Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Review

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ is the robo-advisor offering from Charles Schwab. If you’re looking for hands-off investing, this robo-advisor is one of the best you’ll find.

There’s a long list of advantages to investing with Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™, including no advisory fees, hundreds of local branches, excellent customer service, automatic portfolio rebalancing, and exposure to a vast array of asset classes when you invest.

The only potential downsides? You’ll need a minimum deposit of $5,000 to get started and won’t benefit from tax-loss harvesting until your account balance reaches $50,000.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™
Visit SchwabSecuredon Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™’s secure site
The Bottom Line: Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is an all-around great robo-advisor option you can’t go wrong with, as long as you meet minimum investing requirements.

  • The minimum deposit to open an account is $5,000.
  • There are no advisory fees, and no fees for tax loss harvesting or automatic portfolio rebalancing (but you’ll need at least $50,000 invested for tax-loss harvesting).
  • Mobile apps and a full-featured website make using your account easy

Who should consider Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™?

If you have at least $5,000 to invest and you’re interested in a robo-advisor, you might find a good solution in Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™.

Not only can you benefit from top-notch customer service from an established brokerage firm with more than 300 local branches, but you also have access to a full-featured online website and great mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Of course, investment management is the most important feature of a robo-advisor, and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ shines in this area.

The 11 questions you answer when opening an account help ensure an appropriate mix of ETFs is chosen for you. Your portfolio will provide exposure to as many as 20 different asset classes, or groups of investments with similar characteristics. This means more diversification than you may get with other competitors. Your portfolio is automatically rebalanced as needed with no fee to keep you invested in the right asset mix.

As if all this isn’t enough, there is no fee for advisory services. If you want to keep your costs down while investing your money with a great robo-advisor, this is a major selling point worth considering.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ fees and features

Amount minimum to open account
  • $5,000
Management fees
  • 0%; Schwab allocates a minimum 6% of the portfolio to cash, maximum 29%
  • 0.28%
Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)
  • $0 annual fee
  • $25 full account transfer fee
  • $50 partial account transfer fee
  • $0 inactivity fee
Account types
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Joint taxable
  • Rollover IRA
  • Custodial Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA)
  • SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees)
  • Trust
  • Portfolios may contain up to 20 asset classes.
Automatic rebalancing
Tax loss harvesting
Offers fractional shares
Ease of use
Mobile appiOS, Android
Customer supportPhone, 24/7 live support, Chat, 300 branch locations

Strengths of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™

  • Opening an account is easy — just answer 11 simple questions about your goals. Charles Schwab uses your answers to recommend a portfolio that’s right for you. You also have a choice of many different types of accounts, including individual accounts, joint accounts, custodial accounts, and Trust accounts. You can also open a taxable account or a retirement account including a traditional or Roth IRA, or a Simple or SEP IRA if you’re self-employed or a small business owner.
  • Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ has a $0 advisory fee for all accounts. Most competitors, including Wealthfront and Betterment, charge 0.25% or more.
  • You’ll get automatic portfolio rebalancing at no cost. This means Charles Schwab will automatically adjust investments to maintain an appropriate mix based on your investing timeline and risk tolerance.
  • Customer service is great, with more than 300 local branches as well as 24/7 phone support and 24/7 online chats. It takes just a few minutes to connect with a representative willing to answer questions

Drawbacks of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™

  • You’ll need at least $5,000 to open an account. This is on par with some competitors, such as E-Trade, which also requires a $500 minimum deposit. But competitors including Betterment don’t have minimum deposit requirements.
  • Tax loss harvesting is available only on accounts with $50,000 or more, while competitors such as Wealthfront offer tax-loss harvesting for all taxable accounts. Tax-loss harvesting involves selling some losing investments at strategic times to minimize taxes you might have to pay on investment gains made in taxable accounts.

Is Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ Safe?

When you invest, there’s always a chance your investments could decrease in value. However, Charles Schwab is a trusted, well-established brokerage firm that FINRA BrokerCheck confirms is in full compliance with all regulatory requirements. Plus, it’s a member of the FDIC and SIPC, which insure cash in your bank or brokerage accounts.

Charles Schwab also has strong data protection policies to keep customer information secure, although Charles Schwab does share your personal information with affiliates so they can market to you.

Final thoughts

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ is a key player in the robo-advisor industry. If you have enough money to open an account and you don’t mind not having access to tax-loss harvesting until your account balance reaches $50,000, this robo-advisor may be the right one for you. But if you have less than $5,000 to invest, a competitor with no account minimum may be more appropriate.

Open a Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ accountSecured
on Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™’s secure website

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Christy Rakoczy
Christy Rakoczy |

Christy Rakoczy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Christy here

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