Greetings my upwardly mobile friends,
It occurs to me that there are people out there that leave free money laying around and never bother to accept it. The internet is full of companies offering products and services you probably use, and many of those companies will pay you for choosing them over their more or less interchangeable competitors.
Case in point today is Charles Schwab. Schwab is a low cost option in the world of brokerage accounts. They offer ETFs with lower expense ratios than Vanguard, tons of options for commission free trading, and they are widely considered an excellent service for a brokerage account.
That all sounds good right? It’s basically what you look for when opening a brokerage account. Of course, their competitors Vanguard and Fidelity both receive similar reviews, offer similar options, and are basically interchangeable with Schwab.
So why Schwab? Why would it matter? Well, quite simply, Schwab will pay you $100 for opening a brokerage account with them. Naked bribery to use their service over their competitors. Sounds great right? It is. It’s free money.
If you don’t have an account with Schwab, you just open one. Maintain an investment account balance minimum of $1000 and you get a free $100 (10% return on $1000 after only 1-2 months). My understanding of the terms, which are invariably subject to change, is that Schwab will claw back that $100 if you close your account within 1 year. So you do have to tie up the money for a year. Overall, I think it’s worth it. What other investment has a guaranteed 10% return? That’s better than anything I’ve ever encountered. You’re going to be investing anyway, you might as well let someone pay you $100 to use them over their competitors.
How do you take advantage of it? Schwab has a referral program that you can just google a link to. It’s not a real referral program insofar as the referrer does not get any kind of credit for referring you (thus there is no link on this page). You just have to make sure you sign up by searching their referral bonus link on google.
Several Schwab competitors have various offers for commission free trades. As I mostly invest in ETFs and don’t make tons of trades, commission free trades aren’t an attractive incentive to open an account elsewhere. Indeed, most of my purchases are already commission free ETF purchases.
If you’re going to open up a taxable investment account, you should probably take advantage of the free money offered to you for doing so. I made $100 for doing exactly what I was already going to do. It was free money and it was great.
I think I’ll do more of this stuff going forward.