Charles Schwab Experiences?

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pc95
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Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by pc95 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:04 am

I'm trying to direct my mother away from Wells Fargo Advisors into Vanguard, but she is not interested in online banking or investing. So I'm having her check into Charles Schwab which has a local office where she lives. I've read Schwab is a reputable company, and wanted to reach out to ask of general or specific experiences with Charles Schwab? Good or bad? Or general opinions of Schwab? I figure they've got to be better than Wells especially given their banking debacle earlier this year. Thx.

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in_reality
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by in_reality » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:28 am

pc95 wrote:I'm trying to direct my mother away from Wells Fargo Advisors into Vanguard, but she is not interested in online banking or investing. So I'm having her check into Charles Schwab which has a local office where she lives. I've read Schwab is a reputable company, and wanted to reach out to ask of general or specific experiences with Charles Schwab? Good or bad? Or general opinions of Schwab? I figure they've got to be better than Wells especially given their banking debacle earlier this year. Thx.
Schwab's been great for me. I moved from Wells Fargo Advisors into Vanguard, had trouble at Vanguard, and ended up at Schwab. I like their customer service. That said, I don't use a local office and wouldn't recommend many of their managed products.

Schwab's ETFs are great (but your mother doesn't sound like she'd be interested in using them).

Schwab also has a new super low cost Target Date series of funds using those ETFs (the target date fund itself though is a mutual fund). https://www.csimfunds.com/secure/file/P-9430864

Also, the robo advisory (Schwab Intelligent Portfolios) is pretty good (though it's a small cap value tilt which some prefer and some don't). There's no fee but the cash holdings are lent out via Schwab bank to get them revenue. Some consider that a cash drag as you could earn money on that if it were in a savings account.

Schwab is also starting Intelligent Portfolios with a human advisor for a 0.28% ER. http://www.businessinsider.com/charles- ... or-2016-12 Not sure if it's off the ground or when it will be up running, but it seems attractive.

Vanguard PAS (personal advisory services) are 0.35% I believe, so definitely don't let your mother get into any deal paying more than that.

Swansea
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Swansea » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:43 am

While I have an IRA with Schwab, I pretty much just leave it alone. But to reflect upon the organization as a whole, I have found Schwab Charitable to be excellent while helping me with my donor advised fund.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:59 am

pc95 wrote:I'm trying to direct my mother away from Wells Fargo Advisors into Vanguard, but she is not interested in online banking or investing. So I'm having her check into Charles Schwab which has a local office where she lives. I've read Schwab is a reputable company, and wanted to reach out to ask of general or specific experiences with Charles Schwab? Good or bad? Or general opinions of Schwab? I figure they've got to be better than Wells especially given their banking debacle earlier this year. Thx.
Very good experiences at Schwab, with IRA's for several years (us), and also with assistance setting up new trust accounts for elderly MIL (including taking some almost ancient paper stock certificates into the modern era).

Their "help" is available round the clock, although it shouldn't be needed much. But it's "there".

If she does do any investing, they have some mutual funds and ETF's with fees that are quite competitive (low).

The only thing they can't do (of things that might matter to us) is deal with cash. They'll issue checks, which then need to be "cashed" elsewhere.
But I think they still don't charge for any ATM fees anywhere, so using their card at any ATM to get cash quickly is pretty easy, at home or when traveling.

When we can move our money out of 403b's, part of our retirement simplification will probably be to make Schwab a major part of our "banking".

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davidkw
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by davidkw » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:17 am

I have a Schwab account with the Fundamental International Small/mid cap fund.

The web site can be a little complicated. To add money to the fund, it is a two step process:

1) Go to the Accounts tab
then go to the Transfers and Payments tab to move money from my bank account

2) Go to the Accounts tab
Then I can add money to the fund

My only other small gripe with Schwab is that the 1099 does not come out til the second or third week of February. Vanguard always consistent getting out the 1099s before the end of January. I am ready to go to the accountant by January 31 except for the Schwab 1099.

I like the Schwab investment analysis tools over Vanguards.

