Questions to Ask

Essential questions every investor should ask

Challenge yourself and your broker to determine if you're on the right path, and with the right person.

FAQs

Have you educated yourself on the fees and commissions associated with your investments? Do you understand all the fees and commissions you’re paying, as well as how they might be impacting your returns?

Whether you prefer to provide less input or a lot, do you ultimately feel like you are encouraged by your broker to determine how much of a role you play in the development of your investment strategy?

  • We want Schwab to be a place where your questions are welcomed and encouraged and where you can be engaged and involved with your investments.
  • It is important to discuss with your investment professional your preferences around the level of involvement in your investments.
  • We offer telephone support via a UK toll free number 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, 5:30 p.m. Sunday to 1:00 a.m. Saturday U.S. ET.

Does your broker discuss his or her compensation with you? You probably wouldn't blindly write a check to a building contractor without understanding exactly what you're paying for. So why would you allow yourself to accept such a relationship with your broker?

  • It is important to understand how your investment professional is paid because of the impact it can have on your returns and the recommendations you receive. For example, recurring trading in a commission-based account could impact your returns.
  • We strive to be straightforward about how our investment professionals are compensated.
  • You should always feel comfortable talking to your investment professional about his or her compensation.
  • You can also speak to other people at Schwab, such as your local Branch Manager, about this topic.

Does your broker routinely take the time to understand your specific life situation and any changes you may have experienced of late? How comfortable do you feel updating your broker and revisiting your investments when your personal situation or goals change?

  • You should feel comfortable talking to your investment professional if your personal situation changes because it may have an impact on your progress toward achieving your goals.
  • We want you to have a choice of which investment professional you work with, and if your current relationship is not the right fit, we can work with you to find one that may be a better fit for your needs.
  • Confirm with your investment professional that all of your personal information is current and updated regularly.
  • You can also ask your investment professional about developing a plan, if you don’t already have one that takes into account your personal situation.
  • We can help by reviewing your current holdings, goals, and risk tolerance and, when appropriate, by making specific investment recommendations when your situation or goals change.

Do you have a team of professionals behind you or just one person? Can you speak to a specialist in fixed income, global investing, or trading knowledge when you need to?

  • Our investment professionals are supported by the research and insights of our own experts and industry professionals, and they have the opportunity to regularly engage with our experts.
  • In addition, a wide range of specialists are available to speak directly with clients, and your investment professional can help direct you to the appropriate specialist.
  • In addition to our investment professionals and specialists, you can always reach a licensed representative via phone.
  • You can also access our research and insights online at schwab.co.uk under the "Insights" tab.

Do you have tools at your disposal to clearly track your progress toward your goals? What benchmarks and measures are you and your broker using? This should be simple and transparent, not confusing and complicated.

  • For many investors, it is important to have a long-term plan and track it over time to make sure you understand how you are making progress toward your goals.
  • Confirm with your Financial Consultant that you have an up-to-date plan in place and discuss your preferences for how you want to review your progress over time.
  • We use industry-standard benchmarks that are appropriate for the type of investments in your account(s).
  • Clients can access performance-reporting tools, such as the Quarterly Portfolio Profile and Gain/Loss Report at the "Portfolio Performance" tab under "Accounts."

Do you feel like you’re getting the attention you require or just what your broker has allotted to you? When going over your portfolio with your broker, do you feel like you’re having a meaningful discussion about your portfolio, or do you feel like just another appointment on the calendar?

  • You should feel comfortable discussing with your investment professional your needs and preferences so that you can help shape a relationship that is right for you.
  • The philosophy that we live by every day is "through clients' eyes," which means that we strive to treat you the way we want to be treated, and we want every client to feel valued.
  • We also offer many options for those who prefer not to work with an investment professional, such as the resources and tools available on the Schwab website.

Want to learn more? Sign up for one of our educational workshops today.


Have more questions? We're here to help.

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