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Questions About Schwab
Old 07-03-2009, 07:12 PM   #1
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Questions About Schwab

I have some questions for Schwab users:
Do they allow dividend reinvestment and if so can you assign what securities will be reinvested and which will not be?
Do they provide PDF files of your statements online?
What research do they provide?
How is their cash management, ie sweep mm funds, especially in an IRA?

Thanks for any info.


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Old 07-03-2009, 08:16 PM   #2
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I've been a Schwab customer since about 1990.

Yes, they have dividend reinvestment of stock dividends if you elect it.

They have online statements, but I don't know if they come in PDF format.

If you have less than $500,000 you won't have a "sweep" MMF but will have cash automatically in a bank account with pathetic interest (one of my peeves). But you can buy a "traded" money market mutual fund with at least $2,500 in idle cash. It's not worth it now, since the MMF yields something like 0.15%.

"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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I've been with schwab for about 3 years. Adding to what Ziggy said, they do have pdf statements. I do use their cash sweep into a CA Municipal money fund. I use Schwab for my taxable account, not IRAs, so could not tell you about their IRAs, but I'm pretty sure that you could use the cash sweep if your account met the minimum. Their research seems OK, but I don't use the research elsewhere, so I could not tell you for sure if it is better or worse.

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Old 07-03-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
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I've used Schwab for virtually all of my financially needs for 25 years. Although I do have decent size account with Vanguard (and have taken advantage of promotions to open accounts at Fidelity and TD Ameritrade.)

The dividend reinvestment is quite flexible, I've been know to turn it on and off monthly, and they do a good job of keeping track of basis. I have been able to get past statements or basis information in some case going back a decade.

Currently the money market yields do suck, but so do everyones. But Schwab bank offers a very competitive .75% on their free checking with free bill pay and 1.35% on the savings. Although that won't be useful for an IRA, but you can move money between the accounts with a transfer that takes place immediately.

Schwab has their own propritary research which is ok although I don't pay attention to the letter grade. Their macro level reports are quite good by Liz Ann Sonders.
They also offer reports on most stocks from S&P, Credit Suisse, Ned Davis, Argus (good),Reuters (consensus estimates) and Market Edge (technical). For smaller stocks only a subset of these reports are offered. Still as general rule I prefer M* research, which has much more of a value tilt.

Finally, and most importantly I've received service from them that is consistently good, and at times extraordinary. Or to put it another way over the years, I've pulled my business from at least a dozen financial firms and Schwab has generally been the beneficary of others failings.
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Old 07-04-2009, 07:48 AM   #5
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I'm also a long time Schwab customer.

Div reinvestment is available for MF's, ETF's and stocks on an investment by investment basis. Cost basis tracking is excellent.

Schwab MM sweep funds, annoyingly, always seem to pay a tad less than Vanguard. As Clifp mentioned, you can avoid this by switching any cash buildups to Schwab Bank, but still an annoyance.

I attended an all-day class Schwab gave locally on using their research tools. I'm happy with what's provided for MF's, ETF's and bonds. I don't do enough individual stock trading to comment on that area. I do use other sites for research as well.

One recent Schwab change I applauded was the lowering of the ER of their TSM MF to be the same as Vanguard's TSM Admiral Fund. The prior difference was minimal but annoying and therefore I had been using VTI instead.

I find Schwab service to be excellent. Most of my questions revolve around specific issues with their site, how to do new (to me) types of trades, etc. But it's nice to know that if I get hit by a bus tomorrow DW can also get more generalized planning/strategy assistance at a walk-in office if required.
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