Charles Schwab Corporation is an American brokerage and banking company. Founded by Charles R. Schwab in 1971, the company provides services for individual investors and independent investment advisors. The company's primary service offerings include investing and banking products, customer guidance, financial advice, retirement services, asset management, margin lending, and trust and custody services. In addition to its corporate headquarters in San Francisco, California, Schwab also has branch offices located throughout the United States. In 1975 Charles Schwab launched his firm as a pioneer of discount stockbrokerage with a flat-fee schedule that allowed customers to trade stocks at a much reduced cost than other traditional brokers charged at the time. Since then Schwab has grown steadily into one of America’s largest brokerage firms. It acquired U.S Trust Company in 2003 and OptionsXpress in 2011 expanding its range of financial products offered while continuing to focus on providing affordable access to capital markets for individuals across the world through its well-known online investing platform which was introduced in 1996. Today it serves over 16 million clients from all around the globe offering wealth management solutions through complex instruments like ETFs (exchange traded funds) as well as actively managed mutual funds or self-directed accounts that allow clients to trade stocks and options directly using their mobile devices or laptops.
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