How to trade fixed income securities 

How to trade fixed income securities

The Fixed Income Trading application on Schwab Advisor Center® offers advisors access to an extensive selection of fixed income securities from hundreds of dealers.

Advisors can view credit ratings and fixed income market data, as well as buy and sell fixed income products directly online. Trading fixed income products may require you to contact a Schwab Fixed Income Trading Representative at the Advisor Fixed Income desk. Orders are processed during the normal fixed income availability schedule Tooltip . Trading functions are limited to view only during the weekend fixed income availability schedule Tooltip .

For details on fixed income trading policies, ratings charts, cutoff times, and settlement terms, see Introduction to fixed income trading.

All accounts
  • Trade data access Tooltip security function on the appropriate master account(s) or custom group(s)
  • Trade Online Tooltip and Access Fixed Income for SI Tooltip security functions
  • Alert preferences set to receive Trading alerts
  • Your firm name and master account
  • Account information for the trading accounts
In addition to the information above, the following transaction-specific information may be required:
To change or cancel a fixed income order
  • A completed Cancel Rebill Request form
  • A completed Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request signed by the account holder if the correction occurs more than 10 days after booking (if applicable)

Begin searching from the Yield Curve Matrix for the best rates and yields on CD and bond offerings within Schwab's trading system. The matrix updates approximately every 15 minutes during market hours (8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET). Since the offerings in the Schwab trading system are live, prices and availability may change quickly.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > Yield Curve
  2. Yields displayed are inclusive of markups. Click View above the matrix to open the Schwab Advisor Services™ mark-up schedule. 
  3. CD rates display along the top rows of the matrix. For a list of available CDs, click CDs on the navigation menu. 
  4. For offer details, click the particular rate or yield. The page opens with the search results for the representative product type, rating, and maturity range category, based on a face value of $50,000. Click a specific instrument to generate a pop-up with a security description Tooltip , market depth, and trade history.
  5. To search by a specific ID number, in the Search By drop-down box at the bottom of the page, select CUSIP Tooltip or Schwab Security ID, and then enter the ID number. Enter the minimum and maximum face values, but this is optional. Click Search.

Trade history is available for corporate and municipal bonds (only) for the previous two years.

  1. Go to the Positions page on Schwab Advisor Center > Accounts > Positions > Summary.
  2. Click Actions under the Links column.
  3. Two options appear (Trade or Chart). Click Chart.
  4. A new window opens with the trade history for that security. Select to view Daily Trade Summary or Daily Trade Details.
  1. Go to the Positions page on Schwab Advisor Center > Accounts > Positions > Summary.
  2. Click Actions under the Links column.
  3. Two options appear (Trade or Chart). Click Trade.
  4. The Market Depth window appears showing bid and ask prices for the particular bond. If bid or ask prices are available, click Buy or Sell under the Action column to begin a trade. If bids are not available, request a bid using the instructions in the section below.
  1. Request a bid from the Market Depth window when trading from a position by clicking the green Request a Bid button, when available.
  2. If the Request a Bid button is not active and you wish to sell that security, click Sell for the quantity and price to sell.

 Alternatively, request a bid from the Bid Request tab.

  1. Go to the Bid Request tab on Schwab Advisor Center > Trading > Fixed Income > Bid Request.
  2. Select an account or master account.
  3. Select the security to request a bid.
  4. The bid request displays in the Bid Status table as Pending. Once your bid is available, the status changes to Ready and the Sell link activates.
  5. To begin a sell order, click Sell.

Search for upcoming new issue deals, submit orders, and edit or cancel orders prior to submission for new issue municipal bonds using the New Issues tab on the Fixed Income navigation menu.

To use the Municipal Calendar:

The Municipal Calendar allows review of upcoming deals in which Schwab may participate, place orders for most new issue municipal securities, access the Preliminary Official Statement (POS), review preliminary price and yield information once available for a new issue, search upcoming deals by a variety of criteria, see past deals in which Schwab has participated, and access the Official Statement.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > New Issues > Municipal Calendar
  2. Click Sign-up now! on the top right of the Search screen to sign up for new issue bond alerts. Use the drop-down search fields to filter the search (optional) by Calendar Period, Offering Type, State, and Taxable status. Click Search.
  3. New issue offerings Tooltip corresponding to the search criteria display on the calendar. The calendar contains filtering labels that can be used when researching or placing orders, including Order Taking Period, State (where the municipality issuing the bonds is located), Offering Type, Offering Description Tooltip , Expected Maturity Range, Expected S&P/Moody's rating, Expected Size ($), and Funding. Click POS to view statements for a complete tax status of each security. 
  4. Click the series description link to view the individual bonds by the maturities making up the series and to place an order once the order period begins.

