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.
- 1 Scientists create transparent mouse complete with see-through organs
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 Amazonian Indian tribe filmed making contact with Brazil village in rare video footage
Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Kenny Ireland dead: Benidorm actor dies aged 68
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Putin v Obama: Russian deputy prime minister mocks president with catty pictures on Twitter
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...