This year’s Schwab IMPACT conference was a bit light on major Schwab technology announcements, but there was one very interesting new offering from Schwab that has been largely overlooked by other coverage of the event: the release of Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge.
StreetSmart Edge is a real-time quotes-and-trading platform that fills what was previously one of the few gaps in Schwab’s otherwise robust product and service offering for independent financial advisors. TD Ameritrade has long held a competitive edge in this market niche with their thinkpipes platform. StreetSmart Edge narrows that gap significantly, and will most likely totally eliminate the gaps over time. In fact, for those who require the informational features of a platform such as this without the trading capabilities, StreetSmart Edge is already an outstanding option. That’s because StreetSmart Edge is available in a totally free, non-trading version for those who need the informational capabilities of StreetSmart Edge without the trading capabilities.
Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge offers a variety of advanced features and tools to help advisors:
The level II quotes can be customized in several ways. The watch list feature allows you to track multiple watch lists and customize the columns of information to your needs. The charting feature lets you not only customize date ranges, it also allows you to chose from more than thirty studies to add to a chart. News is available from a variety of sources. You can see all breaking news, or filter to see only select subjects or company’s news. You can also create a news feed for information related to one of your watch lists.
There is an all in one trading tool that provides a great deal of functionality. You can set both stop and trailing stop orders for equities and options. You can customize settings and hot keys to save time. Right now, the platform accommodates two legged options trades. This will be extended to four in the near future. There is some smart technology built right into the trading tickets. So, for example, if you want to create an options straddle, the platform will lay out the ticket for you and pre-fill any information that it can.
A Symbol hub provides similar functionality, but it also includes charts and news feeds. An Account Details and Status Order screen allows you to review order status, balances, positions, and transactions for an account in context.
You can also display a CNBC news feed within the right on the main screen of the platform.
Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge has two pricing components, a technology component, which is the cost of the underlying platform itself, and the cost of the content, which in this case is the quotes. The technology platform is always made available to Schwab advisors for free, so the price that they pay monthly is driven by the pricing of the quotes they desire. Prices currently range from $0 (zero) to $ 241.50 per user per month depending upon the quote package subscribed to.
For those looking to use the platform strictly as an informational platform, use of Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge is absolutely free. This includes Cboe Equity One Quotes. The Cboe Equities One Feed provides market participants a comprehensive, unified view of the market from all four Cboe equity exchanges: BZX Exchange, BYX Exchange, EDGX Exchange and EDGA Exchange. Cboe Equity One Feed quotes are within 1% away from the National Bid and Offer (NBBO) 98.50% of the time on average, so they are more than sufficient for information.
Those who want to trade from the platform will likely want either Level II quotes at $210.00 per month, or Level II quotes plus Option quotes at $241.50 per month. It should be pointed out, however, that even if a firm requires the most comprehensive package for traders, they can probably use the free version of other employees and perhaps in the lobby or waiting room of their office.
While Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge clearly has the most value for advisors who trade options or are more active traders of equities, we think it is a very valuable addition to the Schwab technology toolkit for advisors. Firms in need of a more comprehensive market information portal, but who found the cost prohibitive, can now have access to StreetSmart Edge for free. Those who limited options trading at Schwab due to the limitations of their options trading tools now have access to a robust platform.
Schwab Advisor StreetSmart Edge is a clear win for Schwab and the advisors that they support.