Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
Chief Strategist, Consumer Education, Schwab & Co.

What is involved in navigating personal finance today?

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"25 years ago it was efficient to know how to balance your cheque book or how to manage a savings account, but today and Americans are having to navigate through an increasingly sophisticated products and services."

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

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. 


Question: What is involved in navigating personal finance today?

Carrie Schwab: Lack of financial literacy in this country [USA] is really that, or the terminology or the definition, it is very broad based, it is about how to budget your money and live within your means.

It is about saving a certain portion of your income for your entire life.

It is about managing credit card debt. Even not having more than say 36% of your income and all and asset or income in any type of two much debt.

It means also having proper insurance and having a will.

So it cuts across so many different factors of your life and if anything gets out of whack, it can really ruin personally financially.

Financial literacy is broad based knowledge around all aspects of finances in your life personal finances. And it is the under pinning or the foundation of what we call financial fitness.

First you have got to have the knowledge, but then you have to behave and act properly or yeah properly around this knowledge.

That means saving for entire life that means keeping within your budget, that means not getting in to too much debt. So you want to have the knowledge and you want to have the behaviors and that is what creates fitness financial fitness. And a thirty year old made his financial fitness may be very different and say a 55 or 66 year old.


Recorded on: March 27, 2008