Charles Schwab’s Brokerage Dominance Is Safe—for Now


Financial advisor John Robinson was scheduled to move his clients’ funds to from TD Ameritrade over Labor Day weekend as part of the brokerage industry’s largest account migration ever. He expected a snoozefest; instead he says he experienced a “dumpster fire.” 

A $1.7 million account was mistakenly assigned to him, and three of his client accounts totaling more than $4 million were incorrectly assigned to another advisor, he says. Robinson tried calling Schwab’s (ticker: SCHW) service desk but couldn’t get through. He finally spoke to someone the next day about the missing accounts. “They asked me, ‘What’s the account number?’” he says. “And I said, ‘I don’t know; I can’t see the accounts.’”

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Four days later, the accounts were reassigned correctly, but the experience has left Robinson dispirited. Schwab might lose his business.

“It’s 50/50,” says Robinson, owner of Financial Planning Hawaii. “My great preference is I’d very much like to leave. I’m disappointed. This is not what I was expecting.”

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