How to trade equities, mutual funds, and options through the Web Trading platform

How to trade equities, mutual funds, and options through the Web Trading platform

You can perform most equity, mutual fund, and option trades efficiently on the Schwab Advisor Center® Web Trading platform.

For general trading information, requirements, extended hours, and parameters for trading by telephone or U.S. Mail, see Introduction to equity tradingIntroduction to mutual fund trading, and Introduction to options trading.

Schwab also offers Prime Broker and Trade Away services if you want to trade equities through other Broker-dealers. Prime Broker and Trade Away trades can be allocated on the Web Trading platform.

To trade equities, mutual funds, and options, you will need:

All accounts
  • Read data Tooltip access, Download data Tooltip access, Trade data Tooltip access, and Upload data Tooltip access functions on the appropriate master account(s) or custom group(s)
  • Trade Online Tooltip , Access Web Trading Tooltip , and Complete Mutual Fund Trading Tooltip security functions
  • Alert preferences set to receive Trading alerts Tooltip
  • Your firm name and master account
  • Information about the accounts in which you are trading
  • Security (ticker) symbol or name for each security you want to trade
In addition to the information above, the following transaction-specific information may be required:
Cancel or rebill a closed/executed trade order
  • If the order was executed within the previous 10 days, a completed Cancel Rebill Request form
  • If the order was executed more than 10 days earlier, a completed Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request
Trading options
  • Authorization to trade options Tooltip for related master and sub-accounts

Before trading equities, mutual funds, or options, you can set default parameters to save time when you use the Web Trading platform.

To set your trading preferences:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center, and then to EquityMFOptions > Order Entry > Trading Preferences & Quick Links on the top right of the Manual Order Entry screen. Click Trading Preferences.
  2. On the General Settings tab, select your default preferences for each category listed.
  3. Click the Error Message Suppression tab to view and suppress certain trade order error messages in this workflow to help you quickly review trade orders before submission. If you do suppress error messages, you assume the risk and financial consequences.
  4. Click Save and then click Close.

Most trades for equities, mutual funds, and options can be entered directly on the Web Trading platform. Within the platform, you can enter trade orders from the Manual Order Entry screen, the Trade From Positions screen, and the Watch List screen.

To enter trade orders from the Manual Order Entry screen:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Entry.
  2. From the Manual Order Entry screen, find or browse for an account at the firm, master, sub-account, or custom group level. The Firm view toggle, located at the top left of the page, defaults to off. To trade on the firm level, click Firm view, enabling you to select some or all masters on which to trade. You can only select masters with trading authority. The total account value, including cash and cash equivalents, will display. Click View Balances to view balance and buying power details for the account.
  3. The platform defaults to Equities and Market Session. If you want to execute your trade during the extended-hours trading session for equities, select Pre-Market or After Hours from the Session field drop-down menu. If you select Option, select an Option Strategy. If you select Mutual Fund, select a Trade Type.
  4. In the Symbol field, type a symbol, use the Lookup link, or click the drop-down arrow, and then select one of the holdings in the account. To view the options chain, after entering the symbol, click the space bar. Left-click to select a contract.
  5. Select an Action, Quantity, Order Type including Trailing Order Type, Timing (equities and options), and other information requested for that type of trade. For equity trades, click Shares Calculator and the system will calculate the number of shares for a specific dollar amount. If you selected a linked mutual funds Tooltip order trade type, additional fields display so you can enter information for the linked funds. For Single, Order by Master Account, and Order by Client Account trade types, you can use the Optional Swap feature to apply proceeds from sells toward the purchase of another fund.
  6. Quote details display on the right of the Order Details screen. The following links provide additional information:
    • Select Fund Facts & Fees for mutual fund trading and market information.
    • Select Refresh to obtain the latest real-time quote.
    • Select Impact on Balances to check the remaining cash balance after the trade.
    • Select Specify Lots to provide specific lot instructions if you do not want the system default of first in, first out.
  7. To include additional qualifiers on your equity order, click the Advanced Order Fields link and Discretionary, Minimum Quantity and enter the quantity, All or None, or Do Not Reduce.
  8. When the order details are complete, perform one of the following actions:
    • Click Clear to clear the fields and start over.
    • Click Add to Blotter to move the order to the blotter. Orders added to the blotter are not transmitted for execution until submitted.
    • Click Validate Order (optional, but recommended) to check for trade edits without submitting the order and make corrections ahead of time. On the Validation Messages pop-up window, review and correct any trade edits. Hard edits are highlighted in red and informational edits are highlighted in yellow. Click Edit Order to go back and edit the trade details. Click Ok and Add to Blotter to move the trade to the blotter. Click Submit Order to send the trade to Schwab.
    • Click Place Order to send the trades to Schwab.
  9. From the blotter, review and make any necessary changes to your trade orders. Double-click an order to modify the order details or check the box corresponding to the trade and click Duplicate or Edit to make changes.
  10. Click Validate (optional but recommended) to check for trade edits.
  11. Click Submit to send the order to Schwab for execution. Click Yes to confirm your submission.
  12. Review the contents of the Submission pop-up window and click OK.
  13. Hard edits are highlighted on the blotter in red and informational edits are highlighted in yellow. From the blotter, click the highlighted trade, and then click Msg Summary. Be sure to review each edit message. Trades with informational edits may be submitted without further action. Trades with hard edits may not be submitted until the problem is corrected. Make the correction, if necessary, and submit the trade or delete it.

