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Charles Schwab Complaints


Charles Schwab complaints and reviews for 2020. Charles Schwab problems with brokerage fees and trading platform; website issues.



Charles Schwab Complaints Overview


  • Commission fees are competitive with full-service brokerages, but higher than some other discount brokers.
  • Purchase fee of $49.95 for transaction-fee mutual funds.
  • High margin rates compared to other brokerages.


Charles Schwab Overview


Charles Schwab is an affordable, highly-rated full-service brokerage firm. Although their commission fees are higher than discount brokers like Ally Invest (review), the quality of research and plethora of investment offerings are worth consideration for novice or experienced investors.


Charles Schwab Commission & Transaction Fees


Type of InvestmentOnline TradeAutomated Phone TradeBroker-Assisted Trade
Stocks $0 $5 $25
Options $0 plus $0.65 per contract Online Pricing plus $5.00 Service Charge Online Pricing plus $25.00 Service Charge
ETFs (Schwab One Source Funds) $0.00 $5.00 $25.00
Mutual Funds (Schwab One Source No-Load No-Fee) $0.00 $0.00 $25 Service Charge
Transaction-Fee Mutual Funds $49.95 to Buy & $0 to Sell $49.95 to Buy & $0 to sell Online Fee plus $25 Service Charge


The minimum balance to open a brokerage account is $1,000. Schwab will waive the minimum if you setup a minimum monthly transfer of $100 or link your brokerage account to a Charles Schwab Bank account.

Due to the steep fee ($49.95) for buying non-OneSource mutual funds, there is a large incentive to invest in one of the 3,852 mutual funds that belong to the Schwab One Source Mutual Fund Program. In contrast, Firstrade charges $0 commission on all 10,000 mutual funds.

For customers wanting to invest in Schwab funds or ETFs, the typical initial investment minimum is only $100 and a minimum of $1 for subsequent investments. A fraction of the minimums for non-Schwab funds.


Margin Rates


While Schwab does offer margin accounts, its loan rates tend to be on the high side. Currently, a margin debit of under $25,000 costs 9.325%. M1 Finance charges just 3.50%.


Schwab Intelligent Portfolios


The newest addition to Schwab, is its “robo-advising” service called Intelligent Portfolios that allows you invest in 54 ETFs from 20 different asset classes consisting of stocks, bonds, emerging markets, commodities, and REITS. What makes this investment option unique to similar competitors is the lack of fees. No advisory fees, account service fees, or commissions, although investors must still pay operating expenses for each fund that can range from 0.04% to 0.48%.

The minimum investment is $5,000 to enroll in these portfolios and tax-loss harvesting is available for investors with more than $50,000 in assets. Schwab has a competitive advantage compared to other brokerages’ “robo-advisor” plans because of the low initial investment minimum ($5,000) and the large number of ETFs (54) available to invest in. Ally Invest, however, offers similar service with zero commission and only $100 minimum: $0 Advisory Fees at Ally Invest Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio!


Navigating The Schwab Website


The Schwab website is fairly easy to navigate, although filtering searches for specific information can be slightly difficult at times. One nice feature of Charles Schwab is a “sticky footer” that hovers at the bottom of the webpage. By default, it shows the most recent data for the DJIA, Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Russell 2000. There is also a search box where you can type in a stock, ETF, or mutual fund symbol and it will display the trading data without redirecting you to a new screen.

If you want track the individual performance of your investment portfolio, Schwab will break down your individual holdings into distinct asset types & will also display the current share price, market value, & Schwab investment rating.


Charles Schwab problems


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Schwab Research Platform


A definite positive for Schwab is its resource-rich research platform. Most investors will find all the information they need in the default Schwab interface. Besides using the criteria screener for mutual funds & ETFs (which is very option heavy & somewhat confusing), the interface is easy to navigate. Active traders will want to enroll in StreetSmart Edge, by calling customer service to gain access to that platform.

Many praise the information provided by Schwab when researching various equities, mutual funds, and ETFs. Schwab updates their ratings for individual stocks on a weekly basis. They also provide access to ratings from 7 other agencies too.

For those researching a particular mutual fund & ETF, Schwab offers a report card that shows the recent performance of that fund and similar funds from Schwab & other brokerages.

If you have any questions, Charles Schwab has a client service department that is available 24/7 with quick response times via telephone or chat.


Charles Schwab complaints


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Charles Schwab Complaints reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com. Rating: 4