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Charles Schwab Wealth Management – Service, Offerings, Pros & Cons

hutch x chris   by Hutch Ashoo and Chris Snyder · Updated February 23, 2024 · 8 min read ✦

Charles Schwab’s wealth management offers a dynamic investment management approach. The service offers a diverse array of financial planning solutions. This includes options for both automated and independent investing, as well as tailored investment plans created with the guidance of a professional advisor.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

It is designed to meet various investment preferences and needs. This overview aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of what Charles Schwab’s wealth management services entail, helping you to form a clear expectation should you consider their offerings for your financial needs.

But no matter which wealth management company you work with, there’s something you should do first: If you have between $5 million and $500 million in liquid investable assets and are looking to grow and secure your investment portfolio, your future, your retirement, and the lifestyle you desire, then you should request your free copy of the exclusive guide, 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax, and Financial Planning here.

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Charles Schwab Background

Who Is Charles Schwab 1

Who Is Charles Schwab?

Renowned as one of the top brokerage firms worldwide, Charles Schwab’s wealth management is notable for its management of trillions in assets, serving a vast and varied clientele.

The firm’s significant scale highlights its operational capabilities.

Its vast scale is a key aspect of its operations. Charles Schwab’s platform is extensively utilized for various investment activities, including trading in multiple markets like stocks and bonds. Additionally, the firm is distinguished for its expertise in providing advanced wealth management and investment advice services.

Charles Schwab Wealth Management

This is achieved through its team of professional financial advisors, who are adept at crafting tailored financial strategies for clients in need of more personalized investment advice and planning.

It was founded in 1971 by Charles Schwab under a different name for the first couple of years. Charles Schwab grew up in Santa Barbara and graduated from Stanford in 1959 with an economics degree and two years later with a Master’s in business administration. He observed that most other investment companies then used salespeople to pitch investment securities to customers, and most of these sales pros worked on commission. Thus, they were motivated to sell securities that maximized their income.

are schwab financial consultants fiduciaries

Here’s the innovation he pioneered:

Schwab broke with that approach and defined his company as selling equity securities at vastly discounted prices and putting the customers in charge.

No more chokepoints.

He still used salespeople but paid them hourly, not on commission. Customers could choose what they wanted to invest in and were educated about their options with updated data and research information. They could get quotes 24 hours a day. This approach continues to define investment management and Charles Schwab’s wealth management customer service today.

This is crazy:

At the time, Schwab’s strategy outraged firms that were using the traditional approach. But he didn’t care. Schwab pressed forward and continued to empower customers to make their own investment choices, always emphasizing technology as a helpful aid.

The company was bought by Bank of America in 1981, but then Charles Schwab bought it back six years later and went public. In 2019, Charles Schwab completed the acquisition of TD Ameritrade, choosing to maintain TD Ameritrade’s platform operational for the benefit of its existing customer base. Now:
Explore the diverse offerings of Charles Schwab’s wealth management for various investor profiles.

What Does Charles Schwab Wealth Management Do

What Does Charles Schwab Wealth Management Do?

If you qualify and are looking for wealth management services, Charles Schwab wealth management offers what they call Private Clients.

But here’s something to know: Brokerage companies like Charles Schwab Wealth Management offer investment management services to all sorts of people, not just the wealthy. They work with:

  • Beginning investors just starting out
  • Active traders
  • Middle-income investors
  • Wealthy investors
  • Retirees
  • Anyone in between

See yourself on that list?

Some mutual fund accounts require no minimum balance. Charles Schwab wealth management Private Client accounts require at least $1 million in liquid assets. For traders, the Charles Schwab wealth management platform allows you to make active trades, and you will usually get charged a commission per trade, though not always.

They offer investment advisory services for investors in all sorts of situations.

Let’s stop to ask a question:

  • What do you want from your wealth and investments?

Some clients want maximum growth. Others want to protect their investments and save for retirement. Some want to minimize taxes. Others want maximized security. Some want all of this and more.

Shortly, we will delve into various facets of Charles Schwab’s wealth management services. This examination aims to assist you in assessing its investment management platform and determining if it aligns with your financial life goals.

However, it’s important to note a crucial aspect:

No firm is good for everyone. For some, Charles Schwab’s wealth management is a terrific choice. For others, it won’t deliver everything you need. Upon completing your reading of this page, our aim is for you to have a more defined understanding of whether this option suits your needs. Additionally, considering a company like Pillar Wealth Management could be another viable advisory choice.

