Charles Schwab

Above L to R: Back: Andrea Collins, Mark Gregory, Marc Myers, Kevin Khu, Daniel Osorio, Christian Masariego | Front: JJ Johnson, Casey Mervine, Lisa Quartarone, Nicole Novales

Since its founding in 1971, Charles Schwab has given clients the tools, resources and investment advice needed to secure their financial futures. The firm’s goal is to be a trusted leader in investment services—by supporting clients and also investing in the success of employees and the communities where it operates.

What industry recognition makes you proud?

We take pride that we continue to earn high praise from third parties for our heritage of innovation, modern wealth management capabilities and customer service. Some of these awards include: The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Full-Service Brokerage Firms – Highest in Investor Satisfaction, #1 Online Broker Overall 2023 by Investor’s Business Daily, and the 2023–2024 Best Investing Platform Overall by U.S. News & World Report. We know we’re doing right by our clients, but it is satisfying to see other organizations recognize it too!

How do you ensure your recommendations align with industry ethical standards?

Doing right by our clients is a major part of our brand. Our North Star of looking at each client issue “through client-eyes” ensures we are acting in their best interest—always. Further, we take regulatory compliance, asset safety and cybersecurity very seriously, dedicating substantial resources to them. Because we manage the business so conservatively, we are proud to have not needed TARP funds during the 2007–2008 global financial crisis.

What is the most important step to understand the unique needs of each client?

Like a doctor prescribing medicine, we would never think of making financial recommendations without first going through a discovery process with the clients we serve. Schwab clients in the South Bay with more than $1 million in assets are provided with a dedicated local Schwab financial consultant who takes each client through a process of core wealth management topics, beginning with investment planning but including much more. We are the generalists, but if a subject matter expert is needed, we bring them into the conversation as well. We make sure we truly understand the relevant issues before we recommend any action.

Do you provide educational resources to empower clients?

We provide our point of view on wealth management topics in both periodic private meetings with our clients, client education events here in the South Bay, as well as online webinars for both those seeking professional oversight of their assets as well as for the do-it-yourselfers who will always have a home at Schwab.

How do you assist clients in planning for their legacy and estate? 

To be sure, it is important to understand the facts and figures of a client’s estate situation. But just as important, we need to understand family dynamics and the clients’ intentions for the assets when they die. We are continually amazed at how frequently we see self-directed investors not have assets titled properly nor have beneficiaries listed on record as they intend. We can help with simple things like these, but we can explore more complex issues as well—like planning for potential incapacity and the importance of selecting a competent executor and trustee to fit their situation. Proper legacy and estate planning is at least as important as security selection in a portfolio. In fact, it gets more important as investors get deeper into their retirement years.

Give us your thoughts about the importance of charitable contributions.

Charitable gift planning is important for just about everyone. We all delight in helping our community organizations with gifting our time, talents and assets, but we should never forget that charitable planning can also be a great tool to minimize capital gain taxes on appreciated assets and reduce the size of an estate prior to death. We can help with various charitable planning approaches.

In what ways does your work make our community a better place to live?

Helping clients gain confidence, understand their financial situation and map out their financial picture for the rest of their lives provides great satisfaction for us. When our guidance or professional oversight can help a client reduce anxiety or have more freedom to spend time on hobbies, travel and family, we see smiles on faces. Those smiles are the fuel that gives us energy to keep showing up to work every day. We really do enjoy what we do.

Disclaimer: The Charles Schwab Corporation provides a full range of brokerage, banking and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC), offers investment services and products, including Schwab brokerage accounts. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank, SSB (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products. Access to Electronic Services may be limited or unavailable during periods of peak demand, market volatility, systems upgrade, maintenance, or for other reasons. © 2024 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved.