Client FAQs: Top Account Questions | Charles Schwab

I want to learn how to invest but am not sure where to begin. What’s my first step?

To get started, first you must ask yourself key questions: What is my purpose for investing? What do I plan to do with the money I earn? When will I need it? Then you need to make a plan to achieve those goals. Get help putting your plan in place, and get investing tips and information from Schwab investment professionals.

Learn more about how to invest your money.

Do I need to invest a lot to get help from a Schwab investment professional?

No, there is no set investing limit to get help from Schwab. Whether you have a little or a lot, we can help you get started on the right track. To speak with a Schwab investment professional, call 800-435-4000 anytime, or find a Schwab branch near you.

I’m wary of the risks in the stock market. Why should I invest?

While stocks may have more ups and downs than many other investments, they have historically produced higher returns than those investments over the long term. In fact, over the past 30 years stocks have, on average, performed better than bonds, gold, and even cash.* To learn more about stocks and get help planning the best mix of investments for you, visit how to Invest.

* Source: Zephyr StyleADVISOR.

Does Schwab offer any guidance about what types of investments I should consider?

Schwab provides the help and guidance you need to set your investing goals and plan your investments. Learn about the types of investments that will fit your needs at how to Invest.

How do I choose the right mix of investments for my account?

If you’re new to investing, Schwab can help you with all you need to know about How to Invest, our online guide with tips and information on planning a portfolio mix that can best meet your needs and goals. 

Another option is to use the Schwab Portfolio Analysis tool, which considers both your tolerance for risk and your expected needs over time in order to help you determine the right portfolio for you.

How can I find a particular fund prospectus?

You can view a fund prospectus by navigating to Research and searching for the fund. Each fund summary page contains a link to the prospectus.

How can I find a quality list of mutual funds for my portfolio?

Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. (CSIA), an affiliate of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., develops and makes available the Mutual Fund OneSource Select List®. This list highlights the most favorably evaluated OneSource funds4 within each Morningstar Category.

CSIA builds this list by analyzing the actively managed funds tracked by Morningstar, using quantitative and qualitative selection criteria.

Which stocks should I buy?

Schwab Equity Ratings® is our proprietary methodology for identifying the stocks we believe will outperform or underperform the market over the next 12 months.5 This industry-leading guidance is available to all Schwab clients.

Every week, Schwab Equity Ratings will rate approximately 3,000 of the largest (by market capitalization) stocks headquartered or incorporated in the U.S. and in certain foreign nations where companies typically locate or incorporate for operational or tax reasons. That’s nearly double the number rated by most other brokerage firms—and unlike traditional brokerage firms, we rate an equal number of stocks “buys” as we do “sells.” We also offer easy-to-use ratings, ranked from A to F, making it easier for you to incorporate Schwab Equity Ratings into your portfolio right away.

What do I need to know about ETFs?

An ETF (exchange-traded fund) contains a portfolio of securities, such as stocks or bonds, and it trades intra-day on an exchange. It can be a low-cost way to put together a diversified portfolio.

ETFs can provide diversified exposure to a particular segment of the market, to a specific industry, or to a geographical region. Find out more about this form of investing.

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