The Early Years
1963: Chuck Schwab and two other partners launch Investment Indicator, an investment advisory newsletter. At its height, the newsletter had 3,000 subscribers, each paying $84 a year to subscribe.
1971: In April, the firm is incorporated in California as First Commander Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commander Industries, Inc. to conduct a conventional broker-dealer securities business and publish the Schwab investment newsletter. In November, Chuck Schwab and four others buy all stock from Commander Industries, Inc.
1972: Chuck Schwab buys all stock from what was once Commander Industries.
1973: The corporate name changes to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Creating a New Kind of Brokerage
1974: In April, the SEC mandates a 13-month trial period for the deregulation of certain brokerage transactions.
1975: On May 1, The SEC mandates negotiated commission rates for all securities transactions. While many brokerages take the opportunity to raise commissions, Chuck seizes the opportunity to create a new kind of brokerage — a discount brokerage. In September, Schwab opens its first branch in Sacramento, CA.
1977: Schwab opens an office in Seattle — the first branch outside of California — and begins offering seminars for customers.
1978: Schwab extends service hours for customer service and quotes from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 PST — an industry first. Client accounts total 45,000.
1979: In a "bet-the-company" move, Schwab invests in the BETA mainframe system. The success of this automated transaction and record-keeping system demonstrates that technology can be a key growth driver. Client accounts total 84,000.
1980: Schwab establishes the industry’s first 24-hour quotation service. Client accounts total 147,000.
1981: Schwab becomes a member of the NYSE. The firm opens its first location in Manhattan. Larry Stupski is named President and COO of the firm. Client accounts total 222,000.
1982: Schwab is the first to offer 24-hour, 7-day-a-week order entry and quote service. The company’s first international office opens in Hong Kong. The IRA account is introduced. Client accounts total 374,000.
1983: Bank of America acquires Schwab for $55 million. Schwab introduces the new Schwab One® asset management account. Client accounts surpass 500,000 and reach 648,000 by year-end.
Meeting the Challenges of Growth
1984: Schwab introduces Mutual Fund MarketPlace® with 140 no-load funds. The company launches SchwabQuotes® and The Equalizer® — a DOS-based technology solution that points the way toward an online future. Client accounts total 903,000. Client assets reach $5.1 billion.
1985: In August, Schwab records its 1-millionth client account. By year-end, client accounts reach 1.2 million with client assets of $7.6 billion.
1986: Schwab becomes the first to offer 24-hour, 7-day-a-week mutual fund trading service. Client assets reach $11.3 billion.
1987: In July, management leads a buyback from Bank of America for $280 million. In September, The Charles Schwab Corporation completes its initial public offering. In October, the market crashes and the Dow Jones Industrial Average loses 500 points, but at year-end client assets reach $14.3 billion. During the year, Schwab launches Financial Advisors Service to serve independent investment advisors.
1988: Financial Advisors Service exceeds $1 billion in client assets after just one year of business. At year-end, Schwab’s total client assets reach $17.7 billion.
1989: Schwab introduces TeleBroker®, an automated technology for telephone brokerage service. At year-end, total client assets reach $25.3 billion.
1990: The company introduces Schwab Funds® money market mutual funds, starting with $5 billion. The Indianapolis service center opens as the first customer telephone service center outside of San Francisco. The first Asia Pacific center opens with bilingual services. At year-end, total client assets reach $30.6 billion.
1991: The company introduces the Schwab 1000 Fund®, an equity index fund that reaches $191 million in client assets by year-end. Schwab opens its second call center, in Denver. Schwab hosts the first annual National Financial Advisors Conference, later renamed IMPACT®. Schwab launches its first network TV advertising campaign. At year-end, total client assets reach $47.5 billion.
1992: Charles Schwab Trust Company® is created. The company introduces no-annual-fee IRA and no-transaction fee Mutual Fund OneSource© service. Schwab opens its third call center, in Phoenix. Latin American center opens in Miami. At year-end, total client assets reach $65.6 billion.
1993: Charles Schwab Limited opens its first office in London. Employees move into a new Orlando service center. At year-end, total client assets reach $95.8 billion.
1994: Spanish-language TeleBroker service is introduced. Total client assets rise above $100 billion mark to $122.6 billion at year-end.
