Founded in 1971, Charles Schwab has been a US financial stalworth for the last 50-years. The company’s 32,000 employees and 360 branches have helped millions of customers manage and invest their wealth over the years.
What does Schwab do?
Charles Schwab is a full-service financial institution that offers its clients brokerage services, wealth management, and retirement planning, all in one place. As the third-largest asset manager in the world, Schwab services both retail and institutional clients.
Commonly Asked Questions
Does Schwab offer gold and other precious metals as investment options?
Charles Schwab doesn’t offer gold, silver, or any other physical precious metals directly to its customers.
Can I buy physical coins and bars through Schwab?
No, you cannot purchase physical gold coins or bars through Charles Schwab. Alternative exposure to precious metals is available through the brokerage via “paper gold,” but you cannot buy precious metals directly.
Does Schwab offer precious metals in IRAs?
No. Because Schwab doesn’t allow for the direct purchase of precious metals, its clients cannot have precious metals directly inside their IRA. The only way for Schwab customers to gain exposure to precious metals in their retirement account is through a precious metal derivative (such as an ETF, mutual fund, etc.) that has exposure to the desired precious metal(s).
Can I rollover a Schwab 401(k) into a Gold IRA?
Yes. As previously mentioned, Charles Schwab doesn’t offer precious metals directly in their retirement accounts. However, if you are a Schwab customer, you can rollover your 401(k) or IRA to a Gold IRA and begin purchasing gold outright. To enable gold purchases, a 401(k) must first be moved to a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA), which allows for precious metals holdings in the retirement account.
Birch Gold and its team of qualified experts can help you get started with your Schwab 401(k) or IRA rollover.
What’s on offer?
Charles Schwab offers a variety of financial instruments that give investors exposure to precious metals. These include:
Gold mutual funds invest in gold and gold-adjacent assets, including stocks in gold mining companies. Schwab offers its own list of funds on its OneSource Select List. These mutual funds come with no fees and are pre-vetted by the company’s team of experts. For gold investors, funds on this list include:
- U.S. Global Investors Gold and Precious Metals Fund (USERX)
- First Eagle Gold Fund Class A (SGGDX)
- Gabelli Gold Fund (GLDAX)
Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) trade on the open market like individual stocks but are funds that hold some quantity of the precious metals. ETFs allow you to purchase shares backed by physical gold in an asset that is readily tradable on the open market.
There is a variety of gold ETFs offered by Schwab, including:
- SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
- iShares Gold Trust (IAU)
- SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM)
One way to invest in gold is through individual stocks with heavy exposure to the precious metal. Individual stocks generally include gold mining companies, which profit from the excavation and sale of gold. Because Charles Schwab is a full-service broker, it provides its customers with access to any over-the-counter traded stock. Gold stocks available for purchase on Schwab include:
- Newmont Goldcorp (NEM)
- Barrick Gold (GOLD)
- Freeport-McMoRan (FCX)
- Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM)
- Kirkland Lake Gold (KL)
What’s a Gold Futures Contract?
Outside of traditional gold derivatives, Charles Schwab also offers gold futures contracts. The buyer of a gold futures contract agrees to take delivery of some quantity of the precious metal at an agreed-upon future date and time, at a pre-set price. These are usually used by gold companies to hedge against volatility in gold prices and can also be utilized by investors looking to profit from future price movements in the gold market without ever touching a gold bar or coin.
Through Schwab, gold futures can be traded on both the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Futures come in three contract sizes: 32.15, 50, and 100 troy ounces. Gold futures are also traded continuously, 23 hours per day on each trading day.
However, you have to show up at the COMEX warehouse to take physical delivery of a gold futures contract. While that is certainly a method to physically get your gold, it’s a real hassle compared to purchasing physical gold in an SDIRA.
|Contract Size||100 troy ounces|
|Minimum Tick Size and Value||0.10, worth $10.00 per contract.|
|Trading Times||Gold futures trade from 6:00 p.m. U.S. ET until 5:00 p.m. U.S. ET, Sunday through Friday, with a 60-minute break each day beginning at 5:00 p.m. U.S. ET.|
|Principal Trading Months||Primary gold futures contracts are February, April, June, August, October, and December.|
What does Schwab charge for its gold offerings?
Charles Schwab doesn’t charge any account fees for all its standard account types and has no required minimum balance.
The fees for Charles Schwab depend on whether or not you are utilizing a Schwab broker or placing the trades on your own. Trading online comes with significantly lower fees, and basic financial instruments like stocks and ETFs can be traded at no cost.
|Online Trades||Broker-Assisted Trades|
|Stocks and ETFs||$0||$0 + $25 service charge|
|Options||$0.65 per contract||$0.65 per contract + $25 service charge|
|Schwab Mutual Funds||$0||$25 service charge|
|Other Mutual Funds||Up to $49.95||Online pricing + $25 service charge|
|Futures||$2.25 per contract||$2.25 per contract|
As always, remember to read the fine print when it comes to broker fees. Learn more about the Charles Schwab account and trading fees here.