Investing made easy the Charles Schwab way
Racks of brochures and fliers offer advice on how newcomers can use the Schwab service, -for instance through its own "StreetSmart" software that allows investors to trade via personal computer.
There is the possibility of human contact too: there are three desks with representatives waiting to offer advice to anyone uncertain about how to proceed. In no need of counselling is Peter Warnet, a computer consultant, who was in the neighbourhood and wanted to scan options prices on one of the terminals. He has been using Schwab for five years, and does most of his trading from home on his touch-tone phone.
"I like Schwab because basically it is just very convenient," says Mr Warnet, a living advertisment for the firm.
"I travel all over the country and wherever I go, there is an office. And it's big enough so I know they are going to be reliable".
He is a bit sheepish about how often he visits the offices and makes trades, but he admits it's several times a week.
Christopher Berkland is one of those behind the desks. He confirms the essential difference between Schwab and the traditional brokerage firms: he might give clients guidance on what kind of investment might be wise - mutual funds, perhaps, or straight stock purchases - but he will not make any picks. "I am not going to say you should buy X, Y or Z.".
The easy-to-use formula is indeed tempting. "To place and order please touch two", says the automated voice on the trade phone. Two is duly touched, but then a real voice comes on. Better stop there.
There are 207 other branches like this out there on Main Streets all over the US, making Schwab the biggest discount brokerage firm in the land, with 44 per cent of the market.
With its brand of no-pressure selling and use of cutting-edge technology, the company accumulated $27bn of customer assets last year and took in 800,000 new accounts. Its own share values have soared, rising nearly fivefold in the last four years.
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Queen to miss Nelson Mandela funeral over security and long-haul flight concerns
'Never a good time to increase MPs' pay': Jack Straw defends politicians' 11% pay rise in face of public outrage
The 'terrorist' and the Tories: What did Nelson Mandela really think of Margaret Thatcher?
Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...