All in all, a great company with the new target index funds and the new robo advisers.
David | | From Jack Brennan's "Straight Talk on Investing", page 23 "Living below your means is the ultimate financial strategy"

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by DetroitRick » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:53 am

I've been a customer since 1997, my experiences and those that I've sent there have all been good. I'm very DIY myself, but have referred others there who are not - they have been very happy too. The VERY rare poor experiences I've had have been quickly addressed. Having a local rep has been convenient for me, even when it's just the occasional "touch base" phone call. Phone reps are available 24/7 too - if your phone call requires follow up, the same rep typically handles that, making service a bit more effective and personal.

They offer a wide spectrum of services, depending on what you need. From complete portfolio management to access to screened independent advisors to a local office Schwab rep (for those having a local office, otherwise a telephone rep is usually assigned for the long-term) for an occasional questions and more general advice. You will have a tremendous range of latitude here - as much help as you need or as little. Their "robo advisor" service has done well lately and it's there for those that want it. In my experience, my family's experience, several friend's experiences - no sales pressure, no hype.

Website is stellar and constantly improving (which I hear drives some customers a bit crazy, but which I have always liked the improvement process, and found it useful and/or easier). Well-designed proprietary trading software is offered free, if you want it. Research access (both Schwab and many other quality providers) is free and can be useful for some of us. Local branches offer useful and well-executed seminars for all sorts of investor interests. As far as I remember, all free.

Their own Schwab funds are quite good, and they offer low-to-no-cost access to all other major fund companies. I use a wide range of funds over various family accounts, including those of Vanguard, and have never been steered one way or the other. Many mutual funds are no-fee, both theirs and other fund families. For the minority of mutual funds where transaction fees apply (Vanguard, for instance), the fee is $76 per purchase transaction (total, not per share) and $0 on sale. Commissions on stocks are generally $8.95 per trade, ETF's are either free (all Schwab ETF's and many non-Schwab ETF's too) or $8.95 per trade. My fees over 20 years have been very negligible and I've never felt constrained in my investment choices.

Bid/ask spreads on Schwab ETF's are usually quite good, and all trade executions I've ever done (stock and ETF) have been stellar.

They have banking services through Charles Schwab bank too, including reimbursement of ATM fees.

Bottom line, I will occasionally shop the competitors but have never felt a strong incentive to go elsewhere based on the range of products and services I specifically need. If I were to shop today, I'd also consider Vanguard and Fidelity.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Doc » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:10 am

ResearchMed wrote:The only thing they can't do (of things that might matter to us) is deal with cash. They'll issue checks, which then need to be "cashed" elsewhere.
??? I send cash from Schwab to two banks and one Vanguard brokerage account. The cash is in the bank and "available" by start of business the next business day. If I need it sooner I can wire it. We are not using Schwab bank which may be the difference.
davidkw wrote:My only other small gripe with Schwab is that the 1099 does not come out til the second or third week of February. Vanguard always consistent getting out the 1099s before the end of January. I am ready to go to the accountant by January 31 except for the Schwab 1099.
I think this is a brokerage thing. A Vg mutual fund account may get there 1099's out by end of January but VBS not so much. And VBS sometimes gets them wrong. We received a corrected 1099 for 2014 in April 2016. The weird part of this one was that I had originally "booked" it correctly and had to change it when Vg's original 1099 issued. (The correction for 2015 was a little earlier.) I think this is a "new brokerage thing" and these type of problems are likely to go away eventually.

We have never had a CSR problem with Schwab. If a CSR needs help at Schwab he gets it resolved in a few minutes in my experience.
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.

Billionaire
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Billionaire » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:24 am

I've been a Schwab client since 1990. I spent about four years as a Signature Client, with mostly good results. I've been in the SIP program since it was rolled out in March 2015. Prior to the SIP program, I briefly contemplated moving to Vanguard, but read too many customer service complaints here. I'm going to take a closer look at the Schwab checking account as I've read some good things about it. I guess you could say I'm pretty happy there.

Regarding the comment about about the 1099's coming out in mid-February. I think a lot of companies are moving to that schedule, in an attempt to avoid the dreaded amended 1099.

