Charles Schwab vs Morgan Stanley: Who Should Manage Your Investments?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • When looking after your investments, choose your investment brokerage wisely. Here’s everything you need to know about Charles Schwab vs Morgan Stanley and their investment services.

You’ve worked hard for your money and now you want to supplement your retirement funds by investing. Once you’ve figured out your financial goals, you’ll need to pick a financial firm that you can trust to provide the support you need to look after your money. Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley are leading firms in wealth management and investment. The chances are that in researching investing for the future, you’ve come across these two brokerages and are wondering which is best for managing your funds.

Keep reading to learn more about Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley and how their services could help you invest your money in the future.

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What Services Do Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley Offer?

Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley are both well-known financial brokerages that offer a range of investment management products and services to individuals, depending on how you want to manage your money.

Morgan Stanley

  • Access Investing: Morgan Stanley Access Investment is a digital solution for managing your investments. This is a self-service tool that's somewhat automated. The company makes financial decisions for you as opposed to you authorizing each transaction as you might with a traditional investment account. You can open a personal, Traditional IRA or Roth IRA account using this service. You’ll make investments that align with your goals and the causes you care about, help you save on fees, or make the most money.

  • Financial advisor: This traditional service can assist you with professional advice that you’d expect from a full-service brokerage and is typically aimed at higher-net-worth individuals. A financial advisor can help you create financial goals and maximize returns, manage your risk, tell you the best time to invest and offer alternative investment solutions such as private equity. 

Morgan Stanley charges asset-based fees on its services and requires a minimum investment of $5,000 for its robo-investing tools.

Charles Schwab

  • IRAs: In addition to Traditional and Roth IRAs, Charles Schwab offer Rollover IRAs to continue a previous employer plan, Custodial IRAs to help your children start planning their own retirement, and Inherited IRAs, giving you more flexibility with your plans for the future.

  • Brokerage accounts: There are different kinds of brokerage accounts to choose from depending on what you need. Select an individual account if it’s just you or a joint account if you’re married or want to share the ownership with a family member, spouse or business partner.

  • Trading tools: For the tech-savvy trader, an intuitive trading platform lets you manage commission-free trading of stocks, EFTs and Options.

There are zero fees to open a Charles Schwab brokerage, trading or IRA account.

Are Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley Good Investment Firms?

Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley are two of the top financial services companies that help people and businesses manage their investments. 

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley manages trillions of dollars in client assets worldwide. It has been a trusted brokerage since its inception in 1935 and offers a full-service brokerage experience.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab earned plenty of industry recognition, including one of the Most Admired Companies in the World by FORTUNE. It currently offers 24/7 customer support by phone and plenty of educational resources on its site to help investors understand how to manage their portfolios. 

What Are the Drawbacks of Using Charles Schwab or Morgan Stanley?

It goes without saying that any investment poses a risk. So what are the drawbacks of working with investment companies like Charles Schwab or Morgan Stanley?

Not FDIC Insured

Both Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley are brokerages. Brokerages are not FDIC Insured, as this typically covers financial deposits in your checking or savings accounts rather than stocks and other investments. However, both Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley are SIPC Insured. 

Limited One-On-One Advice

Some digital tools like Access Investing don’t provide the traditional, personalized advice that you may expect with a full-service brokerage. While some people are comfortable managing their own investments, it’s wise to consider whether you need advice from a financial advisor when investing your money.

Charles Schwab vs Morgan Stanley: Which Should You Choose?

Both brokerages are trusted and provide helpful tools and advice when planning your retirement. Which one you choose to invest with may depend on what kind of experience is most important to you.

If you’re a high-net-worth individual who relies on having that personalized touch that a designated financial advisor can give you, a full-service account with Morgan Stanley may suit you best. The fees and barrier to entry are higher, but this type of account provides more traditional services to help manage your money.

If, on the other hand, you prefer more accessible entry into investing and want to benefit from zero commission and account fees, Charles Schwab could be what you’re looking for. 

Make sure you’re clear on your financial goals before opting for an investment company to help you decide which is the wisest option for you and your future.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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