Charles Schwab (SCHW) Last Update 11/12/21
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Charles Schwab
Trefis Price
Top Drivers for Period
Key Drivers
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Potential upside & downside to trefis price

Charles Schwab Company


  1. Interest on Deposits, Loans & Securities constitute 57% of the Trefis price estimate for Charles Schwab's stock.
  2. Asset Management Fees constitute 22% of the Trefis price estimate for Charles Schwab's stock.
  3. Maintenance Fees & Others constitute 13% of the Trefis price estimate for Charles Schwab's stock.


Note: - Charles Schwab completed the acquisition of TD Ameritrade in the staring of October 2020, creating a company with approx. $6 trillion in client assets across 28 million brokerage accounts.

Latest Earnings

In Q3 2021, Charles Schwab reported Total Net Revenues of $4.6 billion – 87% more than the year-ago period, mainly driven by a 51% growth in net interest income coupled with a more than 4x jump in trading revenues. Notably, asset management and administration fees recorded a 28% y-o-y growth in the quarter.

Impact of coronavirus outbreak

Charles Schwab suffered in the first and second quarter of 2020 due to a drop in asset valuations driven by net market losses. While the company has witnessed a spike in daily average trades since February 2020 (which implies higher trading activity in the stock market), the elimination of trading commissions late last year means that Schwab’s revenues aren’t going to benefit much from this. Further, the brokerage giant generated majority of its revenues in 2019 from interest on deposits, loans & securities, which would be negatively impacted due to lower interest rate environment. While the company’s results for Q1, Q2 and Q3 were on similar lines, Q4 results saw positive growth due to the acquisition of TD Ameritrade. The positive effect of the acquisition was also visible in the first three quarters of FY2021 results and we expect it to continue in the fourth-quarter as well.

Below are key drivers of Schwab’s value that present opportunities for upside or downside to the current Trefis price estimate:

Interest on Deposits, Loans & Securities

  • Net Interest Income Rate on Deposits, Loans and Securities Analysis: Schwab’s structure ties its income to market interest rates. As a result of the low-interest-rate environment, the company’s interest yield continued to decline over the years to as low as 1.6% in 2015. It has picked up in recent years due to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes and reached over 1.97% in 2017. This value further rose to 2.31% in 2018. We forecast this yield to reach around 3.76% by the end of the Trefis forecast period. However, if the interest rate hikes take longer than expected, and the net yield only rises to about 3.21% during the same timeframe, there would be a downside of over 10% to our price estimate

  • Interest Earning Deposits, Loans and Securities : Schwab’s interest-earning assets have been growing significantly in the last few years, reaching over $218 billion in 2017, having doubled since 2012. This metric grew further to about $252.3 billion in 2018. We currently forecast these assets to grow steadily through the end of the Trefis forecast period, eventually approaching $409 billion. However, should the growth be slower than expected - due to intense competition and any further need to deleverage the balance sheet - and these assets remain around $348 billion, in the long run, there would be a potential downside of over 10% to our price estimate.


Charles Schwab is an online brokerage firm that allows clients to buy and trade equities, options, and other securities in the market. Charles Schwab also offers money management services to its clients. Schwab charges clients a certain percentage of assets invested as a fee. Clients can invest money in Charles Schwab Proprietary Funds, Schwab Fund, and Laudus Fund or use Charles Schwab OneSource Mutual Fund Services to invest in a select list of third-party mutual funds.


While revenues from trading commissions have continued to decrease over the years, interest income on deposits, loans & securities has increased since 2010, on the back of substantially higher interest-earning assets and improved interest rates.

We expect that net interest income will continue its solid growth over the Trefis forecast period on the back of continued growth in interest-earning assets and interest rates hikes in the future.

Higher net interest yield going forward

Charles Schwab earns interest on client assets awaiting investment by placing those assets into money market instruments. Schwab’s investments are funded by brokerage and banking clients, and Charles Schwab, in return, pays interest to the clients. The net amount is the net interest revenue for Schwab.

In 2017, Charles Schwab earned about a 1.97% net interest yield on nearly $218 billion of client assets. In 2018, the company earned about 2.31% net interest yield on nearly $252 billion of client assets. We expect Schwab’s net interest yield to increase to nearly 3.8% over our forecast period as macroeconomic conditions lead to a broader increase in interest rates.

Asset management becoming increasingly valuable

Asset and investment management are becoming of growing part of the brokerage. However, competition in asset management is also growing due to the prevalence of low-cost ETFs that serve as an alternative to managed investment funds and digital advisory. While Schwab is a leader in the ETF space, it has gotten increasingly competitive.

Low mutual fund fees

Clients can invest money in Charles Schwab’s proprietary funds, Schwab Fund and Laudus Fund, or use Charles Schwab OneSource Mutual Fund Services to invest in a select list of third party mutual funds. Schwab earns a management fee for these services.

Schwab manages close to $820 billion in proprietary and mutual fund assets. Although Schwab’s assets under management are much higher than the client assets on which it earns a net interest spread, Schwab earns a fee of only 0.26% of managed assets, which is low compared to the yield the company has traditionally earned on client assets. As a result of this difference, net interest on deposits, loans, and securities is a more valuable business for Schwab than mutual fund & investment fees.


Declining trading commissions

With over 11.6 million brokerage accounts, Schwab is one of the leading online brokerage firms. Schwab’s revenue per trade has been declining in recent years and stood at about $7.13 per trade in Q4 2018. In 2018, Revenue per trade stood at $7.23 (vs. $8.20 in 2017). With stiff competition in the market and a lot of brokerage firms offering free trading, we forecast the commissions to decline in the near term.