Why might Pillar be a better choice
  • Why might Pillar be a better choice?

We only serve clients who have between $5 million and $500 million in liquid assets. Wealth management and all it entails is our only service. We do not serve anyone with lower amounts of wealth.

  • Now, do you have any investments at Charles Schwab?

If so, here’s the good news:

One reason our service appeals to existing Charles Schwab wealth management clients is that we utilize Charles Schwab for custody of our clients’ money.

  • What does that mean?

It means that for existing Charles Schwab wealth advisory account holders, you could utilize our exclusive wealth management service without having to move the money from your Charles Schwab wealth management accounts. Everything remains accessible to you, and the links to your debit/credit cards and bank accounts all remain in place. Your cost basis information and all historical details will be preserved while you gain a new advisor to guide you through the monumental life and financial decisions that lie ahead.

We are merely granted access to manage your portfolio within the well-functioning and trustworthy Charles Schwab wealth management platform.

This arrangement protects you. It also helps you avoid ACAT transfers (firm to firm) and IRA to IRA transfers that might be necessary if you hire a different wealth management firm. If you want to talk to a wealth manager who has served ultra-high net worth clients for over 30 years and uses a 100% custom approach to create a plan that grows, manages, and protects your wealth, schedule a free call with one of our co-founders, Hutch Ashoo or Chris Snyder.

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Charles Schwab Planning and Investment Tools

Charles Schwab Planning and Investment Tools

The investment offerings of Charles Schwab’s wealth management cater to a variety of investing approaches. Its platform is versatile, appealing to different levels of investor experience and styles. It supports self-managed investing, active trading, and those seeking expert financial advisory for portfolio management.

Notably, it includes the StreetSmart Edge platform, tailored for active traders and those preferring a more independent investment management style. What is StreetSmart Edge?

Services for Active Investors

The platform offers sophisticated resources for detailed research and examination, enabling users to delve into various investment options like mutual funds, individual stocks, and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). These capabilities enable users to make informed decisions in their investment journey.

The StreetSmart Edge platform further enhances this capability, providing over 150 screening criteria like fund performance, Morningstar category, benchmark index, and asset class, aiding in the precise selection of investment options. There are two other platforms in addition to StreetSmart Edge, depending on your preferences and level of experience.

  • Charles Schwab Mutual Fund Selection

Charles Schwab’s wealth management is renowned for its comprehensive research tools and an extensive range of fund choices, currently offering over 16,000 options.

And here’s the most impressive part: Of those funds, over 4,000 charge no sales loads and no transaction fees, and 500 Charles Schwab wealth management mutual funds charge expense ratios of 0.5% or less.

You can choose from equity funds, bond funds, ETFs, index funds, and many others. To help with your research, Charles Schwab wealth advisory management sends you daily updates and commentary from sources like Credit Suisse, Reuters, Morningstar, and Ned Davis.

Types of Charles Schwab Accounts
  • Types of Charles Schwab Accounts

You can set up all sorts of investment accounts at Charles Schwab wealth management, including 401k, Roth IRA, traditional IRA, 529 accounts, health savings accounts, SEP IRAs, and solo 401k for businesses and entrepreneurs, trusts, charitable accounts – all this and many more account options are available.

  • Charles Schwab Online and Mobile

It gets better:

Charles Schwab Wealth Management’s highly rated mobile application mirrors its website’s functionalities, earning recognition from JD Power as 2019’s top app for investors. This digital tool enables users to securely log in to their Charles Schwab wealth management account from any location at any time, offering flexible control over their investment choices. This accessibility and user-friendly interface contribute to a seamless investment management experience.

  • Charles Schwab Customer Service

Charles Schwab Wealth Management offers customer service all day, every day. You can reach a live person 24/7.

And guess what?

Charles Schwab offers wealth management services that enable trading in stocks across 12 different currencies tailored to their specific markets. This standout feature, along with the firm’s unparalleled dedication to client assistance, earned them the prestigious award for the best brokerage services in 2020 from Investor’s Business Daily, underlining their exceptional focus on customer care.

Here’s the kicker:

is schwab a fiduciary

This is one reason Pillar Wealth Management chose to use Charles Schwab wealth management as one of our custodial account options. They have great service, a great platform, and a wide selection of choices for all types of investors.