ResearchMed
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:30 am

Doc wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:The only thing they can't do (of things that might matter to us) is deal with cash. They'll issue checks, which then need to be "cashed" elsewhere.
??? I send cash from Schwab to two banks and one Vanguard brokerage account. The cash is in the bank and "available" by start of business the next business day. If I need it sooner I can wire it. We are not using Schwab bank which may be the difference.
davidkw wrote:My only other small gripe with Schwab is that the 1099 does not come out til the second or third week of February. Vanguard always consistent getting out the 1099s before the end of January. I am ready to go to the accountant by January 31 except for the Schwab 1099.
I think this is a brokerage thing. A Vg mutual fund account may get there 1099's out by end of January but VBS not so much. And VBS sometimes gets them wrong. We received a corrected 1099 for 2014 in April 2016. The weird part of this one was that I had originally "booked" it correctly and had to change it when Vg's original 1099 issued. (The correction for 2015 was a little earlier.) I think this is a "new brokerage thing" and these type of problems are likely to go away eventually.

We have never had a CSR problem with Schwab. If a CSR needs help at Schwab he gets it resolved in a few minutes in my experience.
You can walk in and get *cash* (e.g., real dollar bills in the USA) at your Schwab branch?

I wonder if the branches differ? Or maybe in different states??
We cannot.
As I wrote before, we can get a *check* to exchange elsewhere for cash, or to deposit.
But we can't walk into our Schwab branch with a check, or some other sort of withdrawal slip, and walk out the door with a bunch of 20's and 10's (as an example).
I thought I had read here (on BH) that others had the same experience (?)

RM
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gilgamesh
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by gilgamesh » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:53 am

I had simple IRA with Schwab, now I've moved everything over there. Exceptional service, low cost ETF (cost at times better than vanguard), local branch and rep. A few days ago they started financial advice service with human advisors for less than vanguard. Superb online interface.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:27 am

Schwab invites me to a lot of events, and my rep calls or emails a couple of times per year inviting me in for consultations. Your mom will get invited to special events for women investors.

I agree Schwab has some great products and customer service, but they have sales pressures, too.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by kolea » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:53 am

Billionaire wrote: Regarding the comment about about the 1099's coming out in mid-February. I think a lot of companies are moving to that schedule, in an attempt to avoid the dreaded amended 1099.
Yes! Nothing more annoying than thinking you are done with taxes and then you get an updated 1099 and have to go through the whole process and figure out if the changes require re-filing the 1040.

As to the OP - my experience with Schwab has been very good. I complained about two things to them - one had to do with how they do historical charts and the other was the strength of their passwords, and both things got fixed (I am sure it was not me, but a lot of feedback that did it). But the point is, they listen to their customers. Their general customer service is A+. I use on-line Chat which I find very easy.
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Doc » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:39 pm

ResearchMed wrote:You can walk in and get *cash* (e.g., real dollar bills in the USA) at your Schwab branch?
I misunderstood you. I don't think of "cash" as currency. That being said once I walked into the local Bank of America branch with a $50k cashier's check drawn on them and they couldn't "cash" it either. :D
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by triceratop » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:48 pm

Schwab has been great to me as a banking customer. So much so that I am considering using their brokerage services (that, or Merrill); one thing worth noting is that if you ask politely and with an asset level which is substantial enough they will offer you 100 free trades per year. This may be useful to you if you wish to buy Vanguard ETFs or more exotic international ETFs for a tilting portfolio.
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by curmudgeon » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:15 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:Schwab invites me to a lot of events, and my rep calls or emails a couple of times per year inviting me in for consultations. Your mom will get invited to special events for women investors.

I agree Schwab has some great products and customer service, but they have sales pressures, too.
I have been quite satisfied with Schwab as a customer (and shareholder), but they will definitely soft-sell you towards the 1% AUM type offerings. If you know what you want, it is a good platform and organization to work with. If you don't know what you want, they won't fleece you, but they most likely will upsell you to higher cost investing than Vanguard.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:57 pm

If the account is over 100k, Schwab has a bonus offer going for new customers:

http://content.schwab.com/web/retail/pu ... sh-reward/

Might was well get that as well.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

stlutz
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by stlutz » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:16 pm

Is your mom looking for an advisor at Schwab or does she want to be a self-directed investor? The answer may differ depending on the answer to that question. I've never used their advisory services.

