Financial Decoder

Charles Schwab

Cognitive and emotional biases can have a big impact on your financial life. Each episode of Financial Decoder looks closely at one financial decision--and the biases that might cloud your judgment and cost you money. Host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, decodes the behavioral and psychological factors at play and shares strategies designed to improve the way you approach financial crossroads. Other experts join Mark to provide their unique perspective on behavioral economics, portfolio management, retirement planning, personal finance and more.

Podcasts are for informational purposes only. This channel is not monitored by Charles Schwab. Please visit schwab.com/contactus for contact options.

Introducing Financial Decoder
Trailer 2 min 19 sec

All Episodes

Throughout the holiday season, you might encounter dozens of appeals for charity. If you decide to give, or if you donate throughout the year, how can you maximize the impact of your gift? In this episode, Mark talks with Sam Kang, president of Schwab Charitable, a nonprofit organization established with the support of The Charles Schwab Corporation to make charitable giving simpler and more tax-efficient.They discuss direct cash gifts, donor-advised funds, qualified charitable distributions, and other ways of giving—and which types of investors can benefit from each approach.You can learn more about the science behind why helping others makes us feel good on the “Happiness” episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important DisclosuresInvestors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Schwab Charitable™ is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund™, an independent nonprofit organization. Schwab Charitable Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.A donor's ability to claim itemized deductions is subject to a variety of limitations depending on the donor's specific tax situation. Consult your tax advisor for more information.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab Charitable recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, Financial Planner or Investment Manager.Because environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies exclude some securities, ESG-focused products may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as products that do not use such strategies. Additionally, the criteria used to select companies for investment may result in investing in securities, industries or sectors that underperform the market as a whole.Diversification, asset allocation, and rebalancing strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when a nonretirement account is rebalanced, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.Professionally managed accounts are available only through independent investment advisors with Schwab Advisor Services™, a business segment of The Charles Schwab Corporation serving independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. While donors may recommend an advisor, Schwab Charitable must approve the recommendation. Advisors must meet certain eligibility requirements and adhere to Schwab Charitable fee and investment guidelines. You may request a copy of the investment guidelines by calling us at 800-746-6216.(1121-1WV9)

Nov 29

33 min 30 sec

In assessments that show women to be less financially literate than men, is that gap due to a lack of knowledge or a lack of confidence? One recent study revealed that women tend to disproportionately respond “do not know” to questions measuring financial knowledge, but when this response is unavailable, the gap closes substantially.In this episode, Mark tells the story of Monique Currie—a highly successful basketball player in college and the WNBA. Despite all her talent and achievements, Currie has noted how women basketball players tend to be less confident than their male counterparts. Lacking confidence when it comes to complex tasks, such as investing in a diversified portfolio or mapping out a financial plan, can seem intimidating to anyone of any gender, but are there strategies that can help you overcome some forms of underconfidence? Mark speaks with Laura McDowell, a regional director at Schwab. Laura is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA), and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF). They discuss changing demographics, why some people suffer from impostor syndrome, and how to empower the next generation of women investors. You can read more about the study that shows women are often more knowledgeable in financial matters than they think in this working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important DisclosuresThe information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(1121-17JF)

Nov 15

31 min 57 sec

Special purpose acquisition companies (or SPACs) aren’t entirely new, but they’ve made headlines in 2020 and 2021. SPACs take funds from investors in order to buy or merge with another company. They’re sometimes called “blank check” companies because it’s as if investors are giving the companies a blank check to buy whatever sort of business they want. Until a merger is announced, investors in a SPAC don’t know exactly what they’re buying or trading.In this episode, Mark Riepe interviews Schwab’s chief investment strategist, Liz Ann Sonders. Mark and Liz Ann discuss how SPACs work, how SPACs compare to the traditional IPO process, and whether they are right for you as an investor. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Whether you are investing in a SPAC by participating in its IPO or by purchasing its securities on the open market following an IPO, you should carefully read the SPAC’s IPO prospectus as well as its periodic and current reports filed with the SEC pursuant to its ongoing reporting obligations.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. (1121-1G8P)