If you want to trade a security held by an account, you can also use the Trade From Positions screen. Extended-hours trades cannot be placed using this feature.

To enter trade orders from the Trade From Positions screen:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Entry.
  2. From the Trade From Positions screen, find or browse for an account at the firm, master, sub-account, or custom group order. The Firm view toggle, located at the top left of the page, defaults to off. To trade on the firm level, click Firm view, enabling you to select some or all masters on which to trade. You can only select masters with trading authority. If you have manually entered orders, the trade blotter will open automatically. Positions for the account are displayed. You can also search for all accounts with a particular holding. After selecting the master account, enter the ticker symbol and then click Apply Filters. The system loads all accounts for that master that hold that position.

    Note: You cannot search for mutual fund trades tied to a master on the Trade From Positions screen. You can only search for mutual fund trades by sub-account. To trade mutual funds from a master account, on the Manual Order Entry tab, select the Mutual Fund security type and Order by Master Account trade type. Or you can create an import trade file. To create an import trade file, see the How to import a trade order file section below.
  3. Select a security from the drop-down box or enter a symbol, and then apply the filter. In the Positions Summary, click the drop-down box in the Action column for the security and enter the quantity you want to trade, or click Sell All.
  4. When finished, click Add to Trade Blotter, then click Yes to confirm. This will send the trade information to the blotter on the Manual Order Entry screen for validation and submission.

To enter a trade order from the Watch List screen:

  1. From the Watch List screen, select a list from the View Watchlist drop-down menu and select the security, or enter or look up a symbol in the Display box.
  2. The security appears in the Watchlist grid. You can view various details about the security within the Watchlist tab. The CUSIP is found on the Fundamentals grid.
  3. To trade the security, click Actions in the Links column on any of the grids, and then click Trade. The Manual Order Entry screen opens. Complete your order details.

Instead of manually entering orders, you can import a file containing trade orders to the Web Trading platform, and then add, edit, and delete the orders. You can import trade files with up to 9,999 trades. Anything over 9,999 trades (i.e., 10,000+) will need to be divided into two or more files.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Import Trade Files.
  2. Click Import File Specifications to open the Web Trading File Specifications document. Follow the instructions to format your trade file for import. The file must be saved as a CSV (comma-separated value) file.
  3. Click Import File(s), locate the file on your computer, and select your file from the window. Click Open.
  4. Your orders will appear on the Import Trade Blotter.
  5. Click Add Order to add one-off orders on the Import Trade Blotter. Select the security type and timing, and then enter your trade information. Click Add to BlotterValidate Order, or Submit Order to process these additional orders.
  6. Click Validate to review all orders on the blotter for trade edits. Hard edits are highlighted in red and informational edits are highlighted in yellow. Trades with informational edits may be submitted without further action. Trades with hard edits must be corrected before you can submit the order.
  7. Click View/Filter to view a summary of the different trade edits and then filter the problem orders by trade edit(s) on the blotter, where you can correct the errors or delete the problem trades. When finished, click clear all filters at the bottom of the screen.
  8. To edit an order, highlight the row, and then click Edit Selected Order. Make the edit and click Save EditsValidate Order, or Submit.
  9. To delete an order on the Import Trade Blotter, highlight the row, and then click Delete. Click Selected Row(s) or Entire Worksheet. Click Yes to confirm.

