Costs of Investing
Investing costs and fees matter—and you should always know what you're paying. At Charles Schwab, we make it easy for you to be an informed investor.
Stocks and Options
Trading commissions are your primary costs when investing in stocks and options.
- Understanding stock and options costs.
- Stock and options costs at Schwab.
Understanding stock and options costs.Every time you buy or sell a stock or option, your brokerage company may charge you a trade commission. This includes costs for routing, executing, and clearing the trade.>
Stock and options costs at Schwab.$0 for standard online stock and option trades1>
+$0.65 per options contract2Get low-cost stock and options investing at Schwab.
- View important information about stocks and options
1. The standard online $0 commission does not apply to large block transactions requiring special handling, restricted stock transactions, trades placed directly on a foreign exchange, transaction-fee mutual funds, futures, or fixed income investments. Options trades will be subject to the standard $.65 per-contract fee. Service charges apply for trades placed through a broker ($25) or by automated phone ($5). Exchange process, ADR, foreign transaction fees for trades placed on the US OTC market, and Stock Borrow fees still apply. See the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for Individual Investors for full fee and commission schedules. Multiple leg options strategies will involve multiple per-contract fees.
2. Please see the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for detailed information on equity and options commissions. Multiple-leg options strategies will involve multiple commissions.
Multiple leg online option orders such as spreads, straddles, combinations, and rollouts are charged per-contract fees for the total number of option contracts. Complex online option orders involving both an equity and an option leg, including Buy/Writes or Write/Unwinds, are charged per-contract fees for the option leg. Service charges apply for trades placed through a broker ($25) or by automated phone ($5).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) assesses transaction fees on national securities exchanges and self-regulatory organizations based on the aggregate dollar amount of sales of certain securities. The SEC recalculates the amount of this fee periodically—at least once per year but sometimes more often. National securities exchanges and self-regulatory organizations offset the transaction fees by charging their member broker-dealers such as Schwab, and we, in turn, offset this fee by charging you an Exchange Process Fee for covered sell transactions. U.S. option exchanges charge Schwab and other broker-dealers per-contract fees for purchases and sales of exchange-listed options. The exchanges may charge these fees even on transactions executed on other exchanges, which can result in multiple fees being imposed on Schwab for a single transaction. Schwab offsets these fees by charging you a single Exchange Process Fee for each covered transaction. Any Exchange Process Fee that appears on your trade confirmation for a sale of an exchange-listed option will combine the offsets for the fees charged both by the U.S. option exchanges and by the national securities and self-regulatory organizations.
The Exchange Process Fee will rise or fall periodically depending upon the rates set by the SEC or by the U.S. option exchanges, as applicable. Several U.S. option exchanges currently assess a fee upon Schwab for covered transactions. Of them, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the International Securities Exchange (ISE) fees, as shown in the table below, will be included in the Exchange Process Fee.
View important information about stocks and options
The three costs to consider when investing in mutual funds are operating expenses, loads, and transaction fees.
- Understanding mutual fund costs.
- Mutual fund costs at Schwab.
Operating Expense Ratio (OER)>
Understanding mutual fund costs.OERs are charged annually by the fund company, expressed as a percentage of a fund's average net assets. They cover the fund's management and other costs.>Passively managed funds are designed to track a specific market index and typically have lower costs (OERs) than actively managed funds that pay fund managers or management teams to make ongoing decisions on where a fund's money is invested.
Mutual fund costs at Schwab.Passively managed funds>
OERs can range from 0.02%-0.39%*.
Third-party passively managed mutual funds traded on US exchanges are also available. OERs vary from fund to fund.
Actively managed funds
OERs can range from 0.21%-1.92%*.
Understanding mutual fund costs.When you purchase or redeem shares in certain load-based mutual funds, some fund companies charge you this one-time commission to compensate the broker for the sale.>
Mutual fund costs at Schwab.Schwab Funds>
No-load and load-waived funds that do not participate in Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource are also available, but transaction fees apply4.
Understanding mutual fund costs.When you purchase or redeem a mutual fund, your brokerage company may charge you a trade fee. This fee may also be used to compensate the brokerage in instances where it does not receive compensation from the fund.>
Mutual fund costs at Schwab.Schwab Funds>
$04Choose from 3,000+ no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
*Source: CSIM. As of December 31, 2019.
- View important information about mutual funds
3. Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), the investment advisor for Schwab Funds, and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab, Member SIPC), the distributor for Schwab Funds, are separate but affiliated companies and subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation.