Aside from that, Schwab has the best customer service of any financial firm I've ever dealt with. When I have needed to call, the first person who picks up the phone has always been able to resolve my issue without any handoffs etc. I haven't talked with any people at a branch aside from depositing a check--I'm not actually sure what the people who work at the branch do to be quite honest. :)

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by dbr » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:40 pm

My 401k PCRA is at Schwab. This has worked fine for years. I don't know if their customer service is good or not as there has never been any occasion to call them. I don't see anything in their web interface that doesn't do what I want with minor effort.

mptfan
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by mptfan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:45 pm

Read this thread...

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=189717&hilit=schwab

My experience with Charles Schwab has been very positive.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by hoops777 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:10 pm

Recently my wife and I walked into the local Schwab office.There was seemingly one person there.We told her we were interested in opening an account.She took us into a vacant office and opened a laptop and said you can use this.I said thank you and walked out.After telling my wife about their great customer service, and how it would be easier for her if I got hit by a bus to be able to walk into a branch........not so good.Probably an anomaly but not great no matter how you look at it.
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Doc » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:21 pm

hoops777 wrote:Recently my wife and I walked into the local Schwab office.There was seemingly one person there.We told her we were interested in opening an account.She took us into a vacant office and opened a laptop and said you can use this.I said thank you and walked out.After telling my wife about their great customer service, and how it would be easier for her if I got hit by a bus to be able to walk into a branch........not so good.Probably an anomaly but not great no matter how you look at it.
And if you walked into Vanguard's local office would the receptionist offer you a laptop to use? :wink:
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hoops777
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by hoops777 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:32 pm

I didn't look at it that way.How kind she was :D
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

pc95
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by pc95 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:24 pm

Thank you for your responses.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by G-Force » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:05 pm

triceratop wrote:one thing worth noting is that if you ask politely and with an asset level which is substantial enough they will offer you 100 free trades per year. This may be useful to you if you wish to buy Vanguard ETFs or more exotic international ETFs for a tilting portfolio.
Any idea how big your balance has to be to get the 100 free trades?

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by triceratop » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:22 pm

I do not know a figure at which they begin offering it; I do know that at $50k in assets they were willing to offer the deal to compete with Merrill Edge. In fact, my mention of Merrill Edge's offer may have been the sole impetus for their 'generous' counteroffer.
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Alan S. » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:56 pm

Have had a large share of my accounts with Schwab since 1984. I highly recommend them. Customer service has always been great, and while I rarely use the local offices anymore, wherever I have lived during this period there was a local Schwab office where you could have a face to face meeting if you needed one, or for small seminars from time to time.

Have never had a problem with executions, 1099 forms or other routine services provided for brokerage accounts.

Only service that seems to be lacking is that they do not publish cap gains estimates in November for their funds which is useful for tax planning.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by chw » Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:46 pm

Been Schwab client across several accounts (brokerage, Roth, Ira) for over 10 years. Been extremely happy, and have had a good working relationship with my assigned advisor. Advisor has offered free trades over the past few years, in addition to other services (portfolio reviews). I find their customer service team to be amongst the best in the business, and available 24/7, which is a nice feature. I generally use Vanguard funds/etfs, and am able to purchase fee free thru arrangement with my assigned advisor.

Regarding WF, I previously worked for them (mortgage lending), and found them to be a well run, professional bank (for a mega-bank). The recent scandal is in-defensible, and I believe the renewed scrutiny will prevent future episodes of malfeasance. I can't speak to the quality/expense of their brokerage platform, but in general believe it is more expensive than the same services provided by Schwab/Vanguard/Fidelity.

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wander
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by wander » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:05 pm

My experience with great has been great. Free any ATM withdrawal (reimbursement)and foreign transactions are on top of my list, plus other benefits.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by pascalwager » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:04 am

Had a custodial account there since 1995. Customer service excellent (sharp people), and good online functions.
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by jdouge » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:33 am

I bank there (and invest at Vanguard), and can only say that they are excellent. When it came tim =e for me to assume my parents' finances, I moved their bank accounts there as well.

Customer service is excellent; consistently very little wait time, pleasant and knowledgeable representatives.

Free checking, and any ATM is free.