When you sell shares, the system default selects lots on a first in, first out (FIFO) basis, unless the account default has been changed. The Web Trading platform offers several options to specify trade lots: from the Manual Order Entry screen, the Lot Instructions tab, and the Order Status tab. Each trade order can include up to 20 lot instructions, for more than 20 lots contact the Cost Basis Team. Lot instructions can only be assigned up to and including the settlement date of a trade; after the settlement date we are unable to specify lots. The Lot Instructions tab also allows you to import a file with bulk lot instructions for up to 9,999 submitted equity and mutual fund trade orders. For more than 9,999 (i.e., 10,000+) trade orders, you must create at least two files.

To specify lots on the Manual Order Entry screen:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Entry.
  2. On the Manual Order Entry tab, enter your order details, and then click View/Specify Lots. The Specify Lots screen appears.
  3. Click Enter lots. Enter the number of shares from each lot you want to sell in the Share Quantity to Match column.
  4. Click Update Order.

To import a lot instructions file:

  1. Follow the formatting instructions in the Web Trading File Specifications and create your import file.
  2. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Lot Instructions.
  3. Click Import File(s). Locate and select your file, then click Open. Click Yes to proceed with the import.
  4. When complete, your records will display on the blotter. Records with format errors will be highlighted. The error message displays when the record is clicked.
  5. Click Validate or Submit. The system will not submit problem records and you cannot edit them from the Lot Instructions tab. Edit problem records in the Order Status tab, or delete them and upload a new file with the corrected records.
  6. To delete a record, click Delete, and then click Yes to confirm.

To specify lots on the Order Status tab:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Status.
  2. Find or browse for an account at the firm, master, sub-account, or custom group level.
  3. Retrieve open orders using the various filter options, including date, status, action, time limit, security type, CUSIP, and user ID. Click Apply Filter. The orders and the trade details appear in the Order Status grid.
  4. Check the box in the row corresponding to the order for which you want to provide lot instructions.
  5. Click Specify Lots. This will launch an overlay with your trade details populated in the header.
  6. Choose the lots you wish to assign to the order, and then click Submit.

Prior to or after submitting Equity, ETF, or Options block trades, you must allocate them to sub-accounts. Schwab must receive trade allocations by 5 p.m. ET on the same day of the trade. If your trade is not allocated in a timely manner, Schwab reserves the right to close your position after settlement date. You can allocate trades from the Allocations tab or the Order Status tab.

On the Allocations tab, you can allocate block trades submitted on the Order Entry screen, import a block trade allocation file and allocate those trades, create and allocate a new block trade, allocate Prime Broker trades, and export an allocation file with Schwab trades or Prime Broker trades.

Do not use the Trade Away workflow on the Allocations tab to notify Schwab of your trade-away trades. Trade-away trade notification is handled through the Activity tab. See How to track and manage Trade Away trades for instructions.