Doing it yourself can be challenging and time-consuming, though, which is why our clients have appreciated the extra attention, customized planning, and wealth management expertise that we offer them, in addition to everything on Charles Schwab wealth management’s impressive platform.

Find out how we help high net-worth families protect and grow their wealth – schedule a free introductory call with a wealth manager.

  • Charles Schwab Banking

Schwab boasts more than 300 local offices, surpassing any other investment firm in branch count. In the majority of large cities, you can easily locate a nearby Charles Schwab wealth management office. Charles Schwab Corporation also has over 300 branch locations, more than any other brokerage firm. You can find a Charles Schwab location near you in most major cities.

Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Services

Creating a brokerage account at Charles Schwab grants access to customized financial advice and planning from experienced investment advisors.

This overview will illuminate the key advisory services Charles Schwab’s wealth management provides, offering insights into their main offerings and the advantages they present for prospective clients.

  • Robo Advisor

Your Charles Schwab wealth management financial advisor doesn’t have to be a real person. They offer an automated advisory service that performs a number of basic tasks, including:

  • Build your portfolio
  • Monitor it
  • Harvest your tax losses to offset investment gains
  • Rebalance your investments over time
Rebalance your investments over time

Charles Schwab’s automated wealth management tool, a robo advisor, offers timely updates on matters such as tax and estate planning tailored to your specific financial situation. Utilizing the automated advisory feature requires an initial investment of $5,000.

This option, available via a mobile application, is notable for its absence of advisory fees or commissions, offering an economically advantageous approach to managing finances.


By opening an account with Charles Schwab, you gain access to tailored financial advice and planning services offered by experienced investment experts. For that, you should seek help from a live financial advisor. Pillar Wealth Management is a great option for investors with over $5 million in liquid assets. See what we have to offer – schedule a free call with a wealth manager.

Dedicated Charles Schwab Financial Advisor

Charles Schwab Co. Inc. has a large team of financial consultants, many of whom only serve clients who have $1 million or more in liquid assets. This service is called Charles Schwab Private Client. We’ll share more information about this service in a moment.

  • A Blend of Automated and Live Financial Advisors

You might be wondering:

What if I like the concept of automated investment management but also want to discuss strategies, ideas, and how to respond to specific situations?

In that case, you might prefer their blended financial planning service.

Here, you get help from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) when you want it. The CFP also develops an investment plan to help reach your goals, and the automated system works to help make it happen. This service requires a $25,000 investment minimum, a $300 one-time planning fee, and a monthly fee.

  • Charles Schwab Financial Advisor Network

Charles Schwab investment management will also refer you to a local, independent financial advisor if you want more personalized attention. This service has no Charles Schwab fees, but it requires a $500,000 minimum investment, and the advisors you get referred to will charge their own fees.

Charles Schwab Financial Advisor Network 1

Now – don’t miss this:

Once you step out and start looking for your financial advisor, there is much more to consider than just how great the online platform is.

Not to minimize the technology, but the online tools offered by firms like Schwab are the “easy” part, especially regarding wealth management.

Your advisor will be entrusted with your investments, long-term financial security, and wealth distributions. How you live, how you use your wealth. That’s your whole livelihood. Their efforts go beyond simply replacing a dishwasher.

Here’s some encouraging information:

To ensure you maximize your investment potential, we’ve created a complimentary guide titled “7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax, and Financial Planning.

This guide reveals incredible insights into ultra-high-net-worth investors’ unique challenges, which only increase in importance and risk as you age and enter retirement. It is the best resource we have ever produced, and you can have it free. Get the 7 Secrets here.

  • Schwab Managed Investment Portfolios

This service is for investors who want a diversified portfolio built from Charles Schwab ETFs, which is managed by Schwab’s financial advisors. It requires a $25,000 minimum.

  • Schwab Managed Account Select

Should you be seeking a specialized account to handle assets like stocks and bonds, managed by a skilled asset management company, this offering might be apt. It necessitates a starting investment of $100,000. Moreover, various alternatives exist, encompassing one with a $250,000 minimum and multiple $100,000 selections, each concentrating on elements such as tax optimization, consistent retirement earnings, bond strategies, and international investing techniques.

charles schwab wealth management reviews

Within all these services, you can create individual investment accounts, joint brokerage accounts, IRAs of all varieties, 401k accounts, rollovers, trusts, and custodial accounts, which Pillar Wealth Management uses for our clients.

The exemplary service depends on your financial situation, net worth, short- and long-term goals, estate plans and tax depreciation, and the lifestyle you desire.

