Charles Schwab Review
Achieving financial security is a dream of many, but it is one that is extremely challenging and often considered impossible, considering the increasing cost of living and the dire economic conditions. Working 9-to-5 can take people years to get closer to their goal and even then, there is a possibility that they might not achieve it. But, people are always on the lookout for shortcuts and for a time, there weren’t any such viable solutions that could be used. However, times have certainly changed and the world is now a different place than what it was a few decades back.
These days, people do have access to a solution and it is known as online trading. To put it simply, people can buy and sell instruments in the financial markets, which are known for their volatility and this allows them to make a lot of profits quickly. As opposed to other investment vehicles, you will discover that it offers the quickest as well as highest returns. The best part is that jumping onto the online trading bandwagon is a lot simpler and there are no complicated prerequisites that have to be met, which makes it convenient as well. What else do you need?
Since you are trading online, you don’t need to go anywhere for making your transactions. You just need access to a PC or a mobile device and an internet connection to be able to trade. Even if you don’t have any knowledge or experience regarding the financial markets, there will be no one to step you. Plus, you don’t have to worry about having a huge capital to invest because you can start with a small amount of money as well. But, the most important question that needs to be asked here is how will you trade online? How do you get access to the financial markets you want to trade in?
This is the job of a broker, who have been part of the trading world since the beginning. The only difference is that now they are also offering their services online. Hence, if you have decided to start online trading, you will have to look for a broker. It doesn’t take people long to realize that there are plenty of options to be explored. You will find a horde of choices at your disposal when you begin looking for brokers offering you access to the financial markets. The demand for online trading has increased, which means there is also a surge in the number of companies offering their services.
It is definitely a good thing because it means that you will have many choices and you can go over the options to pick the one that suits you the best. But, it can also be overwhelming because there are just too many companies that can be found. So, what should you do? How do you choose? It is essential to ensure that you are opting for the right broker because the wrong one can set you back and prevent you from achieving your goals. Also, if they turn out to be a scam, you can lose your hard-earned money and this is not what you want.
Yet, the question is how do you sort through the multitude of brokerages in the market? How do you figure out if a company can provide you the trading services you require? The easiest way to figure out the answer is to evaluate the features of the ones you are considering and then pick one that ticks all the boxes. You can do the same with Charles Schwab, one of the options that will pop up when you begin your search. It is located in Seychelles and was founded by a company known as HF and Company, which has its headquarters in Bulgaria.
It is a forex and CFD brokerage catering to traders all over the globe and from all levels. But, you cannot determine if it is the right choice without evaluating its features, which we will do in this Charles Schwab Review. Let’s get started:
|Trading Accounts||Five Account Options; Essentials, Micro, Standard, Premium and Premium Pro|
|Assets Coverage||Forex, Commodities, Stocks, Cryptocurrencies and CFDs|
|Trading Tools||Trading Indicators, Signals, Live Charts, Technical Analysis Tools, Price Alerts and Algo Trading|
|Education and Training||Yes; , Glossary, e-books, online video courses, webinars, tutorials and expert sessions|
|Customer Support||24/5 through email, phone number, online contact form and live chat assistance|
|Security Policy||KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering)|
|Parent Company||Charles Schwab & Co|
Charles Schwab’ Regulation
Regulation is a feature of a brokerage that can definitely set it apart from the various options you will find in the market. There are many that are unregulated and don’t answer to any authority. In fact, a number of these unregulated firms are scams and frauds, so it is best to steer clear of them. Regulation adds a layer of security because there are lots of requirements a company has to fulfill before it can achieve this status and only one that’s dedicated to serving its clients will be able to do so.
As far as Charles Schwab’ regulation is concerned, you will find out that it falls under the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in Seychelles and has obtained the necessary license for providing its service. It follows all the rules and guidelines that have been established by the authority and offers transparent services to its clients. As it is a regulated brokerage, you can know for certain that they will not try and exploit you and neither will they vanish overnight with your funds.
Charles Schwab’ Security
While regulation may be the first feature of a broker that you may evaluate, it is definitely not the only one. There are various other aspects of a company that require attention, but the most prominent one is that of security. Anyone who uses the internet is aware that it is a risky place and there are different types of cybercrimes that can happen. You have to be cautious because these criminals not only steal money, but can also compromise your information and misuse it. When you are looking for a broker, security needs to be a priority because they have to be trusted with your funds, along with your personal information.
