Charles Schwab Review - Does The Veteran Online Broker Still Have Its Edge?

Before anything else on this Charles Schwab review, we have to note that the company started out as a traditional brokerage firm and newsletter publisher on the investment industry in 1971. No, it did not start out as a discount brokerage since this development came later in May 1975. Yes, it also offers other financial services like bond trading, savings and checking accounts, mortgages, annuities, mutual finds and investment research in addition to its discount brokerage services on stocks.

Today, the name Charles Schwab is synonymous with traditional brokerage offered at lower commissions and fees in comparison with its competitors. The company offers its services via brick-and-mortar offices, an online site and telephone lines. Such versatility in access is one of the reasons why many a Charles Schwab review leans toward the favorable side.

Of course, there are pros and cons with getting the services of Charles Schwab as your discount broker. Let's start with the most important - their fees and commissions.

Unfortunately, the company may advertise itself as a discount broker but you will find other online brokerage firms with lower fees and commissions than Charles Schwab. The tiered commission schedule provides for two fees depending on the number of trades done per year and the account balance. Thus, if your balance is over a million dollars or if you execute more than 120 trades in a year, the fee is $8.95 for every online trade. This fee goes up to $12.95 if you trade less than 120 trades a year.

In a way, the fees and commissions are the only negatives in an otherwise completely positive Charles Schwab review. Just for the record, TradeKing offers lower fees especially when you are an active trader.

The good side of Charles Schwab manifests itself through the wide variety of investment options. You can invest in virtually anything that the global investment market can offer from stocks and options to Canadian foreign orders and money market funds. We give a five-star rating in this regard.

The website where online trading happens is also easy to use. You will find all the necessary tools to start trading, to track your trades and to monitor your wealth. But if you are a newbie to the game, we suggest understanding the theory, jargon and technical details of the tools so as to take full advantage of their benefits.

Well, you can actually expand your investment knowledge, skills and capabilities on the site itself - yet another reason for this positive Charles Schwab review. The company offers educational resources including live online workshops that cover diverse investment topics, Level I and II quotes, watch lists and charts, among others. When these resources are used wisely, your investment decisions will make you richer with each trade.

Charles Schwab's customer support services are one of the best in the industry mainly because of its coverage. You can visit any of their 300 offices nationwide, talk with a staff member over the phone or send an email to voice your concerns, complaints and other issues. You also have the benefit of an active trader, an experienced broker and a new client services representative available 24/7, all ready to answer your questions and act on your investment issues.

Indeed, as can be seen from this Charles Schwab review, we highly recommend the brokerage company for your investments and trades provided the fees match your criteria.