All good.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by powermega » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:27 am

I've been a happy customer for over 25 years. We have our rIRAs, taxable investment account, checking, and savings accounts with Schwab. They have world-class customer service, and it is nice to have a branch office to visit for some needs. I will say though that most of the branch offices are for the Schwab investment side, and not their banking side. For example, you can't take a written check or cash to one of their investment branch offices and make a deposit into your checking/savings account. The deposit would be made to the investment account, and then you can move it into the desired account online. Their bank accounts are mostly online. They do have some banking branch offices, but most of them are investment branch offices.
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by trueblueky » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:00 pm

DW had a Schwab account when we married last century. My Roth and traditional IRA are there because of the good service she receives, which includes no nagging sales calls.

We have been to the local office; they will help her with moving my accounts to inherited when I pass. She's comfortable with them, which is comforting to me.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by dmcmahon » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:02 pm

My experience is positive. I find the web site easy to use, and there's a local branch office I can go to that's always staffed. When I've used the phone for help, it's always a good experience. I also view the company itself as financially sound, though I would encourage you to check that out for any firm that's going to be holding your investments. I read the other comment about the 1099s being late-ish, and all I can say is that I have a lot of accounts with different institutions and Schwab isn't really noticeably later than the others for me. My one negative point is that their web passwords are limited to what IMO is inadequate strength - I get around this by also using a second-factor authentication method.

Also FWIW I have an account with WF advisors, as does my mom. Her advisor is knowledgeable and quite helpful to mom, who really doesn't get this investing stuff beyond gut instincts. He put her into a bunch of low cost ETFs ages ago, and after she got spooked and sold (just before the 2008 crash!) he's had her in bond funds that have performed well for her and fit her risk tolerance (which is zero). My account is quite passive, I manage it myself, it costs very little, and my one negative is that unlike all the other brokers (including Schwab) I can't seem to buy bonds on WF's site.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by donall » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:21 pm

All around great experiences with Schwab. The only improvement would be to minimize the amended 1099s. Last year I got them for interest on CDs!

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by MnD » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:06 pm

20+ years and a great experience. We've had just about every kind of brokerage account they offered plus various mortgage loans, checking, ESA's, credit cards........
Excellent service, low costs and no complaints. When my last parent passed I had to divide and distribute two of their accounts into 10 sibling accounts (5 kids all receiving shares instead of cash - some taxable, some inherited IRA) and they handled it flawlessly and with minimal hassle.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by mcmonty » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:36 pm

Not sure what's going on with it, but my Schwab International (SWISX) and US Total Market funds (SWTSX) both saw huge drops today. -3.18% and -2.03% respectively.

Meanwhile my Fidelity funds which theoretically track the same indexes (IXUS and ITOT) performed at -0.20% and -0.21%.

Don't really know what to make of this. I've seen small variances before but never something like this.

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by inbox788 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:47 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:Schwab invites me to a lot of events, and my rep calls or emails a couple of times per year inviting me in for consultations. Your mom will get invited to special events for women investors.

I agree Schwab has some great products and customer service, but they have sales pressures, too.
That's why I prefer Vanguard. Less opportunities for sales pressure. Schwab and Fidelity have comparable low cost index funds, but they've got many more other costly funds and services. There are some at Vanguard, but fewer.

Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if OPs mother winds up getting sold unnecessary services, regardless where she winds up. I'd choose a less accessible location if that's an absolute requirement and Vanguard not an option. This way, it's less likely she'll meet with these salespeople. Pick the one that's furthest away, not nearby. In any case, be sure to reinforce to the investor to avoid those consultations which are essentially sales calls.
mcmonty wrote:Not sure what's going on with it, but my Schwab International (SWISX) and US Total Market funds (SWTSX) both saw huge drops today. -3.18% and -2.03% respectively.

Meanwhile my Fidelity funds which theoretically track the same indexes (IXUS and ITOT) performed at -0.20% and -0.21%.

Don't really know what to make of this. I've seen small variances before but never something like this.
Don't worry, probably just the dividend. Last year Schwab International Index (SWISX) Dec 15, 2015 0.474 Dividend, Schwab Total Stock Market Index (SWTSX) Dec 21, 2015 1.009 Dividend

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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by raven15 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:10 pm

mcmonty wrote:Not sure what's going on with it, but my Schwab International (SWISX) and US Total Market funds (SWTSX) both saw huge drops today. -3.18% and -2.03% respectively.