If either or both of these fall into the wrong hands, you will be the one dealing with the consequences and this is something you don’t want to face. Charles Schwab has created a secure trading environment for their clients and you will discover this fact when you begin your evaluation. To protect the funds that are deposited with them by traders, they have opted to use segregation of accounts. This means that the company’s accounts are kept separate from that of its clients, which is to prevent any misuse or misappropriation.
The company cannot use any of their client funds for paying off their own obligations or for any other purpose than trading. This means that even if they go bankrupt or shut down their services, your funds will remain safe and will be returned to you. Along with this feature, Charles Schwab has also used advanced SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption for protecting all confidential information shared with them by their clients. In addition, since it is a regulated broker, it has to comply with some rules and regulations. These include the implementation of security policies, such as KYC (Know-Your-Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering).
These policies have been created for the safety of traders and they can be quite effective in preventing money laundering, terrorist financing, financial fraud and identity theft. In accordance with these policies, traders who sign up with Charles Schwab are required to submit documents for verification of identity and address. The former requires a national ID card, an international passport or a driver’s license, while the latter needs a utility bill, whether gas, electricity or water, or a bank statement, which shows your address. Submission of these documents is essential for verifying your trading account and to be able to make withdrawals via the platform.
Charles Schwab’ Trading Software
Now that you have ascertained what kind of security to expect, it is time to move to yet another crucial feature that a broker has to offer. As a matter of fact, this feature is of the utmost importance because without it, you cannot access the financial markets. In a way, it is the reason these brokerages exist and it is referred to as the trading software. Every company has the freedom to offer you whatever platform they choose and some develop their own trading platform, while others give you access to one that already exists.
In this case, Charles Schwab falls into the latter category because they have opted to offer a platform that already exists in the market and it is the MetaTrader4. It is the top trading software that can currently be found in the industry, which makes it an excellent offering for traders. The platform has been designed with a user-friendly interface, which means it is a good addition for new traders, as well as experienced ones. It has attained a great deal of popularity because it is powered by state-of-the-art technology and offers a wide range of trading tools and features that can make deliver a seamless trading experience.
Traders can make use of one-click trading on the MT4 and it offers instant trade execution, allowing them to take advantage of as many market movements as possible. You don’t have to worry about a learning curve and can also make smart decisions with the help of the tools it provides. These include the advanced features allowing you to interact with customizable charts in real-time, the trading indicators that tell you where the market might move and the technical analysis tools that help you analyze different trends and movements.
Moreover, you can also get access to the latest news in the market, which can help you make timely and smart decisions. An economic calendar is also made available and traders are free to use any strategy they wish, taking full advantage of risk management features as well. Charles Schwab offers the desktop version of the MT4, which is its most powerful option, for both Windows and Mac, but this is not all that you will find. They have also kept up with market trends and demands and added the MT4 mobile apps for Android and iOS devices.
These apps are also easy to download and can be immensely convenient because they provide traders with access to their trading account on Charles Schwab on the move. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what time it is; you can use the app for trading. This gives traders a great deal of flexibility and freedom and the best thing about the apps is that they are also easy to use and are equipped with different tools and features that can come in handy.
Charles Schwab’ Trading Instruments
After figuring out the how of trading, it is now time for you to evaluate the what. This means taking a look at the trading instruments that you will be provided when you sign up with a broker. Not checking out the asset index of a company and simply trusting their claim of variety can be a foolish mistake. Lots of brokerages make this claim and traders end up discovering that they don’t offer even half of what they have stated. This can be highly disappointing and frustrating because you have to sign up with another broker from scratch.
Therefore, you can save yourself a great deal of trouble by evaluating the trading instruments of a broker beforehand. Charles Schwab offers you access to more than 200 trading instruments in some of the world’s biggest financial markets and you will come to know that this is exactly the case. They are not making any false promises and allow you to trade in some of the biggest financial markets of the world and invest in some of the most profitable trading instruments.
