Charles Schwab is an investment firm that offers banking, brokerage and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. In October 2020, Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade, another brokerage firm, to scale up their operations and expand their consumer base. Since Charles Schwab is a full-service investment firm that relies on technology, it suits a large variety of investors, ranging from active traders with good market knowledge to clients who are simply looking for investment and portfolio-related advice.
Pros and cons of trading using Charles Schwab
- It has a highly robust ETF screener on StreetSmart Edge. The ETF screener has over 150 screening criteria, including fund performance, asset classification, Morningstar categorisation, and so on.
- The StreetSmart Edge is highly customisable, and the screener is available to both prospective and actual clients.
- The web platform and the mobile apps have the same functionality. Schwab’s merger with OptionsXpress in 2010 helped in modernising the platforms to improve user experience.
- Schwab does not offer automatic cash sweeps, meaning that uninvested cash is not automatically transferred to a money market fund. To earn interest on the money, one has to take action and move the funds themselves.
- The ETF screener available on the website is fundamental and outdated compared to the ETF screener in SmartScreen Edge.
- Most of the derivatives tools used by equities traders are only available on the SmartScreen Edge.
Let us now see how we can use Schwab’s trading platform to check our positions, assess the markets, find and analyse trade ideas and enter orders.
- We’ll start by taking a look at a customised account layout focused primarily on tracking your portfolio. You can review your current balances and buying power in Account Details. In the Positions tab, you can see position information down to individual lot details, as well as realised gain/loss for your closed positions.
- To see market news, click on the Streaming News tab, which provides a continually updated news feed from Briefing.com, Reuters, and others. Here we add the company we’re interested in, to our watchlist.
- To further our research on our preferred company, we start with the fundamental analysis. The fundamentals of a security are easily viewed by right-clicking on the security’s name from the watchlist. This brings up the Research tool, populated with the information for that particular stock. The earnings tab is an intuitive snapshot of the security’s most recent earnings report.
- Now we can review the technical data for our company. To determine where it is trading relative to its support and resistance, choose from various technical studies built into StreetSmart Edge, such as Simple Moving Average and Bollinger Bands, which we see here.
- After completing our analysis, we are ready to make the trade. Start by loading the symbol into the All-In-One Trade Tool. This powerful order entry window allows you to define the full trade parameters from entry to exit — for stocks, ETFs, and single- or multi-leg option orders. Once the parameters are set, review the order and confirm the trade.
You can export your transactions data to .xls (for Office XP and later versions), .csv, or .txt formats from the Actions menu or by right-clicking within the Transactions display. MarketXLS has a special offer for Schwab customers. Use code broker2021 for a 15% discount.
MarketXLS has a range of utility-based templates that take this downloaded input and turn your Charles Schwab’s portfolio into a portfolio analytics dashboard in Excel.
A portfolio is essentially a range of cells containing the stock symbols and weights of the stocks. All the stocks’ total weight should add up to 100% for a portfolio to be complete.
Here we are using the portfolio analysis template from MarketXLS, which has all the commands you need to analyse your portfolio with inbuilt into the template.
In this example, we have inserted our preferred stocks in cells B2 and B3 and their corresponding weights in C2 and C3. To calculate the portfolio’s monthly returns, we highlight the range of cells from B2 to C3 and use the function =MonthlyReturns(“Portfolio Range”). The default time period used is 12 months, but we can modify that by providing an optional integer value after the portfolio range.
The template contains functions to calculate the wealth index of the portfolio, which is also calculated for 12 months. It also calculates the Sortino and Sharpe Ratios, Mean Returns, Value at Risk, Portfolio Beta, Treynor Ratio, and so on.
MarketXLS also uses SQP optimisation techniques to calculate the Efficient Frontier, representing the set of efficient portfolios that will give the highest return at each level of risk or the lowest risk for each level of return. This frontier is formed by plotting the expected return on the y-axis and the standard deviation as a measure of risk on the x-axis.
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