How to understand your Charles Schwab 401k Account Summary

Do you have a complaint against Charles Schwab because of your 401k account summary?

Does your statement not reflect your recent investments? Maybe you are just not happy with your Charles Schwab 401k account summary and you are trying to understand the statement. No matter what the reason, we are going to explore how to understand your Charles Schwab 401k account summary.

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How to Read & Review Your Statement

What's Included in Your Account Summary

Your 401k statement is usually twenty or more pages long depending on your number of investments. The statement is relatively easy to understand at a glance which is a huge benefit if you don’t want to read all the fine print.

Every Charles Schwab 401 account statement contains the following 401k help information:

  • All changes concerning your total investment account value
  • Gain and loss on your investments
  • Overall cost basis info
  • Market insights and how they affect your investments
  • Info on how to access your account online for further information

The Market Monitor and Performance Comparisons 

Market monitor lets you look over the market rate information that has relevance to your own unique investments. You’ll see two indictor lists that show the market performance and lets you compare the performance of your own portfolio investments. Remember, these do not include any reinvestment dividends or distributions.

Account Changes Including Deposits, Withdrawals, and Transactions 

The change in the account value section organizes your transaction types and gives details. You’ll see the sections for Deposits & Withdrawals plus the Transaction details.

Purchases and Changes 

The next sections are the Cash Value of Purchases and Sales plus the Investments Purchased/Sold located in the Change in Account Value. Please remember that your purchases and sales for investments will not affect your account value. If you have money market dividends, then remember that they will always be automatically reinvested.

Changes in the Value of Your Investments 

Market growth and decline are featured in this section of your statement. It is completely calculated so you can better understand it when you are reading the information. All deposit effects, fees, withdrawals, transfers, and any income that has not been reinvested.

Accrued Information

On this page of your Charles Schwab statement, you are going to find all the accrued income information such as the estimated dividends and your investment’s accrued interest. You’ll notice the ‘Ending Value with Accrued Income’ section which is printed only for reference and is not a part of your account value. There is a snapshot of all your account changes that have occurred in the last 12 months. In addition, you’ll the Asset Composition which is a clear portfolio that shows details and charts so you can manage and understand your risk so you can determine your long-term goals. There is a column that displays each investment’s percentage so you can see its value in your account. You can see the figures in the statement’s overview pie chart that is located on the righthand side of the page. There are also gains and losses in relation to your account.

Income and Margin Account 

A complete Income Summary is displayed that shows your account activity.  You’ll see the current period reflected plus the year-to-date. It displays both your federally taxable and tax-exempt income. Your cash dividends which include your short-term capital gains and your cash divides are listed. If a bond was purchased, then you’ll see the interest that was paid when it was purchased. Margin loan interest is also listed in this section. Many find this section important because they can deduct their margin loan interests. If you want to learn more about margin loan interest at Charles Schwab then please visit their section margin loans. Also, next to the margin loans’ section is the amount of money you can withdraw or borrow from your account. Securities Buying Power also appears by the margin loans. However, not everyone has this feature in their account so it may or may not be on your statement.

Current Assets 

You’ll see the Cost Basis section that shows how much was paid for the investment, fees, adjustments, and commissions. The Adjusted Cost Basis reflects the amortized cost basis for premium bonds and the accreted cost basis of discount bonds. Also, you will see a section called Unrealized Gain or Loss which reflects the increase or decrease of the stocks or investments that have not been sold.  The Yield to Maturity section shows the average annual return on any of your fixed-income investments if they are held to maturity. It also reflects the interest payments that are reinvested. The accrued interest is the interest that has been accrued but not received yet.

In this section you will see these three things:

  • Estimated Yield reflects the annual interest on any bond that is divided by the amount it cost and is displayed as a percentage.
  • Estimated Annual Income which is a forecast of possible dividend income for the next year.
  • Total Cost Basis is the amount that was paid for the investment which is then calculated at a category, sub-category, and account level.

Information for Tax Planning and Necessary Reporting

The Realized Gain or Loss appears for all the investments that you have sold only during the statement period. You can use this valuable information for tax planning and preparation. Data is clearly displayed in one easy-to-read record. The Cost Basis shows your investments, commissions, adjustments, and fees. The Adjusted Cost Basis shows bonds purchased at a discount. The Gain or Loss is also reflected on this page.

Transactions

Monthly Transactions

Several pages of monthly transactions appear that outline the following:

  • Transaction Details
  • Purchases and Sales
  • Deposits and Withdrawals
  • Dividends and Interest
  • Fees and Charges
  • Transfers
  • Money Fund Details

Pending Transactions

This page of the Charles Schwab statement is dedicated to pending transactions. You’ll see everything that was not settled before the statement period. Pending Corporate Actions are also shown that remain pending. Open orders are also outlined on this page. These transactions do not appear in your Ending Account Value section.

Contacting Customer Service

If you have questions about your Charles Schwab statement or you need 401k help, please call 1-800-515-2157 or your investment advisor.

Okay, are none of these contact options working? Now what?

If you cannot figure out your Charles Schwab statement, you have tried calling customer service or contacting your advisor to get answers, but you are getting nowhere then it’s time to explore other options. If you plan on filing a claim against Charles Schwab,  let us help you file a claim so you can avoid the hassle of phone calls, emails, and long, drawn-out chat logs.

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