To allocate Schwab block trades from the Allocations tab:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Allocations.
  2. Select Schwab Trade, and then select a Master Account from the drop-down menu.
  3. Add trades to the list using one of the following methods:
    • To allocate one block trade at a time, click Select Unallocated Block Trades. An overlay is displayed with the block trade information. Click Select to bring the trade into the Allocation Worksheet.
    • To import a block trade allocation file, follow the Web Trading File Specifications. You can import a file with or without lot instructions. When you are ready to import, click Import Multiple Trade Allocations. Select the file, and then click Open and Continue. The records will appear on the Allocations Worksheet and a success message will display.
    • To create a new block trade and allocate it, click Create Block Trade. Select a Security type, Symbol, and Action, and enter a quantity. A summary of the trade appears at the top of the worksheet. Click View in Order Status to see the trade details on the Order Status tab.
    • Click Add Account to add a new sub-account. Select one of the options from the drop-down menu. The selected account will populate the worksheet. If you know the account number, type it in the account column.
  4. Enter a share allocation amount in the Client Allocations column, or click Apply an Allocation Method to distribute the allocation evenly across all accounts or as a percentage of the account value. Click Insert Row to add an account. Click Delete, and then select whether you want to delete one row, all rows with errors, or the entire worksheet. When all shares have been allocated, the Validate and Submit buttons are activated.
  5. To export your allocation file, click Export on the top right of your worksheet. In the pop-up window, select Export as Displayed or Export Allocation File, and then click Export. In the dialog box at the bottom of your screen, select OpenSave, or Cancel. Your file will be saved in a comma-separated value (CSV) format.
  6. Click Validate to review the orders for trade edits and correct the edits before submitting.
  7. Click Submit, and then select Submit Allocation & Create Block TradeCreate Block Trade Only, or Submit Allocation Only. Click Yes to confirm. A success message will appear, confirming the number of shares and allocations. If you submit the allocation only, be sure to return to the Order Entry screen and submit the block trades.

To allocate Prime Broker trades:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Allocations.
  2. Click Prime Broker, and then select a Master Account from the drop-down menu.
  3. Add trades to the list using one of the following methods:
    • To allocate only Prime Broker block trades, click Select Prime Broker Trades to Allocate. An overlay is displayed with the block trade information. Click Select to bring the trade into the Allocation Worksheet.
    • To import a file that contains Prime Broker and Schwab block trade allocations, follow the formatting instructions in the Web Trading File Specifications. You can import a file with or without lot instructions. When you are ready to import, click Import Multiple Trade Allocations. Select the file, and then click Open and Continue. The records will appear on the Allocations Worksheet and a success message will display.
    • To enter Prime Broker trade information, click Create Manual Allocation. Complete all the fields marked with an asterisk (*). Click Allocate.
  4. A summary of the trade appears at the top of the worksheet. Click View in Order Status to see the trade details on the Order Status tab. You can edit trade details you have imported.
  5. Click Add Account to add a new sub-account. Select one of the options from the drop-down menu. The selected accounts will populate the worksheet.
  6. Enter a share allocation amount in the Client Allocations column, or click Apply an Allocation Method to distribute the allocation evenly across all accounts or as a percentage of the account value. Click Insert Row to add an account. Click Delete, and then select whether you want to delete one row, all rows with errors, or the entire worksheet. When all shares have been allocated, the Validate and Submit buttons are activated.
  7. To export your allocation file, click Export on the top right of your worksheet. In the pop-up window, select Export as Displayed or Export Allocation File, then click Export. In the dialog box at the bottom of your screen, select OpenSave, or Cancel. Your file will be saved in a comma-separated value (CSV) format.
  8. Click Validate to review the order for trade errors and correct before submitting.
  9. Click Submit, and then select Submit Allocation & Create Block TradeCreate Block Trade Only, or Submit Allocation Only. Click Yes to confirm. A success message will appear confirming the number of shares and allocations. If you submit the allocation only, be sure to return to the Order Entry screen and submit the block trades.

