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Schwab Self-Directed Brokerage Account Indicators™ Report

Welcome to the Schwab Self-Directed Brokerage Account Indicators™ Report, a key source of information on the investing activities, behaviors, and sentiments of employees investing in self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs) within their retirement plan. The SDBA Indicators Report seeks to provide an inside look at the investing activity and demographics of this ever-growing segment.

The SDBA Indicators Report tracks a wide variety of investment activity and profile information on Participants within Schwab’s Personal Choice Retirement Account® (PCRA) product, ranging from asset allocation trends and asset flow in various equity and mutual fund categories to age trends and trading activity. The SDBA Indicators Report provides insight into employees’ perceptions of the markets and the investment decisions they make.

Charles Schwab & Co. has been an industry leader in SDBAs since 1994, with a growing list of Fortune 500® clients. By analyzing and publishing data on employees’ investing through the PCRA product, our goal is to provide a deeper understanding of employee behavior and investment trends in SDBAs.

SDBA Indicators: Frequently Asked Questions

The Schwab SDBA Indicators are a compilation of key investment statistics and profile information on employees investing in our proprietary self-directed brokerage account, the Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account® (PCRA), reported to plan sponsors and their Retirement Plan Providers on a quarterly basis. Schwab PCRA is a premier brokerage account for investors who prefer self direct their retirement plan assets. We’ve been offering our SDBA product since 1994. Based on data collected from self-directed brokerage accounts with account balances between $5,000 and $2 million, the SDBA Indicators seek to track the asset flow, trading activity, and profile information of employees. 
There is currently very little industry information on the investing behaviors and attitudes among employees solely investing through a brokerage window within their retirement plan. It is important to gain a better understanding of employee sentiments and attitudes, and if employees investing through an SDBA behave any differently than other investors. The SDBA Indicators are provided to highlight investing and behavioral trends and to assist us in determining if investing or PCRA-specific education is having an impact on investment decision making, allowing for possible shifts in education programs and communications. 
The SDBA Indicators utilize data collected from all employees who currently invest through a PCRA account within their retirement plan and have PCRA account balances between $5,000 and $2 million. Data is extracted monthly on all accounts that are open as of month-end and meet the minimum and maximum balance requirements. The statistical information is generally derived from PCRA accounts across all Schwab distribution channels. Equity sectors are based on classification standards determined by Standard & Poor’s®. Mutual fund categories are based on fund categorization by Morningstar®.
Access current and historical SDBA Indicator Reports using the links provided above.
The SDBA Indicators Reports are published quarterly and annually, roughly six weeks after the applicable quarter or year end. Year-end reports archived online and available to plan sponsors and their retirement plan providers.
For more information about Schwab’s SDBA Indicators, please email us at


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