We’ll repeat it:

Our free guide will be of profound help in helping you figure out what you want and what it takes to get there. It will also clear you of big mistakes and pitfalls that often cause unnecessary angst and regret for high-net-worth families and individuals. Use the 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax, and Financial Planning to help secure your finances for life.

Wealth Management from Charles Schwab Private Client

Wealth Management from Charles Schwab Private Client

Private Client is their service for investors with high net worth. Charles Schwab’s wealth management minimum investment is $1 million, and those must be liquid assets, meaning real estate doesn’t count. This service comes with a team of people to serve you in a variety of ways. The team includes:

  • Financial consultant – manages your relationship with Schwab
  • Private financial advisor – develops your plan and your wealth strategy, making recommendations and helping you gain access to specialists in fields such as tax planning
  • Senior associate private client advisor – helps execute your strategy
  • Schwab Private Client customer service team – these people support your requests and Charles Schwab account maintenance needs

Together, this team recommends a strategy and helps you execute and adjust it, but you always remain in control. You have the final say about whether to act on their recommendations, and you can use all the data, resources, and in-depth reporting you’ll receive as a Charles Schwab private client. Charles Schwab’s wealth management fee for their Private Client service is 0.8% of your assets under management, and that fee decreases at higher levels of investments.

What Types of Clients Does Schwab Private Client Accept

What Types of Clients Does Schwab Private Client Accept?

Charles Schwab Private Client will accept any investor if they have over $1 million to invest.

Want to know the best part?

If you like Schwab or already have an account with them but want to work with Pillar Wealth Management, you can! As an investment advisory firm and a fiduciary, we can begin managing your Charles Schwab accounts on your behalf. Still, you will retain control of the accounts and any big decisions that must be made. And the account doesn’t move or change. The number remains unchanged, and the links to other accounts and credit cards don’t change. This is a typical process when you work with a wealth management firm that uses Charles Schwab accounts as a custodian.

Is Schwab a Fiduciary

Is Schwab a Fiduciary?

None of the major brokerage firms are fiduciaries because that type of service requires an independent specialist who knows more than your primary goals and investment management plan.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary operates so that all their recommendations are meant to be aligned with your best interests.

Thus, to truly live up to the fiduciary standard, a wealth manager needs to know your situation well enough to customize their financial plan. They also are not accountable to the needs of a larger company. Therefore, Charles Schwab’s in-house advisors are not fiduciaries, but many of the advisors they refer clients to in their Financial Advisor Network, mentioned earlier, are fiduciaries. Even in marketing, Schwab extols the virtues and benefits of what those fiduciary advisors can provide.

Personalized Wealth Management

Charles Schwab Wealth Management

Personalized Wealth Management

Understanding that each person has distinct financial requirements and objectives, Schwab guarantees a bespoke financial relationship with your advisor. They will collaborate with you to create a tailored financial strategy that aligns with your immediate and future goals. Through discussions with your advisor, you’ll gain confidence and tranquility, knowing that your financial aspirations and needs are central to your investment strategy. Life’s fluctuations are inevitable, and in response, your wealth manager will be there to help you modify and adapt your plan according to your evolving needs.

Comprehensive Strategy

Wealth management isn’t about only growing your wealth. It’s also about having a long-term strategy to protect your wealth. It’s also about planning for the future. At Schwab, your wealth manager will work with you to establish an investment strategy, including various options. But that’s not all. Your wealth manager will evaluate your retirement goals and advise you on retirement planning. Combined with your asset allocation strategy, they can advise you on minimizing your taxes. They can advise you regarding various banking services, including debt management and lending. Further, they will provide you with access to experts in estate planning.

A Team of Experts

 At Schwab, your financial consultant and wealth advisor collaborate with you to create and execute a financial strategy tailored to achieve your objectives. Your financial consultant navigates your entire relationship with Schwab, including staying connected with your Wealth Advisor. Your advisor will provide investment recommendations and tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning services. They may work with third-party consultants such as tax or estate planners.

Schwab is Client-Focused

While Schwab professionals are highly skilled and successful advisors, sometimes, things happen differently than expected. Schwab offers a Satisfaction Guarantee that includes refunding your fee or commission and working to make things right. Schwab also guarantees security by safeguarding your account access information and privacy. The security guarantee covers all the accounts held by Schwab.

