Can I Buy Crypto on Charles Schwab?
Unfortunately, Charles Shwab users in the US cannot directly buy or sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum through their application or your 401 (k).
You can, however, gain indirect exposure to cryptos by using specific investment instruments provided on their site. The following are some examples:
- Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE)
- Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)
- Grayscale Litecoin Trust (LTCN)
We do not advise investors to participate in these indirect trusts since they do not provide actual ownership of digital assets. This implies you won’t be able to withdraw the cryptocurrency from your secure storage.
Charles Schwab Overview
Charles Schwab is one of the most popular online brokerage services. Last year, the company was at the forefront of the industry’s shift to commission-free stock and ETF transactions. It completed the TD Ameritrade acquisition. Schwab has a customer base that spans from newbies to professionals. Schwab acquired 15.8 million new customers in the last year, indicating that it is no longer a niche player in the sector.
Schwab offers a choice of solutions to fulfil the demands of its customers. Their brokerage portals include schwab.com, a complex and highly adaptable workstation, and mobile options.
Who is Charles Schwab For?
Charles Schwab offers complete brokerage services and has over $6.6 trillion in client assets. Through the acquisition, the firm’s growth implies that TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim trading tool will soon be featured on Schwab’s platform.
Trading-focused TD Ameritrade will be joining Schwab’s StreetSmart online trading forum, which already fulfils the expectations of less intense investors. Additionally, Schwab has a variety of financial products, which is enough for most investors. However, active options traders and those who want to trade in forex, cryptocurrency, and futures markets may want to look elsewhere.
Pros and Cons
- Schwab is an excellent pick for most investors because of its extensive resources and devotion to various customers. Moreover, traders can also access their accounts through multiple methods provided by the broker. There’s an internet interface, a mobile application, and a desktop app, which offer additional personalisation and advanced trading, charting, and analytical features.
- Schwab offers free stock and ETF trading and provides superior price execution on over 90% of trades.
- Schwab provides exceptional customer service, including live phone and chat assistance and all of the information resources and tools that a consumer may require. Besides Schwab’s tracking and its comprehensive array of calculators and reports, customers also have free access to news, analytics, stock screeners, charting, instructional support, and live content services during the day through its retail branch network.
- By allowing customers to view all their assets in one location, Schwab provides a complete picture of their digital assets. Customers can enrol in an accessible aggregation program to register investment and bank accounts and loans, credit cards, mortgages, and real estate from over 15,000 financial firms.
- Schwab’s digital investment advice service, the Intelligent Portfolio, is free for all accounts with over $5,000 in assets. Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolio Premium service comprises a one-time planning cost and a monthly advising fee for accounts with at least $25,000.
- Schwab hasn’t changed its policy of giving extra cash to banks, even though they pay less than money markets. So, clients need to act if they plan to move extra cash into money market funds that pay more.
- People trading options and other multi-leg techniques may incur many costs. Each leg costs $0.65 at Schwab, which they must pay for each trade. A four-leg option strategy can be used on both the workstation and the mobile app. The workstation has more advanced options for analysis tools.
- Schwab’s forex and cryptocurrency options aren’t favourable. For example, If you want to buy or sell Bitcoin, you can only do so through futures and options contracts at the CME Group. Schwab only exchanges money for buying or selling stocks in other countries (for a fee). Despite Schwab allowing you to trade futures, there is a different platform that some active futures traders may not like.
- Currently, Schwab’s rate for balances over $500,000 is 6.5%. Those who trade on margin may want to look for lower rates elsewhere.
Charles Schwab Fees
Charles Schwab’s prices are modest in light of the extensive range of products and services available to its clients. Trades in stocks and ETFs are entirely free of charge; you have access to valuable tools and a wide range of educational resources.
Those who want to see their full financial profile in one spot will find the free aggregation service appealing. It’s not outrageous to pay $0.65 for each trade-in option fee, but active options traders may search for a better bargain elsewhere, especially those using multiple-leg option methods. Margin traders, for example, may prefer the cheaper interest rates offered by other platforms.
Real-time data streams are available on all platforms. Chart sketching tools are accessible on both Edge and the website, but the web version is limited compared to the downloadable platform. On Edge, trades can be entered by pressing a trade icon in the chart’s corner, which opens an order entry box. On mobile, there are no sketching capabilities for charts. While on the website and Edge, several orders can be placed; this is not an option on the mobile app.