Leading the Online Investing Revolution
1995: Schwab activates its first website at schwab.com®. The company acquires U.K.-based discount broker ShareLink and 401(k) plan record keeper the Hampton Company (now Corporate & Retirement Services). Schwab introduces Global Investing Service to provide specialized foreign service expertise to all retail segments. Cantonese TeleBroker goes live. At year-end, total client assets reach $181.7 billion.
1996: Web trading goes live. Customers can trade listed and OTC stocks or check balances and the status of orders. The SchwabPlan is introduced, offering companies and their employees access to more than 1,300 mutual funds in a new, bundled 401(k) product. Schwab AdvisorSource® referral service is introduced nationally. At year-end, total client assets reach $253 billion.
1997: The Charles Schwab Corporation is added to S&P 500 Index. The website registers its 1 millionth online account. Schwab’s Hong Kong office reopens after being closed since the 1987 market crash. Mutual Fund Report Card is introduced with a single-page review of more than 7,700 mutual funds. In December, David Pottruck is named co-CEO of the corporation. At year-end, total client assets reach $437 billion.
1998: Two Canadian brokerages are acquired to create Charles Schwab Canada. Online accounts reach 2 million. TeleBroker adds voice technology. At year-end, total client assets reach $594 billion. Chuck Schwab releases his second book, Charles Schwab's Guide to Financial Independence.
1999: Schwab launches after-hours trading for Nasdaq and select listed stocks. Orders can be placed online or by phone from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. Schwab launches eConfirms, a new e-mail subscription service that delivers trade confirmations directly to customers, eliminating paper delivery. Schwab becomes the first online brokerage firm to offer its customers multiple stock order entry for all online trading accounts. The firm also introduces two new web-based tools including Schwab's advanced mutual fund screener, which allows customers to screen all funds rated by Morningstar, Inc. The Schwab Fund for Charitable Giving, an independent public philanthropic fund, is launched.
Expanding our Services
2000: Schwab and U.S. Trust merge. The company also acquires CyBerCorp, Inc. to better serve active on-line traders. Schwab introduces pre-market trading for most Nasdaq and listed securities, with orders accepted from 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. (eastern time) Monday through Friday. PocketBroker™ wireless investing service is introduced. Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource tops $100 billion in assets. Chinese language news and research debut on Schwab’s Chinese website. Schwab also unveils a Korean language website dedicated to serving Korean investors in the U.S., and a toll-free service hotline dedicated to serving Vietnamese investors in the U.S.
2001: CyBerCorp, Inc. changes its name to Cyber Trader® Inc. and enhances its service with improved software, educational tools and tiered pricing.
2002: Schwab launches an alternative for investment research, Schwab Equity Ratings®, and two new advisory services for affluent investors, Schwab Private Client™ and Schwab Advisor Network. Schwab Core Equity Fund and Schwab Hedged Equity Fund are introduced, with both using the Schwab Equity Ratings model. Schwab Advisor WebCenter™ launches, an advisor-branded website development and hosting service for independent investment advisors working with Schwab Institutional. At year-end, total client assets reach $657 billion (excluding U.S. Trust).
2003: Charles Schwab Bank® launches, introducing price and service guarantees on home mortgage loans. U.S. Trust acquires State Street Corp.'s Private Asset Management business, creating a full-service wealth management firm serving the New England region. Schwab Small-Cap Equity Fund is introduced. Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. offers no-cost investment advice through third-party vendor GuidedChoice™. Schwab and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) team up to provide clients with electronic equities futures trading via the GLOBEX® electronic trading platform. At year-end, total client assets reach $830 billion (excluding U.S. Trust).
Refocusing on Client Needs
2004: Schwab announces the dual listing of its common stock on Nasdaq and NYSE; later in the year, Schwab sells its seat on the NYSE. Schwab announces the resignation of David S. Pottruck as CEO and the reinstatement of Chuck Schwab as CEO. Schwab and AXA Rosenberg complete a fund adoption agreement and introduce a new group of mutual funds, the Laudus Group, renamed the Laudus Rosenberg Funds. Schwab Bank introduces the Charles Schwab Bank Visa credit card. Schwab and Boys & Girls Clubs of America launch a new program — Money Matters: Make It Count — to teach money management to teens. At year-end, total client assets reach $942 billion (excluding U.S. Trust).
