Years ago, when I was looking for an online discount broker to invest my money, I did a ton of research. There were a handful that I was considering, but in the end, I chose Schwab because they had all of the features I was looking for. Fast forward to today and even though I have accounts at Betterment, Vanguard and Sharebuilder, I still have a good amount with Schwab and I wouldn’t change it. Below is my detailed review of Schwab.
(As a side note, if you are interested in learning more about other online brokers, you can read my reviews of Betterment, E*Trade, Scottrade, TradeKing and Sharebuilder. Also check out my comprehensive online broker comparison chart to see which brokers meets your needs best. OK, back to the Schwab review.)
My Schwab Review
Schwab History and Background
It all started back in 1975 when the Securities and Exchange Commission deregulated broker commissions. Schwab was the first discount broker on the scene. The company steadily grew over the years and in 1983 was purchased by Bank of America.
One year later, Schwab introduced 140 no-load mutual funds as well as The Equalizer, a DOS based tech solution that would eventually be online trading as we know it today.
By 1985, Schwab signed up its 1 millionth customer and two years later, Charles bought the firm back from Bank of America. Then in 1995, Schwab.com was born. Today, Schwab has close to 2 trillion in assets, over 9 million active brokerage accounts, and is still innovating the discount broker scene.
OK, now on to the features that makes Schwab so great for investors. I’ll highlight these in bullet points and then go into more detail:
- $8.95 online trades (this includes market and limit orders) for stocks priced $1 or more.
- Streaming quotes are free for investors. Most other brokers give you free delayed quotes (they are delayed up to 15 minutes). If you want streaming quotes from these brokers, it will cost you.
- Tons of investment options for investors. Choose from stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, mutual funds, options and CDs. You can invest in non-retirement, retirement, small business, trusts and educational accounts as well.
- Crazy amounts of research. Not only do you get research reports from Schwab itself, but also from other third party industry experts.
- Easy to use website. There is a lot to be said when you find a website where you can easily find what you are looking for. I found this to be the case with Schwab. I had no issues finding what I was looking for.