To allocate trades from the Order Status tab:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Status.
  2. Find or browse for an account at the firm, master, sub-account, or custom group level.
  3. Retrieve unallocated orders using the various filter options, including date, status, action, time limit, security type, CUSIP, and user ID. Click Apply Filter. The order(s) and the trade details will appear on the Order Status grid.
  4. Check the box in the row corresponding to the order you want to allocate.
  5. Click Allocate Order. You will be taken to the Allocation Worksheet tab with the trade details populated automatically.
  6. Click Add Account to add a new sub-account. Select one of the options from the drop-down menu. The selected accounts will populate the worksheet.
  7. Enter a share allocation amount in the Client Allocations column, or click Apply an Allocation Method to distribute the allocation evenly across all accounts or as a percentage of the account value. Click Insert Row to add an account. Click Delete, and then select which rows you want to delete. When all shares have been allocated, the Validate and Submit buttons are activated.
  8. To export your allocation file, click Export on the top right of your worksheet. In the pop-up window, select Export as Displayed or Export Allocation File, then click Export. In the dialog box at the bottom of your screen, select OpenSave, or Cancel. Your file will be saved in a comma-separated value (CSV) format.
  9. Click Validate to review the order for trade errors and correct before submitting.
  10. Click Submit. Click Yes to confirm. A success message will appear, confirming the number of shares and allocations.

You can view open and recently executed trade orders for all security types placed through all Schwab trading channels, including orders placed by telephone and Schwab Alliance, on the Order Status tab. You can also print an order report using the default or a customized format.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Status.
  2. Find or browse for an account at the firm, master, sub-account, or custom group level.
  3. Retrieve orders using the various filter options, including date, status, action, time limit, security type, symbol(s)/CUSIP(s), and user ID. Click Apply Filter. The order(s) and the trade details will appear in the Order Status grid. The Order Status column will show orders as Open, Partially Filled, Filled, Cancel Pending, Canceled, and Voided.
  4. To customize your order report, click Customize. From the pop-up window, select the columns you want included in or excluded from your report.
  5. To print your order report, click Print.

Before placing orders, exercise caution. Once you have placed a market or limit order, it may not be possible to cancel or change it. Any attempt you make to cancel an order is simply a request to cancel. Schwab processes your requests to cancel or change an order on a best efforts basis only, and Schwab will not be liable if it is unable to cancel or change the order.

Market orders are subject to immediate execution, and, as a general rule, cannot be canceled once trading begins. If you wish to try to cancel or change your market order, call the Trading desk. Canceling and replacing or changing a market order through the Web Trading platform can result in the execution of duplicate orders. If an order cannot be canceled or changed, you will be bound by the results of the original order you placed.

To change or cancel an open equity or option trade order:

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Status.
  2. Find or browse for a firm, master, or individual account, or a custom group.
  3. Retrieve orders using the various filter options, including date, status, action, time limit, security type, CUSIP, and user ID. Click Apply Filter. The orders and the trade details will appear in the Order Status grid.
  4. Check the box in the row corresponding to the equity or option order you want to change or cancel.
  5. To change the order, click Change Order. Make your edits and click Submit. If the change request generates any error messages, the Order Message box appears. Correct the change request, if necessary, and resubmit. You can only change one order at a time. The order change request cancels the existing order and creates a new one. This may change the precedence of the original order on the exchange.
  6. To cancel the order, click Cancel Order(s). A confirmation message appears. Click OK. You can cancel multiple orders at a time.
  7. You can then retrieve your open orders to verify the change or cancel request by clicking Refresh or Apply filter.

Note: You can attempt to change or cancel an extended-hours order within the same extended-hours session, as long as your order has not already been executed. If an extended-hours order is not executed, it will automatically be canceled at the end of that extended-hours trading session. You cannot change an extended-hours order to a standard market hours order.

To cancel an open mutual fund order:

A mutual fund order cannot be changed once executed. It must be canceled and then reentered as a new order.

  1. Go to the Trading page on Schwab Advisor Center > Equity, MF, Options > Order Status.
  2. Find or browse for a firm, master, or individual account, or a custom group.
  3. Retrieve orders using the various filter options, including date, status, action, time limit, security type, CUSIP, and user ID. Click Apply Filter. The orders and the trade details will appear in the Order Status grid.
  4. Check the box in the row corresponding to the mutual fund order you want to cancel.
  5. To cancel the order, click Cancel Order(s). A confirmation message appears. Click OK. You can cancel multiple orders at a time.
  6. You can then retrieve your open orders to verify the cancel request by clicking Refresh or Apply filter.

