Schwab has a minimum requirement of $1,000 for most of its basic investment and retirement accounts, though a Schwab International account carries a higher $25,000 minimum. Investors willing to commit a certain level of trading activity (currently 36 trades per year) have the same minimums, but access to a different set of investment analysis tools. (For related reading, see 5 Bank Fees You May Not Know About.)

Figure 1: Charles Schwab account types and deposit requirements
A Schwab account allows a client to purchase most of the investments that Schwab handles, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and options. Although Schwab does own a futures brokerage, Schwab itself does not handle futures transactions or bullion trades. (For related reading, see An Introduction To Managed Futures.)

Schwab also offers banking services including checking and savings accounts, as well as accounts oriented to businesses and trusts.


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