Meanwhile my Fidelity funds which theoretically track the same indexes (IXUS and ITOT) performed at -0.20% and -0.21%.

Don't really know what to make of this. I've seen small variances before but never something like this.
Periodic distributions of dividends and capital gains my friend. There is an entire thread about it stickied to the top of the forum.
[Why did my fund suddenly drop in value?]
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=129142
So far as I know those are your combined dividends for the entire year.
It's Time. Adding Interest.

rvs323
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by rvs323 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:05 pm

I opened my first account at Schwab (SEP IRA) in 1994. I loved their Mutual Fund Marketplace and the Reps in the Indianapolis area offices were great. This year I've moved everything to Vanguard because I didn't want to pay $70 to buy Vanguard funds AND be locked out of Vanguard's Wellington Fund. I have nothing but praise for Charles Schwab, but for me, it was time to move on to Vanguard where I can buy and own what I want at much lower costs than at Schwab. No bad decision to be made here.

tenkuky
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by tenkuky » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:53 am

triceratop wrote:I do not know a figure at which they begin offering it; I do know that at $50k in assets they were willing to offer the deal to compete with Merrill Edge. In fact, my mention of Merrill Edge's offer may have been the sole impetus for their 'generous' counteroffer.
Thanks for that nugget; I was going to ask for free trades in 2017 and this might be the way.
I have steadily increased my taxable account with them with nary an offer so far.

rixer
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by rixer » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:53 am

I've been with Schwab for 20 years. Great customer service, helpful and customer friendly website. They also have a rather big brick and mortar building here and I can get personal help when needed. They have always been there for me when I have needed assistance and I haven't had one single issue with them.
I can recommend them.

Calico
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Calico » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:02 am

I've been using Schwab for five years and I am happy with them. They pretty much leave me alone (don't try to sell me anything or invite me to anything). If I call, I get good customer service and I find their website easy to use (and it integrated with Quicken which is nice). But that's what I like, low cost, no problems, and easy to use/easy to get answers... otherwise, leave me alone. Maybe it's because I don't have a ton of money sitting in Schwab right now, less than $100k. Maybe one needs to invest more money with them to be upsold.

Watertree
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Watertree » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:58 pm

I am a Schwab client since 2004. My only regret is that I did not become a Schwab client sooner. I would highly recommend Schwab to any investor at any age.
I started out with Schwab Investment advisor program. I was not that impressed. I switched to independent advisor who was a DFA advisor. After a few years, I figured out that DFA funds did not yield any better returns that Vanguard mutual funds or ETF. I was going to go to Vanguard from Schwab. However, my wife was not comfortable with switching from Schwab with independent advisor to Vanguard. As a compromise, I am still with Schwab with same independent advisor with Vanguard ETF's and Schwab ETF's. Couldn't be happier. Schwab offers low cost ETF's and Schwab low cost of Vanguard ETF, I have a slice of heaven.

My wife is happy with current Schwab/ independent advisor relationship. Happy wife,happy life.
Schwab has a great website, low cost ETF and index mutual funds. Schwab has copied Vanguard approach to low cost investing with their low cost mutual funds and ETF's.
My investment philosphy is very similiar to Coffehouse Investor. Coffeehouse Investor was the first investment book I read many years ago.
Investment model is set it and forget it.
Changing to Schwab would be a great Christmas gift that your Mother could give to herself.

Watertree

dbr
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by dbr » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:13 am

Watertree wrote:I am a Schwab client since 2004. My only regret is that I did not become a Schwab client sooner. I would highly recommend Schwab to any investor at any age.
I started out with Schwab Investment advisor program. I was not that impressed. I switched to independent advisor who was a DFA advisor. After a few years, I figured out that DFA funds did not yield any better returns that Vanguard mutual funds or ETF. I was going to go to Vanguard from Schwab. However, my wife was not comfortable with switching from Schwab with independent advisor to Vanguard. As a compromise, I am still with Schwab with same independent advisor with Vanguard ETF's and Schwab ETF's. Couldn't be happier. Schwab offers low cost ETF's and Schwab low cost of Vanguard ETF, I have a slice of heaven.

