Wall Street Legends No 7 - Charles R. Schwab

Charles Schwab

Charles R. 'Chuck' Schwab (born July 29, 1937) is the founder and chairman of the Charles Schwab Corporation.

Schwab was born in Sacramento, California. He attended Santa Barbara High School in Santa Barbara, CA and was captain of the golf team. He also pre-college school at Holy Rosary Academy in Woodland, California. Schwab is dyslexic, but didn't know he had the disorder until he was 40, and had no interest in it until he learned that his son is dyslexic. One of the aims of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation is to assist children with the disorder.

Schwab graduated from Stanford University in 1959 with a B.A. in Economics. In 1961 he graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business with a MBA. Schwab is a knight of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.

In 1963 Schwab and two other partners launched Investment Indicator, an investment newsletter. At its height, the newsletter had 3,000 subscribers, each paying $84 a year to subscribe. In April 1971 the firm was incorporated in California as First Commander Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Commander Industries, Inc., for traditional, brokerage services and to publish the Schwab investment newsletter.

In November of that year, Schwab and four others purchased all the stock from Commander Industries, Inc., and in 1972 Schwab bought all the stock from what was once Commander Industries. In 1973, the company name was changed to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

In September 1975, Schwab opened its first branch in Sacramento, CA, and started offering discount brokerage. In 1977 Schwab began offering seminars to clients, and by 1978 Schwab had 45,000 client accounts total, the number growing to 84,000 in 1979. In 1980 Schwab established the industry’s first 24-hour quotation service, and the total of client accounts grew to 147,000. In 1981 Schwab became a member of the NYSE, and the total of client accounts grew to 222,000. In 1982 Schwab became the first to offer 24/7 order entry and quote service, its first international office was opened in Hong Kong, and the number of client accounts totaled 374,000.

Today, the company serves 7.9 million client brokerage accounts, with $1.36 trillion in assets (as of September 2010), from over 300 offices in the U.S., one office in Puerto Rico, and one branch in London. Clients can also access services online and by telephone.

Schwab is the father of five children, including one, Sandy, who played quarterback at Northwestern University. A practicing Roman Catholic, he and his wife, Helen, currently live in Atherton, California, and are involved in philanthropy. Charles is also an avid golfer with an 8 handicap and a member at San Francisco Golf Club.

In 2011 Schwab was listed as the Forbes's 67th richest person in the United States, with a fortune of approximately $4.7 billion.

image: © (CC) Larry D. Moore

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