Charles "Chuck" R. Schwab started the San Francisco–based The Charles Schwab Corporation in 1971 as a traditional brokerage company, and in 1974 became a pioneer in the discount brokerage business.
Schwab took an early lead in the industry, offering a combination of low prices and fast, efficient order executions, and soon became the nation's largest discount broker. Today, the company is the nation's largest publicly traded investment services firm, with around $7.8 trillion in client assets. Often credited with "democratizing" investment, Schwab has driven countless innovations in the investment services industry designed to help individuals make the most of saving and investing, including 24/7 access to services, the one-stop mutual fund supermarket providing access to thousands of no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds, custodial services for independent registered investment advisors, online trading, and many others. Today, the company has expanded from its roots as a discount brokerage and provides a full-service investing and banking experience to clients domestically and abroad, serving 32.5 million accounts.
Schwab has been Chairman of The Charles Schwab Corporation since its inception and served as Chief Executive Officer for most of its history until October 2008. He is also Chairman of Charles Schwab Bank. Schwab served as chairman and trustee of The Charles Schwab Family of Funds, Schwab Investments, Schwab Capital Trust, Schwab Annuity Portfolios, Laudus Trust and Laudus Institutional Trust, all registered investment companies, through 2015.
In addition to his professional commitments, Schwab takes an active interest in a variety of volunteer and non-profit activities. Along with his wife, Helen, he is the co-founder and Chairman of The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, a private foundation that supports entrepreneurial organizations working in education, poverty prevention, human services, and health. Schwab also serves on the board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and was its chairman for 10 years ending in 2018.
On January 22, 2008, President George W. Bush named Schwab chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, a groundbreaking initiative which advised the president and the secretary of the Treasury on ways to promote and enhance financial literacy among the American people.
He is the author of several bestselling investment books, including, How to Be Your Own Stockbroker, Charles Schwab's Guide to Financial Independence, It Pays To Talk, written with his daughter, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, and You're Fifty—Now What? His newest book, Invested, was released in October 2019.
Schwab was born in Sacramento, California. He is a graduate of Stanford University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Updated September 2021