The only Schwab platform that displays profit and probability graphs for options strategies is StreetSmart Edge. StreetSmart Edge provides a wealth of customisable features, including changing the total account balance line information, storing specific stock or ETF finds, and creating customised order tickets. You can save your preferences and stock/ETF/mutual fund screens on the website.
Range of Offerings
Charles Schwab offers a wide range of securities on its platform, so investors will most likely find the digital assets they are looking for here. Investors with limited resources can also gain exposure to high-priced stocks through Schwab’s fractional shares. However, Schwab’s only cryptocurrency product is Bitcoin exchanges, so you should search elsewhere if you plan to explore more cryptocurrencies.
A second platform (the less-used StreetSmart Mobile or the web-based StreetSmart Central) is required for futures trading with Schwab and Fidelity, which may be burdensome for active futures investors. While they charge a fee for their foreign exchange services, Schwab does not conduct currency trading.
Like many online brokers, Charles Schwab strives to include all services and platforms intended for different investors like many online brokers. Generally, the navigation of Schwab’s numerous platforms is primarily straightforward, and the online registration process takes about 10 minutes.
You can check your balances and positions with only a few clicks and get stance research. And by selecting one of your investment portfolios or entering a symbol, you may get current news and other data such as ratings, charts, earnings, peers, ratios, financial statements, dividends, and research papers for that asset.
Best Charles Schwab Alternatives
Coinbase, one of the world’s most recognised trading platforms, is the best and safest option for US traders to access cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Investors may deposit US dollars instantaneously into their cryptocurrency exchange, and the crypto they purchase from the platform can be withdrawn.
Coinbase was established in 2012 as a venue for sending and receiving Bitcoin. However, the platform has grown to host tons of cryptocurrencies and has employed over 2,700 people across the globe. Coinbase is an entirely decentralised organisation and has no central HQ.
Coinbase’s customers transact about $327 billion in value in a typical quarter. The company has users from more than 100 countries. Over 9,000 financial firms use Coinbase’s sophisticated bitcoin ecosystem.
Additionally, Coinbase provides a cryptocurrency wallet service and two different trading platforms. Everything you need to build and manage a bitcoin portfolio or trading plan can be found within the Coinbase product suite.
The company operates two different platforms: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. Each one allows you to purchase, sell, and exchange cryptocurrencies, but they also have features.
The Coinbase interface is user-friendly; anyone with basic computer knowledge can trade on it. You can access Coinbase over the web or through the mobile app, available on Android and iOS. Its experience is similar to trading stocks through an online platform.
You can see your Coinbase portfolio on the main dashboard, and with just a few clicks on the screen, you can purchase and sell currencies.
Cryptocurrency markets are always open, so you can trade whenever you want. You can make purchases with the money in your account or a linked bank account or credit card. Depending on your payment method for your cryptocurrency, you may incur additional costs. Purchases are immediately added to your account, but you may need to wait for your deposit to clear before withdrawing.
Anyone with a Coinbase account can also access and utilise the pro version of the service, even if they don’t trade professionally. Limit and stop orders can be traded here, which are not available on the regular Coinbase platform.
Pros of Coinbase
- It’s user-friendly: The official Coinbase site and mobile app are incredibly user-friendly, allowing you to purchase, sell, and swap cryptocurrencies instantly, even if you are a beginner.
- Hosts a wide variety of cryptocurrencies: Coinbase now supports over 100 cryptocurrencies for trading, with more being added regularly.
- Opportunity to earn interest: On an eligible balance, you can earn interest or receive a new cryptocurrency through Coinbase.
- Coinbase Pro offers lower pricing.
Cons of Coinbase
- High fees: The transaction charges on leading Coinbase platforms are often expensive.
- Customer support concerns: Coinbase has low rankings for customer support, even when major account security issues arise.
- Many altcoins are not available for trading: Although Coinbase supports many currencies, most are still missing.
Charles Schwab is one of the leading brokerage platforms, and with its recent acquisition of TD Ameritrade, it has strengthened its dominance even further. Schwab’s massive size and economies of scale enable it to offer various products, services, training, and support to its diverse customer base, particularly in mutual funds, ETFs, equities, and fixed income.
Schwab provides free stock and ETF trading and intuitive website, desktop, and mobile programs that run smoothly. Given the size of the platform and the amount of content available, Schwab’s site navigation and correlating menus perform impressively. These menus comprise many options, but they are organised by category and are mostly straightforward.
Schwab’s wide range of services, low charges for equity and ETF transactions, and full suite of services make it ideal for most investors and traders. However, it may not be an excellent option for subsets of the investing universe.