If you want to know some of the options, they include:
Forex: There is no doubt that if you have heard of trading, you have heard of the forex market. It is where currency pairs are traded and it has a daily trading volume of more than $5 trillion, which is the highest in the world. You can trade a bunch of currency pairs on Charles Schwab, including EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, EUR/GBP, NZD/USD and USD/CHF.
Cryptocurrencies: While fiat currency pairs are undoubtedly popular and profitable, digital currencies have gained a lot of popularity these days and are in heavy demand. Due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, people are able to make high profits and you can trade Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and numerous others via this broker.
Stock: You cannot speak of the financial markets without talking about stocks, as it is one of the most well-known market in the world. Trading stocks of various companies is quite profitable and you can trade stocks of major companies like PayPal, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Google, eBay, Amazon and Facebook.
Commodities: A less volatile option that you will come across on Charles Schwab is commodities, which comprises of different options like precious metals, including gold and silver, energies like natural gas and crude oil and agricultural products like wheat, coffee, cocoa, sugar and corn.
With the help of these options, traders will be able to diversify their investment portfolio and this allows them to minimize their risks and maximize their returns.
Charles Schwab’ Account Types
When you are done going through the trading instruments at your disposal at a broker, it is best to check out what account types are provided because it will determine how much investment you have to make and the features you will be able to use. Knowing the account types is important because even though it is the norm for brokerages to offer different choices to their clients, they are not necessarily the same. It is at the discretion of the company to offer as many or as few options as they want and you need to check what choices you have.
A good thing you will discover about Charles Schwab is that they have kept the registration procedure short, so you will be able to begin considering the account types within five minutes. Their form only requires basic information and this makes things quite simple. When you begin looking at the account types, you will notice that they have added five choices, which is another bonus because most companies don’t go beyond three to four options. They have chosen to be more diverse, giving you greater room to find an account that suits you best.
Essentials is the first account that you will find and traders are asked to deposit 250 for opening it. As far as currency is concerned, you can choose from EUR, GBP and USD. The lot size is 0.01 and the account offers dedicated customer support. It also comes with 1:50 leverage and spreads of 3.0 pips, along with a morning brief. It is a strong choice for newbies in the trading space. The second account that Charles Schwab has added is called Micro and this needs a deposit of 1000. It offers a higher leverage of 1:75 and lower spreads of 2.5 pips.
Moving on, you find the Standard account that needs a minimum deposit of 5000. The leverage is adjusted once more to 1:100 and the spreads are further reduced to 2.0 pips, making it a good option for intermediate traders. Charles Schwab also adds trading signal access here, along with premium trading education and free VPS. The Premium account comes next and the deposit requirement now goes up to 40,000, as this account is more for advanced traders. The leverage remains unchanged here, but the spreads do go down to 1.5 pips. The MT4 indicators are also made available at this point.
The last option that traders will find at Charles Schwab is called Premium Pro and the minimum investment for this account is 200,000. This account offers the highest leverage of 1:150 and the lowest spreads at 1.1 pips to help traders in making the most of their activities. All features of previous accounts are available here, along with some additional options because this account is meant more for professional traders. It offers quarterly sessions with an analyst, commission, invitations to exclusive events and premium customer support.
Charles Schwab’ Customer Support
While most people will evaluate the aforementioned features, there are some who will not pay the same attention to customer support. This is not something you should do because support can be vital during the trading process. When you are using a platform for the first time, there is a possibility that you may encounter some issues or problems, or may have inquiries that you need resolved. As the financial markets change quickly, you will want to have assistance as quickly as possible because delays can result in losses.
If you don’t get a solution or answers, it can set you back and so, prompt and responsive customer support is required. Charles Schwab will turn out to be great option in this regard because they have made round-the-clock support available to their clients. They have added several channels that can be used for reaching out to their team and you can choose an option that seems most convenient to you. The choices include sending them an email, giving them a call or filling out the online contact form to schedule a callback.
You can find all of this data available on their website on the Contact Us page. Apart from that, if you are looking for immediate assistance, you can also use the live chat option they have given on their website. You will discover that their staff is quite knowledgeable and helpful and will do their best to resolve your query as quickly as possible.
When your evaluation is complete, you can conclude that Charles Schwab is a reliable broker to consider for trading in the financial markets.