Nov 1

25 min 39 sec

In Season 9 of Financial Decoder, host Mark Riepe invites Schwab experts to offer advice in a variety of areas. From Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) to charitable giving, Mark and his guests explore financial decisions for investors of all backgrounds. The first episode of the new season arrives November 1. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the show, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder. [RP1]If you enjoy the show, please leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:Investing involves risk including loss of principal.(1021-18F1)

Oct 28

2 min 35 sec

Many investments inspired by new technology can be treacherous territory, but also, under the right conditions, they can offer enormous upside. Depending on the timing, the same investment can be both disastrous and generate great returns. Since the rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, some investors have experienced the highs and lows of rapid-cycling volatility. In this episode, Mark speaks with Randy Frederick, Managing Director of Trading and Derivatives for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. They discuss the history of Bitcoin, some of the risks associated with cryptocurrency, tax implications, and some of the difficulties of trading a new currency. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market or economic conditions. Data contained herein from third party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Investing involves risk, including risk of loss.Digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, are highly volatile and not backed by any central bank or government. Digital currencies lack many of the regulations and consumer protections that legal-tender currencies and regulated securities have. Due to the high level of risk, investors should view Bitcoin as a purely speculative instrument.Currencies are speculative, very volatile, and not suitable for all investors.Futures trading involves a high level of risk and is not suitable for all investors.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. (0721-1ZZF)

Jul 26

30 min 47 sec

Financial planning is an ongoing, iterative process. But it always starts with identifying and defining goals. Why are you saving money? When do you plan to retire? How much do you spend now? Are you saving for college? The more specificity that can be added to each goal, the more likely it is to be achieved.No matter your stage in life, whether you are just starting out saving and investing or are well into your working years with a plan already in place, you need to evaluate your goals regularly. Our circumstances in life often change—and so should our plans. In this episode, Mark speaks with Cindy Scott. Cindy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and wealth advisor with Schwab in Westlake, Texas. She shares several stories of real investors who have faced challenges when setting or defining their goals.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.Diversification and rebalancing of a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.(0721-1DMP)

Jul 12

32 min 25 sec

In this midyear episode, Schwab experts look ahead to consider what investors might expect in the second half of 2021. First, Mark talks with Liz Ann Sonders, Schwab’s chief investment strategist. Liz Ann offers her perspective on the direction of the U.S. economy and stock market. Then, Jeffrey Kleintop —Schwab’s chief global investment strategist—joins the show and examines what the remainder of 2021 might hold for the global economy and markets now that the recovery is seemingly over. Next, Mark speaks with Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist. Kathy looks at what bond investors might expect from the Federal Reserve and fixed income assets in the remainder of what’s already been a rollercoaster year for bonds. Finally, Mike Townsend, Schwab’s vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, offers his outlook for what legislative and tax policy changes are likely to pass or take effect in the coming months.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/financialdecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.Diversification and rebalancing a portfolio cannot ensure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only, may be based upon proprietary research and are developed through analysis of historical public data.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions.Currencies are speculative, very volatile and are not suitable for all investors.A bond ladder, depending on the types and amount of securities within the ladder, may not ensure adequate diversification of your investment portfolio. This potential lack of diversification may result in heightened volatility of the value of your portfolio. You must perform your own evaluation of whether a bond ladder and the securities held within it are consistent with your investment objective, risk tolerance and financial circumstances.Periodic investment plans (dollar-cost-averaging) do not assure a profit and do not protect against loss in declining markets.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.Digital currencies, such as bitcoin, are highly volatile and not backed by any central bank or government. Digital currencies lack many of the regulations and consumer protections that legal-tender currencies and regulated securities have. Due to the high level of risk, investors should view Bitcoin as a purely speculative instrument.(0621-169C)

Jun 28

53 min 19 sec

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve has engaged in a great experiment: They are testing whether massive amounts of new money can heal the damage from macroeconomic catastrophes, such as the financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. For years, investors have asked persistent questions about the likelihood of high inflation and how to help protect a portfolio against it.In this episode, Mark speaks with Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist. They discuss the history of inflation in the U.S. economy—including the gold standard and the key players at the Federal Reserve—as well as hyperinflation and recent fears of rising prices.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.To learn more, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are inflation-linked securities issued by the US Government whose principal value is adjusted periodically in accordance with the rise and fall in the inflation rate. Thus, the dividend amount payable is also impacted by variations in the inflation rate, as it is based upon the principal value of the bond. It may fluctuate up or down. Repayment at maturity is guaranteed by the US Government and may be adjusted for inflation to become the greater of the original face amount at issuance or that face amount plus an adjustment for inflation.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0621-1RRY)

