What is an SDBA?

 The Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA) is offered through Schwab. The SDBA is for knowledgeable investors who acknowledge and understand the risks associated with many of the investment choices available through Schwab. This option allows you to invest in most New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and NASDAQ listed stocks, ETFs, corporate and government bonds, and registered mutual funds including no transaction fee and no-load funds.

How do I open an SDBA?

  1. Go to www.schwab.com/pcraopen.

  2. Input the following information along with your Social Security number:

    • Retirement Plan ID: CITYOFLA

    • Password: sdba

  3. Follow the steps to complete the online Roth or non-Roth Application.

  4. Once you click Submit, you will receive your new account number instantly on the screen, and you’ll be automatically re-directed to Schwab.com. Make sure to save your account number for later reference.

  5. Once on Schwab.com, you will be directed to register for online access.

  6. Your account is now open and you can begin researching investment opportunities. You will receive welcome materials from Schwab in a few days. You will be able to transfer funds to your SDBA account starting on the third business day after account open. The minimum initial transfer amount is $1,000. For subsequent transfers the minimum is $250; however, you must maintain a minimum of $2,500 in your Plan account balance at all times. You may transfer a portion of your Plan account to the SDBA all at once or from time to time, subject to certain restrictions. Contact the Service Center at 844-523-2457 or visit the Plan account website to initiate a transfer.

Day 1

Open your SDBA




Day 3

Transfer funds from Plan account to SDBA. (First Transfer: $1,000 minimum, thereafter $250 minimum) 




Day 5

Funds available for investment at Schwab. 

To learn more about the SDBA, please contact a local Retirement Counselor at 213-978-1601.