Charles Schwab Financial Advisor

Charles Schwab Financial Advisor

A Dedicated Financial Consultant

 At Schwab, you can invest and trade online on your own. You can use an automated (robo) advisor.

Furthermore, individuals holding $500,000 in assets at Schwab have the opportunity to strategize and invest through the guidance of a dedicated Financial Consultant.

Engaging with a Schwab Financial Consultant comes without a consultation fee; charges are applied only to the products or services selected for use.

These Financial Advisors offer consultations in person, over the phone, or via online platforms. During these engagements, you’ll explore your financial objectives and craft a customized plan to achieve them. They will advise you on retirement planning and managing unexpected life changes.

Your financial consultant will make recommendations focused on your needs, financial circumstances, and risk tolerance. Their compensation is structured to avoid conflicts of interest. With your dedicated Financial Consultant, you will establish the level of services you need to implement your financial plan, including access to third-party professionals, such as estate and tax planners

Pillar Wealth Management’s financial advisors are Registered Investment Advisors who act as fiduciaries for all our clients. So, when we tell you that we custody many of our clients’ accounts at Charles Schwab, that tells you the high regard in which we hold their platform.

Our clients love the customized service and proprietary investment process we have created, in addition to receiving all the benefits that come with a Charles Schwab account. Are you curious to learn how Pillar’s distinctive investment approach can steer your financial portfolio toward stability and peace of mind? Schedule a free consultation with one of our top wealth managers, who each brings over thirty years of experience in addressing the unique financial requirements of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families.

Charles Schwab Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 1

Charles Schwab Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Charles Schwab requires no minimum account size for a broad range of investment products. The firm offers services to direct clients, registered funds, trustees of collective investment trusts, and its affiliate TD Ameritrade concerning certain advised separately managed accounts. It also provides advice on selecting investment advisers and pooling investment vehicles for specific clients.

Services Offered by Charles Schwab

Schwab Private Client (SPC)

SPC offers access to a specialized team of advisors who deliver services in wealth management, planning for retirement and estates, guidance on insurance, strategies for asset distribution, and managing investments.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

This service from Schwab blends automated investment management with the expertise of human advisors alongside digital planning resources and features automatic adjustment of investments as necessary.

 Windhaven Investment Management

Windhaven comprises asset management through global diversification, including primarily ETFs. Clients of Windhaven Strategies encompass a diverse group, including personal investors, trusts, estates, philanthropic bodies, retirement schemes, pension and profit-sharing programs, government agencies at the state or municipal level, corporations, business entities, and other investment advisors. To initiate an account directly within a Windhaven Strategy, a minimum investment of $100,000 per account is mandated.

Schwab Managed Portfolios (SMP)

Schwab Managed Portfolios (SMP) cater to a diverse clientele, including private individuals, trusts, charities, investment clubs, companies, and various business entities. To participate in the SMP Program within the Schwab Managed Account Programs, an initial investment of $25,000 is necessary for every type of account.

Schwab Advisor Network

Schwab’s network includes more than 200 independent advisory firms throughout the US, providing services in investment management, financial planning, and partnerships with other financial experts.

Wasmer Schroeder Strategies 1

Wasmer Schroeder Strategies

These offerings consist of collections of fixed-income investments. Wasmer Schroeder Strategies’ clientele mainly comprises private investors, trusts, banks or savings institutions, non-profits, retirement and profit-sharing schemes (excluding individual participants), investment funds, collective investment schemes (apart from investment funds), governmental agencies at the state or local level, insurance providers, and various corporate or business entities not specified previously. The initial investment needed to establish a direct client account within a Wasmer Schroeder Strategy differs by strategy but starts at a minimum of $500,000 for each account.

Managed Account Select

Schwab’s managed account select service provides a Schwab advisor with whom you can discuss your financial circumstances. A third-party asset manager manages your portfolio. This service includes a range of investment strategies.

 ThomasPartners® Strategies

ThomasPartners Strategies’ clients include individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, retirement plans, pension and profit-sharing plans, state or municipal government entities, and other corporations, business entities, or investment advisers. The minimum investment required for a direct client in ThomasPartners Strategies is at least $100,000 per account and $500,000 per household.

Fees Under Charles Schwab

For private clients, Schwab charges an asset-based percentage rather than an annual fee. The managed portfolios program has an annual fee charged quarterly. The managed account select program has asset-based fees based on your strategy. With intelligent portfolios, the Client incurs the costs associated with their ETF investments.

FAQ - Charles Wealth


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

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