4. Please be aware that transaction fees may apply to certain no-load funds that do not participate in Schwab's Mutual Fund OneSource platform. Such funds are subject to Schwab's standard transaction fees, in addition to any redemption fees imposed by the fund. See the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for details. Get more details about Schwab Mutual Funds.
Up to $49.95 for all other funds. Per-trade transaction fees do not exceed 8.5% of principal, up to $49.95.
Trades below $100 in principal are exempt from the transaction fee.
View important information about mutual funds
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
The three costs to consider when investing in ETFs are operating expenses, commissions, and bid/ask spreads.
- Understanding ETF costs.
- ETF costs at Schwab.
Operating Expense Ratio (OER)>
Understanding ETF costs.OERs are charged annually by the fund company, expressed as a percentage of a fund's average net assets. They cover the fund's management and other costs. Passively managed funds are designed to track a specific market index and typically have lower costs (OERs) than actively managed funds that pay fund managers or management teams to make ongoing decisions on where a fund's money is invested.>
ETF costs at Schwab.Passively managed ETFs>
Expenses can range from 0.03%-0.39%*. Third-party passively managed ETFs traded on US exchanges are also available. OERs vary from fund to fund.
Actively managed ETFs
Schwab offers third-party actively managed ETFs traded on US exchanges. OERs vary from fund to fund.
Trade Commission (online)>
Understanding ETF costs.Your broker may charge you a trade commission each time you buy or sell an ETF.>
ETF costs at Schwab.$0 online for all ETFs6, including Schwab ETFs.>
Understanding ETF costs.Bid/Ask spreads and changes in discounts and premiums can also factor into your trade costs.>
ETF costs at Schwab.Costs vary from fund to fund.>Save on ETFs with over 2,000 commission-free ETF choices.
*Source: CSIM. As of December 31, 2019.
- View important information about ETFs
5. Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), is the investment advisor for Schwab ETFs. Schwab ETFs are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SIDCO). SIDCO is not affiliated with CSIM.
6. ETFs at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) can be traded without a commission on buy and sell transactions made online in a Schwab account. Schwab does not receive payment to promote any particular ETF to its customers. Schwab's affiliate Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. ("CSIM") serves as investment advisor to the Schwab ETFs™, which compensate CSIM out of the applicable operating expense ratios. The amount of the fees is disclosed in the prospectus of each ETF.
Your primary cost when investing in bonds is the price markup.
- Understanding bond costs.
- Bond costs at Schwab.
Understanding bond costs.Generally, this is the difference between the market price of the bond and the price at which it's sold to you, including transaction fees.>
Bond costs at Schwab.$1 per-bond transaction fee for most secondary market bonds traded online ($10 minimum/$250 maximum)7.>Get the best bond prices available to Schwab.
- View important information about bonds
7. Broker-assisted trades: Online pricing + $25 per trade service charge
Schwab reserves the right to act as principal on any fixed income transaction, public offering or securities transaction. When Schwab acts as principal, the bond price includes our transaction fee and may also include a markup that reflects the bid-ask spread and is not subject to a minimum or maximum. When trading as principal, Schwab may also be holding the security in its own account prior to selling it to you and, therefore, may make (or lose) money depending on whether the price of the security has risen or fallen while Schwab has held it. When Schwab acts as agent, a commission will be charged on the transaction.
Portfolio Management Fees
Consider the annual fees when choosing a managed offer.
- Understanding portfolio management fees.
- Portfolio management fees at Schwab.
Understanding portfolio management fees.If you choose to have your portfolio of investments professionally managed or to obtain advice for a fee, there may be additional periodic costs. Usually based on a percentage of your assets, the costs can vary depending on the level of assets held in your portfolio and the level of service you receive. Keep in mind that you may also be paying investment costs specific to the underlying assets in your portfolio, such as ETF or Mutual Fund OERs and trade commissions.>
Portfolio management fees at Schwab.Dedicated financial advice8>Starts at 0.80% for Schwab Private Client™9(Fee rates decrease at higher asset levels)Find the investment management solutions that are right for you.
- View important information about portfolio management fees
8. Example model for Dedicated Financial Advice is limited to services defined as non-discretionary advice for a wrap fee. Additional discretionary advice or advised offers may be available and typically come with higher management fees versus non-discretionary advice.
9. There are certain eligibility requirements for working with a dedicated Financial Consultant. Schwab Private Client ("SPC") is a non-discretionary investment advisory service sponsored by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"). Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. ("SPCIA") is a registered investment advisor and provides portfolio management for the SPC service. Schwab and SPCIA are affiliates and are subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation.
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