What defines financial literacy?

As chief strategist/consumer education for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., Schwab-Pomerantz is a leading advocate for individual investors. She speaks and writes extensively about personal finance issues and is a driving force in the movement to improve financial literacy in America. As president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, she also oversees the company's philanthropic strategy and resources.

With her father, company founder, chairman and CEO Charles R. Schwab, Schwab-Pomerantz co-authored "It Pays to Talk: How to Have the Essential Conversations With Your Family About Money and Investing," which Publishers Weekly called "a well-rounded primer that provides one-stop shopping for the many phases of financial understanding and planning."

Schwab-Pomerantz is a sought-after speaker whose public appearances have included appearances on "The Today Show," CNBC and NPR. In 2001, Working Woman magazine recognized her as one of four “Market Movers” in America who are “rewriting the rules of finance,” and she was also recognized as one of the “25 power Elite” in the financial services industry by Investment News. For four consecutive years, The San Francisco Business Times has named her one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Schwab-Pomerantz later earned a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University. She holds NASD Series 7, 63 and 8 registrations. 

  • Transcript


Question: How can we get a better grip on our personal finances?

Carrie Schwab: The first step really is to gain the basic knowledge, a personal finance particular, around saving and investing for our life time.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of education in the schools. And what we have found from our studies is very few families talk about it. There is got to be some type of personal ownership to gain this level of knowledge and act on it.

There is plenty of books out there of course. My dad and I wrote a book called “Pays to Talk, How to Have the Essential Conversations about Money and Investing.” It will give you all the nuts and bolts that you need to know through a lifetime to be financially fit.

There are certainly lots of websites and all sorts of books out there.

And also your employer is a great place to start become financially fit. Because often times that is when we first start to invest and we get access to 401K, when a employer matches it then it is almost like free money and it with compound growth, you really can get yourself on the right track.


Recorded on: March 27, 2008