What Do You Think of Charles Schwab?

Last night I met some friends for dinner. One of the guys started asking me about the “money stuff” and said: “I have my money with Schwab’s client private services-what do you think about Charles Schwab.” It caught me off guard because I haven’t personally had any dealings with them for years and none of my coaching clients use them-so I focused on their “cheesy” TV adds and said: “Let me guess-you are in managed money funds and pay 1-2% of the portfolios value to Schwab.” “Yes, that’s exactly right and I’m not sure this is the best way to go-would you look at my portfolio with me?” Which got me to thinking…Have you noticed that whether it’s my alma mata, Merrill Lynch, or UBS or AG Edwards etc..Managed money has become the holy grail. Brokers like it because they don’t get sued as much and it provides an even stream of income. But, if all the firms are offering the same basic service it will become harder and harder to differentiate yourself in the advertising world and people like me will form opinions by those cheesy commercials you run!

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