Jun 14

35 min 20 sec

In this special bonus episode, Mark Riepe talks with Katy Milkman, host of Choiceology and author of a new book titled How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.Katy’s book focuses on overcoming the barriers that too often prevent us from making positive changes. Katy and Mark discuss some of these obstacles, including procrastination and the difficulty forming good habits, as well as techniques that research has shown can help us overcome them. Katy also shares what led her down the path of studying behavioral economics, including the lightbulb moment she had when she first saw this pie chart from a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. She also explains how her research into the fresh-start effect was inspired by her own experiences as a graduate student.Finally, Katy and Mark discuss which biases Katy sees in herself, in her students, and in her own family. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.To learn more, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.The book, How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (CS&Co.). Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (CS&Co.) has not reviewed the book and makes no representations about its content.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.(0621-11UK)

Jun 7

33 min 15 sec

Risk management is one of the most important parts of financial planning. But we seldom consider how those risks evolve as we get older. It’s just one of many blind spots that can leave investors of all ages vulnerable. Many people might expect to protect their senior or vulnerable parents, but the risk-management process should begin much earlier when you make your own financial plan.In this episode, Mark speaks with Joel Sauer, director for senior and vulnerable investor investigations in Schwab’s Financial Crimes Risk Management division. They discuss how aging affects financial decision-making. Joel goes into detail about some of the various scams that investors need to understand in order to avoid them. Next, Mark talks with Nancy Murphy. Nancy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Accredited Estate Planner with extensive experience in a broad range of investment and financial-planning issues. She and Mark discuss building a plan to account for the pandemic and which legal documents are essential for helping to mitigate aging risks. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.To learn more, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.All corporate names and market data shown above are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0321-1WA8)

Mar 8

52 min 23 sec

If you save money and invest it consistently, your path toward meeting your goals may seem simple. But most investors quickly discover that there are hurdles in the way—including our own brains. There are many cognitive and emotional biases that can trap us, and investors sometimes rationalize falling prey to these biases in familiar ways. In this episode, Mark is joined by Brad Bartick, branch manager of the downtown Denver Schwab branch, and financial consultant Joanna Heckman to discuss four different biases that investors have faced recently and what they sound like in action. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0221-1EPK)

Feb 22

29 min 10 sec

When you invest, are you simply trying to make as much money as possible without taking on too much risk? Or are you trying to accomplish other goals as well, perhaps making sure that your investments align with your values, or that you’re using your money to help make a positive difference in the world? If those latter goals matter to you, you might be interested in socially responsible investing, or SRI. Michael Iachini, vice president and head of manager research for Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, joins Mark to discuss the differences between SRI, ESG, and impact investing; what to look for in an SRI fund; and the history of performance of these funds, broadly. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Socially screened strategies exclude certain investments and therefore may not be able to take advantage of the same opportunities or market trends as strategies that do not use social screens.Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA") is an affiliate of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab").Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0221-1EJX)

Feb 8

24 min 29 sec

Most people buy a stock because they think it’ll be a good investment. Nobody does so planning to lose money. But how exactly do you expect this particular stock or trade to make a profit for you? Do you have a trading plan? Most importantly, how will you guard against your own cognitive and emotional biases while trading? It’s a widely held belief that to succeed as a trader, you must learn to control your emotions. But humans are emotional beings, so that’s easier said than done. To address how several biases impact trading decisions, Mark Riepe interviews Randy Frederick. Randy is vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. He and Mark discuss a variety of strategies to help mitigate our biases while trading.For more on the show, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.The standard online $0 commission does not apply to large block transactions requiring special handling, restricted stock transactions, trades placed directly on a foreign exchange, transaction-fee mutual funds, futures, or fixed income investments. Options trades will be subject to the standard $.65 per-contract fee. Service charges apply for trades placed through a broker ($25) or by automated phone ($5). Exchange process, ADR, foreign transaction fees for trades placed on the US OTC market, and Stock Borrow fees still apply. See the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for Individual Investors for full fee and commission schedules. Multiple leg options strategies will involve multiple per-contract fees.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Diversification, asset allocation, and rebalancing strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when a nonretirement account is rebalanced, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.When considering a margin loan, you should determine how the use of margin fits your own investment philosophy. Because of the risks involved, it is important that you fully understand the rules and requirements involved in trading securities on margin. Margin trading increases your level of market risk. Your downside is not limited to the collateral value in your margin account. Schwab may initiate the sale of any securities in your account, without contacting you, to meet a margin call. Schwab may increase its "house" maintenance margin requirements at any time and is not required to provide you with advance written notice. You are not entitled to an extension of time on a margin call.Scaling into and out of investment positions does not ensure a profit, does not protect against losses in conversely trending markets, and may involve multiple commissions.(0121-19U6)