2005: Schwab eliminates account service and order handling fees for retail accounts and small business retirement plans. The company gives all clients access to Schwab Equity Ratings, which inspire the launch of the Schwab Premier Equity Fund™ and new Schwab Portfolios™. Charles Schwab Bank and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. introduce integrated checking and brokerage accounts. Schwab rolls out its family of mutual funds onto third-party mutual fund platforms and introduces target funds to help simplify retirement. The company makes the move to list its stock solely on the Nasdaq exchange. At year-end, total client assets exceed $1 trillion (excluding U.S. Trust). Schwab launches a new ad campaign: Talk To Chuck™.
2006: Schwab lowers and simplifies pricing for equity, option, mutual fund and bond transactions. The firm announces a security guarantee, covering 100 percent of account losses arising from unauthorized account activity. In November, the corporation announces an agreement to sell U.S. Trust, its wealth management subsidiary, to Bank of America. In new product news, the company launches Schwab Managed Portfolios™, offering professional money management for individuals with as little as $50,000 to invest; the Schwab Inflation Protected Fund™, a fund designed to offer protection from inflation while providing growth; and the Laudus Rosenberg International Discovery Fund. The Schwab 1000 Index Fund celebrates 15 years without taxable capital gains distributions. Schwab Charitable Fund™ surpasses $1 billion in charitable contributions. At the annual IMPACT® conference, Schwab Institutional announces the winners of the first IMPACT Awards™. At year-end, Schwab had total client assets of $1.24 trillion (excluding U.S. Trust), with 6.7 million brokerage accounts, 147,000 banking accounts and 542,000 corporate retirement plan participants.
Helping Americans Be Financially Fit
2007: The corporation completes the acquisition of The 401(k) Company , a retirement plan provider in Austin, TX, and Charles Schwab Investment Management completes the acquisition of Global Real Analytics, LLC (GRA). Charles Schwab Bank introduces the High Yield Investor Checking™ account. Schwab Institutional marks its 20th anniversary serving independent investment advisors. Schwab MoneyWise launches an educational website designed to teach the basics of personal and consumer finance. Joseph R. Martinetto succeeds Christopher Dodds as Chief Financial Officer, and Walter R. Bettinger II is named President and Chief Operating Officer. At year-end, Schwab had total client assets of $1.4 trillion, with 7.0 million brokerage accounts, 262,000 banking accounts and 1.2 million corporate retirement plan participants.
2008: Chuck Schwab is named chairman of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The company enhances Schwab.com, improves StreetSmart Pro, upgrades risk management tools on StreetSmart.com, and launches an online community focused on active trading. Walter W. Bettinger II is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors effective Oct. 1, 2008. Schwab unites institutional services into a single business unit, including Schwab Institutional (now Advisor Services) and Corporate and Retirement Services.
2009: Schwab introduces Real Life Retirement™ Services with practical tools and resources for those nearing retirement. Charles Schwab Bank launches the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Savings™ account. Charles Schwab Investment Management changes its target-date mutual funds to enhance the portfolios and reduce expenses. Schwab cuts fees on its equity index funds. Schwab adds a new large-cap growth fund to its Laudus funds lineup. Schwab offers first exchange traded funds (ETFs) that trade commission-free online at Schwab.com.
2010: Schwab announces reductions in online equity trade commissions designed to provide greater value for investors, regardless of the frequency or size of their trades. The Charles Schwab Corporation lists shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Charles Schwab and J.P. Morgan join forces in fixed income. Schwab reduces fees on six proprietary exchange traded funds (ETFs). Schwab introduces three low-cost bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Schwab completes acquisition of Windward Investment Management, Inc.
2011: Schwab launched a new platform for active traders, StreetSmart Edge®1, designed to simplify complex trading activities & provide a more intuitive experience. Schwab announced mobile deposit capabilities2 for smartphone users, enabling Schwab brokerage and Schwab Bank clients to deposit checks remotely by taking a picture of a check with their smartphone cameras. Schwab launched a new program called Clients Speak3, which feature online ratings and reviews by clients on their Schwab accounts or their experience with the company. The Charles Schwab Corporation completed its acquisition of both optionsXpress Holdings, Inc. and Compliance11™4. Schwab Independent Branch Services opened the first independent branch in Nashua, N.H.