Are Charles Schwab pricing, fees, commissions too high? Is Charles Schwab too expensive for stocks, mutual funds investing in 2019?

Is Charles Schwab Too Expensive For Stocks, Mutual Funds Investing?

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Firstrade $0 $0 $0 + $0 per contract $0 $0
Ally Invest $4.95 $9.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Charles Schwab $4.95 $76 ($0 to sell) $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $6.95 $19.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Vanguard $7-$20 $8-$35 $30 + $1.50 per contract $20* $20*

As you see from the table above, the answer to a question "Is Charles Schwab Too Expensive?" is "It depends to which firm you compare". The broker is obviously better priced for stock and ETF (but not mutual funds!) investors comparing to TD Ameritrade, Etrade and Vanguard. But Charles Schwab is more expensive comparing to Ally Invest which charges only $9.95 per trade for mutual funds and $3.95 per trade for stocks and ETFs provided a client makes 30 or more trades in three months or has $100K account balance. Firstrade is even cheaper, charging $0 for equities and rock-bottom $0 for mutual funds.

Charles Schwab IRA Fees

Fee Amount
Charles Schwab IRA setup fee $0
Charles Schwab annual IRA fee $0
Charles Schwabe IRA termination fee $0
Charles Schwab account maintenance fee $0
Charles Schwab account inactivity fee $0
Charles Schwab outbound full account transfer (ACAT) fee $50
Charles Schwab outbound partial account transfer fee $25

Charles Schwab Brokerage/IRA Account Review

Read detailed review of Charles Schwab brokerage account.

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Charles Schwab Overview

Checking Account - A major benefit to having a Schwab One brokerage account is access to its High Yield Checking Account. While the interest rate on the account is peanuts, investors will receive unlimited ATM rebates, worldwide. Yes, Schwab will refund any out of network ATMs fees, anywhere in the world with no limit. Other checking account benefits include free bill pay, ability to deposit checks through Schwab’s app, free standard checks and a Visa platinum debit card. Since your cash is held with Schwab Bank, it is FDIC-insured up to the $250,000 maximum. Investors must have an active Schwab brokerage account to maintain the High Yield Checking Account.

Credit Cards - Schwab recently introduced two new co-branded credit cards with American Express, dubbed Schwab Investor Card from American Express and American Express Platinum Card® for Schwab. Both of these cards were created with investors in mind. Schwab Investor cardmembers will get 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which will be deposited into the investor’s Schwab brokerage account. American Express Platinum cardmembers earn Membership Rewards on all purchases and receive a bonus if they deposit the rewards into their brokerage account. As with the checking account, investors must have a Schwab brokerage account to maintain either credit card.


There is no cost to open and maintain a Schwab One account. The minimum opening balance is $1,000, but that can be waived if you open and link a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account OR establish an incoming monthly transfer of at least $100. Schwab offers 13,000+ no-load, no transaction fee mutual funds and over 200 $0-commission ETFs, many including Schwab’s own. It is otherwise $4.95 per online equity trade. The company publishes a schedule of its fees on its website, so investors are not caught off guard.


Investment research - Never be surprised. Schwab’s independent and in-house investment research gives investors a bird’s eye view of the market. Spot investment opportunities when you see them!

Comprehensiveness - Schwab has your back. Whether your goal is to build a safety net, save for a home or plan for retirement, Schwab offers every conceivable security to build a diversified portfolio to get you where you want to go.

Customer Service - Talk it out. With representatives available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through email, phone or chat, investors can trade assured that they can get help when and where they need it. Schwab also has over 300 retail locations, so investors can have as many face to face meetings as they want!

Mobile app - You’re always on the go, don’t leave your finances behind. With Schwab’s mobile app, financial opportunity is only a few taps away.

No fees - there are no IRA fees at Charles Schwab, not even for terminating a retirement account. The broker will, however, charge a fee for transfering account to another firm.


The $4.95 commission for equity trading lies within the range of some of its competitors. But Schwab’s fee of $76 to trade mutual funds is one of the highest in the industry and Schwab’s $1,000 minimum to open an account (waived with stipulations) may give investors pause.

Is it for me?

The Schwab One brokerage account is a one-stop shop for investors of all experience. Schwab received top scores on J.D. Power’s 2019 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Survey and for good reason. The company offers investors a world of trading opportunities, independent and in-house research, transparent pricing and superb customer service to anticipate and handle an investor’s every need. Whatever your investment experience or financial goal, Schwab offers a comprehensive suite of products to suit your needs.

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