Jan 25

30 min 39 sec

In this year-end bonus episode, Schwab experts look ahead to consider what investors might expect in 2021. First, Mark talks with Liz Ann Sonders, Schwab’s chief investment strategist. Liz Ann offers her perspective on the direction of the U.S. economy and stock market. Vaccines represent a light at the end of the tunnel, but Liz Ann cautions that we will enter 2021 still in the tunnel. Next, Mark speaks with Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist. Kathy looks at what bond investors might expect from the Federal Reserve and fixed income assets in the new year. Then, Jeffrey Kleintop—Schwab’s chief global investment strategist—joins the show and examines what 2021 might hold for the global economy and markets. Finally, as a busy election season winds down, Mike Townsend, Schwab’s vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, offers his outlook for what to expect in politics and policy next year.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/financialdecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party. Diversification and rebalancing a portfolio cannot ensure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Forecasts contained herein are for illustrative purposes only, may be based upon proprietary research and are developed through analysis of historical public data.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk. Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax. International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(1220-0XBU)

Dec 2020

40 min 51 sec

In Part 2 of this special two-part episode, Mark Riepe analyzes the decision of when to sell a mutual fund and an ETF. First, Mark talks with Michael Iachini. Michael is a vice president at Charles Schwab Investment Advisory and head of manager research. He and Mark discuss fund performance, the tax implications of selling, and what to do if the manager of your fund changes. Next, Mark speaks with Emily Doak. Emily is a managing director of exchange-traded fund research, also at Charles Schwab Investment Advisory. Emily and Mark discuss the premium discount, bid-ask spread, and other factors investors should consider if they’re thinking about whether or not to sell an ETF.You can go back and listen to part one of this episode, on when to sell a stock and a bond, at schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA") is an affiliate of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab").(1220-0LSV)

Dec 2020

23 min 49 sec

The very first episode of Financial Decoder discussed the sell decision—in part because there are so many cognitive and emotional biases that come into play with that decision. Many people are prone to something called the disposition effect, which is the tendency to sell assets that have increased in value but hold on to investments that have dropped in value.In part one of this special two-part episode, Mark Riepe analyzes the decision of when to sell an individual stock and an individual bond. First, Mark talks with Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist. They discuss whether or not you should sell a bond if it’s been downgraded, if you should sell before the bond’s maturity date, and how defaults and bankruptcies might affect your decision, among other topics. Next, Mark speaks with Steven P. Greiner. Steve is a senior vice president and head of Schwab Equity Ratings. Steve and Mark consider whether you should sell a stock based on changes in its fundamentals, such as P/E ratio and dividend yield, as well as how to react to bad news and big swings in the market.Part two of this episode will examine the decision of when to sell a mutual fund and an exchange traded fund, or ETF. For more on the show, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.(1120-0S96)

Nov 2020

29 min 24 sec

As a bonus for Financial Decoder listeners, here is a special election 2020 episode of WashingtonWise Investor. After an unprecedented election that saw both Joe Biden and Donald Trump receive more votes for president than any other candidates in history, the focus is shifting to how much of his agenda President-elect Biden will be able to enact. In this episode of WashingtonWise Investor, Mike talks to Schwab’s Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders about the market reaction to the presumed and actual election results, as well as the promising news from a vaccine trial. They discuss the prospects for a narrow Senate majority—one way or the other—pending a January 5 runoff in the state of Georgia and what the market will be watching into 2021. Mike also shares his key takeaways from this historic election and considers whether a new round of stimulus is likely to come out of the “lame duck” session of Congress.WashingtonWise Investor is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. Important Disclosures:The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. This content was created as of the specific date indicated and reflects the author’s views as of that date.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.Open configuration options(1120-0G0G)If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. 

