Schwab Q1 ETF Assets Jumped 7% on Rising Market

Total platform ETF assets top $2 trillion and total client assets top $9 trillion.

Wealth Management Editor
Reviewed by: Staff
Edited by: Ron Day

Charles Schwab Corp., the fifth-largest ETF issuer, said first-quarter proprietary ETF assets increased by 7% over the previous period to $343 billion as asset management businesses ride a wave of strong stock market performance.

The Westlake, Texas-based financial services conglomerate, which holds $339.9 billion in 30 exchange-traded funds, reported that its ETF assets jumped 22% jump from last year's first quarter. The gains were in stride with expectations from market analysts. Total ETFs assets, including non-proprietary funds, at grew to over $2 trillion, up 10% from the previous quarter and up 28% from a year ago.

Schwab is the second major ETF issuer to report first-quarter earnings, following New York-based BlackRock Inc., which reported a 22% increase in ETF assets over the past year. Overall, Schwab reported first-quarter net revenues of $4.7 billion, reflecting a 6% increase over the prior quarter. The company reported per share earnings of 74 cents, which beat estimates by a penny. 

“These are pretty positive numbers, and they continue to benefit from the market tailwinds,” said Michael Elliott, an analyst at CRFA. Elliott, who is bullish on Schwab, described the report as “positive,” thanks largely to “strong growth in asset management fees.”

Schwab stock jumped nearly 4% today and has gained 41% over the past year. Schwab shares are held in 222 ETFs, which hold 178.1 million shares. The largest allocation is the 5.3% held by the IShares U.S. Broker-Dealers & Securities Exchanges ETF (IAI).

Schwab’s proprietary ETFs represent 17% of the $9.1 trillion in total client assets. According to the earnings report, total client assets grew by 9.6% during the first quarter and are up 28% from the first quarter last year.

Elliott said a key driver to Schwab’s financial performance is the net interest revenue totaling $2.3 billion during the quarter on an average yield of 2.02%, which is up from 1.9% during the fourth quarter but down from 2.2% a year ago.

That revenue stream, representing about half of the company’s total revenues, has been impacted by a gradual movement of money sitting in low-yielding cash accounts into higher yielding accounts as interest rates moved higher. But Elliott believes that trend is slowing and the $33.8 billion sitting in cash and cash equivalents is stabilizing after dropping from $37 billion during the same quarter last year.

“That cash realignment activity will continue to decelerate,” he said.

Jeff Benjamin is the wealth management editor at, responsible for coverage related to the financial planning industry. This includes writing, hosting podcasts, webinars, video interviews and presenting at in-person events.

Jeff is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years’ experience covering the financial markets. He has won more than two dozen national and regional awards for his reporting. He most recently worked as a senior columnist at InvestmentNews where he wrote about investment products and strategies, as well as the broader financial planning industry. Prior to that, Jeff worked as an analyst at Cerulli Associates where he researched and wrote reports on the alternative investments industry. Jeff also worked as a money management reporter at Dow Jones Newswires, where he covered the mutual fund industry.

Based in North Carolina, Jeff is a former Marine and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.