Charles Schwab corp. is the largest publicly traded brokerage firm in the United States with $7.5 trillion in client assets and is a leading provider of financial advisory services, among the leading asset managers of exchange-traded funds and one of the largest banks.

“It would be fair to characterize Charles Schwab as a financial services supermarket,” Michael Wong, director of North American equity and financial services research at Morningstar, told CNBC. “Whatever you want, you can find it on the Charles Schwab platform.”

Over the decades, Charles Schwab has helped revolutionize low-cost investing while surviving market crashes and fierce competition — even as the game moves toward zero commissions in 2019.

“It’s basically a business of scale. The bigger you are, the more cost-efficient you are,” Alex Fitch, portfolio manager of the Oakmark Select Fund and the Oakmark Equity and Income Fund, which invests at Charles Schwab, told CNBC. “It allows you to lower prices.”

Various aspects of Charles Schwab’s business compete with many legacy full-service brokers and investment bankers, including Fidelity, Edward Jones, Interactive Brokers, Stifel, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS. And in the fintech market, it has to contend with the likes of Robinhood, Ally Financial and SoFi.

That mela hit a tipping point in 2019 when Charles Schwab announced it was cutting commissions on stock, ETF and options trades to zero, matching the fees offered by Robinhood when it entered the market in 2014.

Other companies quickly followed suit and cut fees, hurting TD Ameritrade’s business enough that Charles Schwab eventually acquired it two months later for $26 billion.

Charles Schwab was among the firms that benefited from growth in retail investment over the year the coronavirus pandemicand now faces the consequences of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes.

That’s because of Charles Schwab’s huge banking business, which generates revenue from sweep accounts, which are when the firm uses money left over in investors’ portfolios and reinvests it in securities such as Treasuries to help make a profit.

Charles Schwab told CNBC that he could not attend the documentary.

Follow up video above to learn more about how Charles Schwab has battled the ever-evolving financial services market—from fees to fintechs—and how the reward doesn’t come without risk.

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