Charles Schwab vs Fisher Investments: what’s the difference?

1 min readLast updated June 18, 2024by Rachel Carey

We’re comparing Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab’s investment strategies, fees, customer service, and market adaptability to help you make the right choice.


  • Fisher Investments is a financial advisory service that offers personalized service. 

  • Charles Schwab is a larger financial advisory firm that offers more services and investment opportunities. 

  • Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab each have their pros and cons and suit different client’s needs.  

  • Unbiased can help match you with an expert financial advisor who can guide you on your investment journey. 

Fisher Investments vs Charles Schwab: what's the difference? 

Fisher InvestmentsCharles Schwab
Pros Personalized management Comprehensive services
Tailored strategies Competitive fees
Cons Higher fees for small accounts Complex fees
Limited services Less personalized
Strategy Active management Diverse options
Fees AUM-based Transparent fees
Service Personalized Extensive support
Technology Account management Comprehensive apps
Adaptability Strategic updates Tech-driven
Service Personalized support Robust infrastructure

Fisher Investments is a globally recognized private banking company offering financial advisory services. The firm focuses on personalized and active portfolio management and provides tailored investment strategies for clients with long-term investment goals.  

In contrast, Charles Schwab (an American multinational company) provides a broader range of financial services, including banking and advisory services. They offer self-directed and advisor-guided investment options, appealing to investors who enjoy a hands-on or passive portfolio management approach. 

What are Charles Schwab and Fisher Investments' specific investment strategies? 

Charles Schwab offers a range of investment strategies catering to different risk appetites and investment approaches. These include index fund investing, target-date funds, and personalized advisory services. 

Fisher Investments' strategy uses an active management approach, focusing on market research and analysis to make strategic investment decisions tailored to individual clients' goals. They typically focus on long-term growth through diversified portfolios. 

What types of fees can I expect from Fisher and Charles Schwab? 

When looking at a financial advisor fee comparison, Fisher Investments typically charges a management fee based on the ratio of assets under management (AUM)

This ratio, expressed as a percentage, varies depending on the level of service and portfolio size.  

They don't charge trading fees or commissions separately.

Charles Schwab's pricing structure is transparent and diverse. 

It includes trading fees for self-directed accounts, advisory fees for managed accounts, and expense ratios for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  

However, they’ve moved toward commission-free trading for many securities, appealing to cost-conscious investors. 

Is Fisher Investments or Charles Schwab better? 

Deciding whether Fisher Investments vs Charles Schwab is better is subjective, as it depends on individual preferences and financial goals.  

Both are reputable investment platforms, but their approaches differ. Understanding each firm's distinctions is crucial for investors to align their needs effectively.  

Below are some of the potential advantages and drawbacks of each firm that are useful for a financial advisor comparison when deciding which is better for you: 

Fisher Investments 

Pros: Fisher Investments offers personalized portfolio management, tailored investment strategies, and a transparent fee structure based on AUM. 

Cons: Fisher Investments offers a more limited range of financial services than larger firms. Additionally, their fees for smaller portfolios are potentially higher and potentially less accessible to DIY investors compared to platforms offering commission-free trading. 

Charles Schwab 

Pros: Charles Schwab offers a diverse range of financial services, including banking, advisory, and self-directed investment options. Additionally, it provides a competitive fee structure with commission-free trading for many securities, extensive research, and educational resources for its clients. 

Cons: Charles Schwab's fee structure for some services can be complex, and some smaller accounts may incur higher trading commissions. Furthermore, their service is less personalized when compared to boutique firms. 

Fisher or Charles Schwab: which should I choose? 

The choice between Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab will depend on your preferences and financial needs.  

If you value personalized attention and tailored investment strategies, Fisher may be your better choice.  

However, Charles Schwab could suit you if you seek a more comprehensive range of financial services and competitive fees. 

When making a decision, consider your: 

  • Financial situation 

  • Risk appetite 

  • Risk approach 

  • Desired level of customer service 

  • Investment goals 

Remember, choosing a financial advisor is a personal decision based on unique circumstances. Unbiased can assist you on this journey by matching you with an advisor who can provide tailored guidance. 

Can I access my Fisher Investments or Charles Schwab accounts online and through mobile apps? 

Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab offer online access and mobile apps for managing accounts remotely.  

Clients can view their portfolio performance, execute trades, and conveniently access research and educational resources. 

However, Charles Schwab's mobile app is more comprehensive and offers features like mobile deposit and bill pay. Fisher's mobile app may be more limited in functionality, focusing primarily on account management and performance tracking. 

How do Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions? 

Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab remain competitive by continuously innovating their services and adapting to market trends.  

Here's how they do so: 

  • Fisher stays competitive through personalized portfolio management and strategic investment approaches. It regularly updates its research methodologies to respond to changing market conditions. 

  • Charles Schwab stays ahead by offering a broad range of financial services and leveraging technology for efficient trading and account management. 

  • Both firms actively monitor market shifts, adjusting investment strategies and product offerings to meet evolving client needs and expectations while maintaining competitiveness in the ever-morphing financial landscape. 

Which has better customer service, Charles Schwab or Fisher Investments? 

It's understood that Charles Schwab generally offers better customer service because of its extensive support options, including phone, online chat, and multiple branch locations.  

Their larger footprint allows for a more robust customer service infrastructure.  

While providing personalized attention, Fisher Investments' customer service may have more limited support channels. 

To assess customer satisfaction, consider doing some research by looking at online reviews, joining forums, and reading independent ratings. Look at each firm's feedback response times, helpfulness, and overall satisfaction.  

Get expert financial advice 

The differences between Fisher Investments and Charles Schwab are notable as they cater to different client needs and offer varying investment strategies, fee structures, customer service, and adaptability to market conditions. 

Remember, choosing a financial advisor depends on individual needs and compatibility.  

For personalized guidance, Unbiased can match you with a financial advisor who will offer expert financial advice tailored to your situation. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.