Charles Schwab Case

Essay by labfUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, June 2008

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Founded over three decades ago, in 1971, in California by Charles Schwab, a Stanford MBA, Charles Schwab & Company quickly established itself as an innovator. Charles Schwab revolutionized the brokerage industry with a new business philosophy: allowing individual investors to manage self-service transactions with low-costs, providing the best customer experience within and across all channels and touchpoints. Schwab customers could experience a full-service investing through its domestic branch offices, through representatives at call centers and via automated telephonic and online channels in a trustful relationship.

A dynamic marketplace has created new challenges and opportunities for Charles Schwab Corporation, since the company was able to respond and adapt to market conditions and customer requirements. Schwab's primary business -pre 1975- was dependent on the volume of equity trading, but its model has been evolving over the years in response to the changing economic conditions. A defining moment came with the 1975 "May Day," when Schwab took advantage of the new opportunities offered by deregulation, which officially approved negotiated commissions.

In response to this major disruption, the company created a new kind of brokerage: Charles Schwab focused on providing informed investors with low-cost access to security transactions, while Merrill Lynch and the others full-service brokerage firms provided advice on which securities to buy and when to sell. Traditionally, full-service brokers have aided investors in making investment decisions through expert advice and research, guiding its customers on the purchase and/or sale of stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and other financial securities. Their services are delivered through a network of local offices and of course this all comes at a price, and they charge high commissions for its services. On the other hand, the discount broker's, such as Charles Schwab, main advantage is that they offer investors discounted commissions. They are able to charge these...