart produces a drop-down menu giving the trader a variety of options, such national best bid and offer data, comparison to the price action of other stocks, the ability to add technical indicators, and order entry, including conditional orders.

Schwab Platform Review

Directly underneath the trade tab, customers will find an order entry system for stocks, ETF's, options, and conditional orders.

The platform’s other features include CNBC TV with video archive, account information, Level II quotes, access to global accounts (if applicable), and more.

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Customer service on the platform

Clicking on the Help menu will produce some customer service options for users of StreetSmart Edge. Live chat is available on the platform weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm, EST. Clicking on "Contact us..." displays Schwab's regular 24/7 customer service hotline, and a second phone number for customers traveling outside the U.S.

A Schwab.com menu heading displays a wealth of information, such as account history and cost basis. Clicking on a link takes the user back to Schwab's web site in a new browser window.


StreetSmart Edge vs. the competition

Several major brokerage firms now have their own advanced platform. TD Ameritrade offers Thinkorswim, the most advanced desktop-launched platform on the market. The platform offers similar features as StreetSmart Edge, such as CNBC TV and charting tools. Thinkorswim has the ability to detach the chart into a full separate window, which StreetSmart Edge lacks.

StreetSmart Edge Review

Fidelity, one of Schwab's major rivals, also has an advanced trading platform called Active Trader Pro. However, it is only available to frequent traders placing at least 36 trades in a rolling 12-month period. Less frequent traders will obviously benefit from Schwab's platform.

Some of Schwab’s rivals, such as Wellstrade and Firstrade, don’t have an advanced trading platform.

StreetSmart Edge Review Recap

Schwab's crown jewel StreetSmart Edge offers sophisticated traders an advanced platform with a minimal account balance. Though not as popular or advanced as Thinkorswim, it still offers enough features to satisfy many traders.