To cancel and rebill a closed/executed trade order:

  1. To cancel and rebill an executed mutual fund trade, notify the Mutual Fund Trading desk. Notification to Trade Error Resolution Request (TERR) team may also be necessary.
  2. To cancel and rebill an executed equity or options trade, contact your Equity Trading desk.
  3. If the equity or options trade was executed within the previous 10 days, go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and search for Cancel Rebill Request. Complete the form, print it, and fax it to the Post Execution team at 877-429-4709
  4. If the equity or options trade was executed 10 or more days earlier, the Post Execution team will determine whether you need the account holders’ signatures and the Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request. If this form is required, go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center, search for Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request, and print the form. Complete it and fax it to the Post Execution team at 877-429-4709.

To change or cancel an executed order without a rebill:

Notify the Trade Corrections desk immediately at 800-367-5198Option #6.

After you have submitted your trade orders: 

  • Keep in mind that submitted orders go straight to market. No special handling is necessary.
  • You should allocate any unallocated block trades by 5 p.m. ET.
  • For orders reallocated or canceled after posting, the Trading desk will call you to confirm the trade was canceled or reallocated successfully. No further action is necessary. 
  • Contact the Trading desk for help with trading. Contact Advisor Platform Support at 800-647-5465 for immediate support on day-to-day technical issues.

To select a form, go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center.

Form: Addendum to Cancel Rebill Request
Form: Cancel Rebill Request
Resource: About extended-hours trading
Resource: What's New 

When submitting trades through the Web Trading platform, is it necessary for me to reconfirm with the Trading desk?
No, but you should check the Order Status tab, which will be updated as the order is being processed. If you have any doubt about a particular trade, call the Trading desk.

Does the Web Trading platform show the status of orders placed by phone?
Yes. The Order Status tab shows the status of all trades placed, regardless of the channel used to place them.

How do I know if a cancel or change request is successful?
After you cancel or change an open order, go to the Order Status tab and retrieve orders for the account. A canceled order will show as canceled. A changed order will show a canceled order and a new order. Refresh the order status or apply filter. If you cancel or change a closed trade order, the Trading desk will call you to confirm your request was successfully processed. If you have further questions about a cancel or order change, or have any doubts about a particular trade, call the Trading desk.

Is information about balances and positions in real time?
Yes. Balances and positions for equities and options retrieved through the Web Trading platform are updated in real time. Open mutual fund orders are not reflected in balances in real time. Mutual fund sell proceeds and debits from purchases are reflected the next day.

Can I submit an allocation list before submitting the block trade?
Yes. After you have entered or imported your allocation list into the worksheet in the Web Trading platform, click Create Order. The allocation list total quantity is used to create the block trade order on the Order List screen. If you submit the allocation list first, be sure to submit your associated trade order prior to market close or your allocation may be deleted.

The system deletes the information on the Allocations Worksheet when you exit the page. Click Export to save the worksheet.

When are trade allocations due to the Schwab Trading desk?
Schwab must receive all client account trade allocations from block trades no later than 5 p.m. ET on the same day the block trade is executed.

When should Schwab receive my trades in order to be processed that day?
Equity, options, and most mutual fund trades must be received before market close at 4 p.m. ET. Some mutual fund companies require that trades be received earlier. For example, some Profund symbols have trade cutoffs of 3:00, 3:30, or 3:50 p.m. ET. Refer to the Schwab Advisor Center Research tab or ask the Trading desk what time trades are due for a particular mutual fund.

What happens if some records are corrupted while importing multiple files?
If any records in an imported file cannot be processed, an error message will display on the Import Trade Files tab indicating the bad file and record. The entire file will be rejected and you will have to fix the record before trying to re-import the data. All subsequent files in the import process will continue to be processed.

How to add features to an account
How to track and manage Trade Away trades
How to work with alerts
Introduction to equity trading
Introduction to mutual fund trading
Introduction to options trading
Introduction to Prime Broker transactions
Introduction to the Activity tab in Schwab Advisor Center®
Introduction to the Web Trading platform
Introduction to Trade Away service