He attended Santa Barbara High School in Santa Barbara, CA and was captain of the golf team. He also attended pre-college school at Holy Rosary Academy in Woodland, California.
In 1963 Charles R. "Chuck" 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, Mr. Schwab and four others purchased all the stock from Commander Industries, Inc., and in 1972 Mr. 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.
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.