To place an order through the New Issue Calendar:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > New Issues > Municipal Calendar.
  2. Once the order period begins, an active link appears in the Offering Description column of the Municipal Calendar. The order period for an issue may close at any time at the discretion of the underwriter(s). To place an order, click the link.
  3. A pop-up with details about the new issue offering displays. If a Call Trader label appears in the Action column, availability may have changed for the offering. Call the Advisor Fixed Income desk to place an order. If the offering is still available, a Buy link may be present. Click Buy in the row corresponding to the maturity date and coupon amount to purchase to place an order online.
  4. Enter an account and order details on the Order Entry screen, including face value, order type, and execution conditions. Click Review Order.
  5. Read all order messages at the bottom of the Order Verification screen and confirm your order details. Click Place Order.

Search available bonds and submit orders for new issue retail notes and preferred securities using the New Issues tab on the Fixed Income navigation menu.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > New Issues. Click Retail Notes or Preferred Securities.
  2. The system defaults to a Buy transaction. Enter any search criteria, including CUSIP Tooltip , Face Value, Maturity details, Price/Yield/Coupon Rate details, Rating selections, Payment Schedule, and Additional Filters. 
  3. Click Search.
  4. Review the search results. Edit search criteria and click Refresh Results.
  5. To save the search criteria, click Save Search. Name the search and click Save. To retrieve this search in the future, click the search name from the My Saved Searches drop-down box. 
  6. Click a link in the Description column for a security to purchase to display a pop-up with a security description Tooltip . Click View Disclosure in the pop-up to access important information about the offering.
  7. To buy the security, click Buy in the pop-up or in the Trade column of the Search Results table. If Call Trader appears in the Trade column, place your order through the Advisor Fixed Income desk.
  8. Enter your account and order details on the Order Entry screen, including face value, order type, and special conditions. Click Continue to View Disclosure.
  9. Review any order messages and disclosure details on the View Disclosure screen. Click Continue to Verify Order to place your order or Modify Order to go back and make edits.
  10. Review your order details and order edit messages on the Verify Order screen. Click Place Order to submit your order or Modify Order to go back and make edits.
  11. Review the confirmation message on the Order Confirmation screen. To exit, click Return to Search Page or Review Order Status.

View upcoming Treasury auctions and submit for new issue Treasury auctions using the New Issues tab on the Fixed Income navigation menu.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > New Issues > Treasury Auctions.
  2. A list of active Treasury auctions displays in the results table. Click the hyperlink in the Description column to access security description Tooltip details.
  3. To add a security to the Trade List, check the box in the Select column and click Buy Selected Investments. Click Return to Search Results to exit. Add and compare securities by adding them to the Trade List.
  4. Click Buy.
  5. Enter your account and order details on the Order Entry screen, including face value, order type, and special conditions. Click Continue to Verify Order.
  6. Review your order details and order edit messages on the Verify Order screen. Click Place Order to submit your order or Modify Order to go back and make edits.
  7. Review the confirmation message on the Order Confirmation screen. To exit, click Return to Search Page (or Return to Trade List) or Review Order Status.

Search for bonds and CDs in the Fixed Income navigation menu by selecting the specific product. The search results for bonds and CDs display up to 50 issues matching your search criteria.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > Investment Grade Bonds Tooltip or High Yield Bonds Tooltip . Refine your bond search criteria by CUSIP, Face Value, Maturity details, Price/Yield/Coupon Rate details, Rating selections, Payment Schedule, and Additional Filters.
  2. To search for CDs, click CDs. Search by state and account.
  3. If the bond or CD is available, a hyperlink displays in the search results table. Click the link to generate a pop-up with a security description Tooltip and trade history.

Place orders from the bond or CD Search Results page. A Buy or Sell link displays next to available quotes in the Search Results area during hours of operation. After market close, a Buy or Sell link with a corresponding arrow above displays, indicating the order can be placed for the next trading day.

