Top online broker for small investors. Best investment company for small account balances.

Best Broker for Small Investors

If you’re looking for the best broker for a small investor, chances are you’ve heard a lot of positive reviews about Charles Schwab services and platform. They are one of the “free brokers” out there when considering all the value they provide relative to their straightforward costs. This article will go over all the major advantages of trading with Charles Schwab.

Local Branches

With so much emphasis on cost-cutting these days, many of the discount brokers don’t have physical locations anymore. That’s not true for Charles Schwab, which boasts more than 450 local branches spread out across the U.S. This is a great convenience for investors, as you can easily schedule walk-in appointments to get help with your investment planning or assistance with account issues.

Straightforward Commissions/No Surcharges

Some brokers charge their customers an additional fee on top of their standard commission for trading penny stocks, while other brokers don’t even offer penny stocks. A great feature of your Charles Schwab account is that they have a straightforward, fixed commission of $0 for all equity trades.

Best Brokerage for Small Investors

No Account Maintenance or Inactivity Fees

Right in line with Charles Schwab’s straightforward commissions, they are a very transparent broker when it comes to fees in general. They don’t charge any account maintenance or inactivity fees, which means you could open an account today without depositing a dime and still take advantage of all their great benefits and features for free. Trading is really the only action where they charge you, besides small fees for certain things, like wire transfers or choosing paper statements over electronic ones.

Trading Platforms

When it comes to trading software and platforms, this is another area where Charles Schwab leaves little to be desired. They boast a variety of different trading platforms, from their website and mobile app, which are best for basic functionality, to their Trade Architect and world-class Thinkorswim trading platform. Thinkorswim is highly-regarded among equity and option traders for its advanced features and user friendly approach to building complex options trades.

Best Broker for Small Investors

Free Charles Schwab Account

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Practice Trading

Charles Schwab offers Paper Money virtual trading accounts free of charge within its Thinkorswim software. This feature is a great way for beginners to get as close to the real thing as possible without risking actual money, and similarly is used by experienced traders to test out new strategies.

Trading Community

Charles Schwab investors can easily access the broker’s myTRADE investor community to learn from experienced traders and see what trades other Charles Schwab clients are putting on in their accounts.

Free Level II Quotes

All Charles Schwab accounts, regardless of their balance or trading volume, receive free, real-time level II quotes. This is a big benefit, because many brokers don’t offer real-time level II quotes, or if they do they come at an extra cost.

Leading Research and Tools

Also free with your Charles Schwab account is a rich selection of third-party equity research reports from a dozen firms, including Standard & Poor’s, Morningstar, and TheStreet. In addition to research reports, Charles Schwab also boasts robust screening tools for stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs.

Mutual Fund Selection

Charles Schwab boasts one of the strongest selections of mutual funds that we’ve seen with any broker. They offer more than 13,000 mutual funds, with about 2,500 of them being commission-free.


Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIP) are a convenient feature of many brokers because they allow you to choose to have your broker automatically reinvest any dividends your investments pay instead of receiving them as cash and having to pay a commission to buy more of the stock. Charles Schwab offers a DRIP service free of charge, and lets you individually choose which of your investments you want included in your DRIP.

No IRA Fees

Another great feature of Charles Schwab is that their IRA accounts are similar to standard accounts in that there are no setup, termination, or account maintenance fees.

Great Customer Service

Having had to contact customer service for a variety of brokers, we can safely say that Charles Schwab has some of the best customer service in the brokerage space. They offer chat, email, and phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The representatives we’ve gotten on the phone have always been very knowledgeable and wait times are usually less than a minute.

Free Charles Schwab Account

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Best Broker for Small Investors Summary

It was tough to summarize all of the advantages and benefits of trading with Charles Schwab in one article. There are so many reasons to go with Charles Schwab, whether you are a frequent day trader, long-term investor, or brand new to the markets. They offer high quality features and platforms that cater to all types of investors, all for a reasonable and straightforward commission schedule.

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