My wife is happy with current Schwab/ independent advisor relationship. Happy wife,happy life.
Schwab has a great website, low cost ETF and index mutual funds. Schwab has copied Vanguard approach to low cost investing with their low cost mutual funds and ETF's.
My investment philosphy is very similiar to Coffehouse Investor. Coffeehouse Investor was the first investment book I read many years ago.
Investment model is set it and forget it.
Changing to Schwab would be a great Christmas gift that your Mother could give to herself.

Watertree
How much are you paying Schwab for advice?

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dmcmahon
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by dmcmahon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:19 pm

Update: I recently discovered that Schwab's password limitations have been fixed. You can now use passwords with special characters and that are longer than 8 characters. I still like having 2-factor, but now it's extra protection, not a work-around for limited password strength. Thanks, Schwab!

hoops777
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by hoops777 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:05 pm

Excellent customer service
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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Bodacious
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by Bodacious » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:23 pm

dbr wrote:My 401k PCRA is at Schwab. This has worked fine for years. I don't know if their customer service is good or not as there has never been any occasion to call them. I don't see anything in their web interface that doesn't do what I want with minor effort.
I also have a Schwab PCRA account through my 457b and like everything about it: Huge choice of low cost mutual funds and commission free ETF's, and their customer service has been great.

The PCRA brokerage account "escape hatch" is saving me a great deal in fees, and it gives me greater control and more choices compared to my very mediocre Nationwide 457 choices with high ER's. I wish I new about it years ago.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:44 pm

I've had a pretty good experience with a Schwab 401(k)/PCRA. My only complaint is I can't buy and sell Vanguard ETFs there commission-free like at Vanguard or TD Ameritrade. But their index funds/ETFs are pretty good.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

DetroitRick
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by DetroitRick » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:41 pm

I've been a Schwab customer since 1997, for whatever that might be worth. I have found Schwab to be stellar in terms of product selection, website design, trading platform, basic fee structure, portfolio evaluation tools, information resources, and trade execution. As a DIY investor, they are a good fit for me. They also offer various types of portfolio management (from dedicated advisors to robos), but I've never used them so can't comment on that. I've never felt pushed or "sold to", with one single exception in all those years.

Customer service, for me (unlike most) has been variable. I have a local rep who is pretty decent, not a financial heavy-weight but a decent resource for questions and rare issues. 800-number service is always available and mostly pretty okay. I've had a few poor experiences in recent years, but they have gotten worked out without too much fuss. I've also had several excellent interactions.

I've recommended Schwab to several friends and relatives, and still would, and their experiences/satisfaction levels have been similar. I"m actually currently considering a move to Fidelity, for the sake of improved customer service (maybe), but haven't yet made up my mind. Still, Schwab is definitely reputable and likely to serve your mother well. Plus, it sounds like local office availability will be especially helpful to her. Those offices will offer some decent services, ranging from simple account setup and occasional review to educational seminars.

truenorth418
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Re: Charles Schwab Experiences?

Post by truenorth418 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:08 pm

I have been a Schwab client since the late 1990s. I don't think I have ever had a truly negative experience with them. I own mostly Vanguard ETFs and funds there, but I also own a few individual stocks as well as SCHA, the Schwab small cap fund. I prefer SCHA over the competitors because the index it tracks has more small and micro caps vs mid cap stocks of some of the others.

Interesting aside... a couple of years ago I discovered that I would be coming into an inheritance valued in Canadian dollars. I was freaking out trying to determine the least expensive way of exchanging the money into US funds. I thought I was sure to lose 2-3% based on what my banks were quoting me. I happened to mention this to my Schwab client services manager, who suggested I just have it transferred directly into my Schwab account via electronic transfer. This hadn't even occurred to me. The exchange rate that Schwab gave me was fantastic, barely more than what was trading on the currency exchanges at the time, and the transfers were seamless and worry-free. This saved me THOUSANDS of dollars.

I also have an account at Vanguard, and I hold my IRAs at Fidelity. I don't think it's necessary for me to consolidate my accounts at the moment, but if I did I would probably do so into Schwab. I highly recommend them.

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