The price of the bond or CD calculates when clicking the Buy or Sell link to initiate the order process and when verifying the order on the Order Entry screen. Change an order after verifying, or simply cancel without submitting the order.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > CDs.
  2. Click Buy or Sell in the Trade column next to the bond or CD or call the Advisor Fixed Income desk if the Call Trader label appears. The Order Entry screen appears pre-filled with data pertaining to the selected bond or CD.
  3. Find or browse for an account.
  4. Enter the order details:
    • Purchase (or Sell) Quantity.
    • Pricing Options—Only Limit Orders allowed at this time.
    • Settlement—Default settlement for Treasuries is the next business day (T+1). For new issues, the settlement date calculates and is displayed during order entry.
    • Special Conditions—All-or-None is the only condition offered online at this time.
  5. Click Continue to View Disclosure to verify or view disclosures for the order.
  6. View any disclosures associated with the bond or CD. Click Verify Order. Review any edit order messages and verify the order details.
  7. Click Place Order to submit to Schwab.

The Order Status tab displays the order status by account and date range. Only fixed income trades are viewable within the Order Status tab. To view a comprehensive order status for all trades placed at Schwab, access Order Status in the Equities, MF, Options page on the Web Trading platform.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Fixed Income > Order Status.
  2. Find or browse for an account.
  3. Define search parameters, including  CUSIP Tooltip , date range, instrument, and order status. 
  4. Click Search. All orders placed through the Fixed Income interface within the search parameters appear in a table at the bottom of the screen.
  5. The table provides details, including Trade (buy or sell), Status, Submit Time, Order Number, Quantity, Description, Settlement, Customer Price, and Order Type.

Once submitted a fixed income order cannot change. To attempt to change or cancel an order after it is submitted:

  1. Notify the Advisor Fixed Income desk of the order change or cancellation.
  2. To change a submitted fixed income order and rebill it to another account, go to the Cancel Rebill Request form to open the Forms & Applications page on Schwab Advisor Center. Click Select, and then Open PDF. Complete the form.
  3. For corrections occurring more than 10 days after booking and requiring an account holder's signature, the Advisor Fixed Income desk can confirm if the Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request form is needed. If required, go to the Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request form to open the Forms & Applications page on Schwab Advisor Center. Complete the form.
  4. Print the form(s) and, if required, obtain signatures from the account holder(s).
  5. Send the form(s) to the Advisor Fixed Income desk via a Schwab Advisor Center service request.
  • Keep in mind submitted orders go straight to market and no special handling is necessary. Schwab sends a trade confirmation to your client.
  • Allocate any unallocated block trades by 5 p.m. ET on the Web Trading platform. For instructions, see how to allocate trades in How to trade equities, mutual funds, and options through the Web Trading platform.
  • Check for important trading alerts regarding your orders.
  • Contact the Advisor Fixed Income desk for trading assistance. Contact Advisor Platform Support at 800-647-5465 for immediate support on day-to-day issues.
Form: Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request
Form: Cancel Rebill Request
Resource: Charles Schwab Pricing Guide

Within the search results, can I tell the source of the bond?
No. The online inventory represents information from Schwab as well as from other sources, including U.S. government primary dealers, municipal bond broker-dealers, and regional and national wire houses.

Does this system take the place of other third-party systems?
No. The fixed income search and trading system is complemented by other third-party search-only systems that may have different inventory sources than Schwab.

Can individuals at an advisor's office view bond inventory if they do not have trading authority?
Individuals without trading authority are able to view bond inventory if the firm security administrator has granted them access to client account information.

Are nonrated municipal bonds available through the Fixed Income interface?
Although Moody's and/or S&P rate the majority of municipal bond inventory offered through Schwab, from time to time, high yield municipal bonds may be posted without a rating. When this occurs, N/R displays on the line in the applicable Rating Service column. Call the Advisor Fixed Income desk to purchase nonrated municipal bonds.

How can I print the bond and CD disclosures?
Links to disclosures are available on the Security Details tab in the pop-up window. Click Official Statement/Material Events/Disclosures to access MuniDOCS or Summary Information to access MuniPOINTS information. Download and print both the MuniDOCS and MuniPOINTS reports. Print other disclosures by clicking Print at the top of the browser.

When does an advisor use the Advisor Fixed Income desk?
Calling the desk is appropriate for trades greater than $750,000. Call the Advisor Fixed Income desk whenever you see the Call Trader icon.

If an advisor finds bonds away from Schwab, can Schwab accommodate this type of trade?
Schwab can facilitate an advisor's trading done away through our Prime Broker and Trade Away services. These services allow advisors to execute a trade with another broker-dealer and settle that trade in an advisor's client accounts at Schwab.

How to trade equities, mutual funds, and options through the Web Trading platform
How to trade restricted and control securities
Introduction to equity trading
Introduction to fixed income trading
Introduction to investment research
Introduction to mutual fund trading
Introduction to Prime Broker transactions
Introduction to the Web Trading platform
Introduction to Trade Away service