Nov 2020

35 min 13 sec

It makes sense to have a certain level of familiarity with the securities we put in our portfolio. But just investing in familiar securities and products can blind us to other options that might benefit us. In this episode, Mark Riepe explores the “home bias”—or the tendency to invest in stocks from one’s home country—with Schwab’s Chief Global Investment Strategist Jeffrey Kleintop. They discuss how global companies often have a similar footprint, how some countries act as proxies for certain sectors, and ways to avoid the home bias. Next, Mark speaks with Cooper Howard, managing director for fixed income strategy at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Cooper and Mark discuss how investors tend to over-invest in municipal bonds from their home state, or from bond issuers with which they are familiar. This is a tricky bias in the muni market because there are some tax incentives to invest in munis from one’s home state. Cooper also explains some often-misunderstood characteristics of muni bonds and the bond markets.For more on the show, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.Currencies are speculative, very volatile and are not suitable for all investors.Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.Commodity-related products carry a high level of risk and are not suitable for all investors. Commodity-related products may be extremely volatile, illiquid and can be significantly affected by underlying commodity prices, world events, import controls, worldwide competition, government regulations, and economic conditions.(1120-000)

Nov 2020

35 min 46 sec

Given the strong market rebound this year, many investors might wonder whether their performance is, in fact, good enough. And that makes sense—we all want high returns. But is shooting for the highest return really the best approach? If a portfolio lags the market indexes we see on the news, our inclination is to feel that something is wrong. However, few diversified portfolios can track a single index, so how should you measure your portfolio’s performance? In this episode, Mark Riepe interviews David Koenig, vice president and chief investment strategist for Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. Mark and David discuss which indexes can be used as benchmarks for certain asset classes, staying on track with your goals, risk tolerance, market volatility, and other issues.For more on the show, visit Schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.Small cap investments are subject to greater volatility than those in other asset categories.Commodity-related products carry a high level of risk and are not suitable for all investors. Commodity-related products may be extremely volatile, illiquid and can be significantly affected by underlying commodity prices, world events, import controls, worldwide competition, government regulations, and economic conditions.(1020-0KPJ)

Oct 2020

33 min 39 sec

The coronavirus pandemic has created an enormous need for charitable giving, but there are other tax-smart reasons why donors might be encouraged to give more during this time. In fact, Schwab Charitable reports an impressive surge in giving over the past year. From January through June 2020, Schwab donors committed over $1.7 billion in 330,000 separate grants. This represents a 46% increase in dollars granted and a 44% increase in the number of grants compared to the same period in 2019.[1]In this special bonus episode, Mark Riepe talks with Kim Laughton, the president of Schwab Charitable. She and Mark discuss how to identify the right charities for you, how to incorporate charitable giving into your financial plan, and how to make the most of  recent legislative changes when giving, among other topics.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/financialdecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Schwab Charitable is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund, an independent nonprofit organization. Schwab Charitable Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.A donor's ability to claim itemized deductions is subject to a variety of limitations depending on the donor's specific tax situation. Consult your tax advisor for more information.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab Charitable recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, Financial Planner or Investment Manager.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Diversification, asset allocation and rebalancing strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.  Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.Roth IRA conversions require a 5-year holding period before earnings can be withdrawn tax free and subsequent conversions will require their own 5-year holding period. In addition, earnings distributions prior to age 59 1/2 are subject to an early withdrawal penalty.While Schwab Plan is available to clients at no cost, any investments you ultimately make may incur costs such as fund operating expenses and advisory fees.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(1020-0RXT)[1]https://www.schwabcharitable.org/press-releases/schwab-charitable-donors-give-record-3.3-billion

Oct 2020

28 min 54 sec

Schwab’s recent Modern Wealth Survey revealed that 57 percent of Americans say that they or a close family member has been financially impacted by COVID-19. There’s no doubt that 2020 has upended the plans—and financial plans—of millions of people. What can we learn from this crisis about risk planning? And are there any bright spots?In this special bonus episode, Mark Riepe talks with Jullie Strippoli, vice president and assistant branch manager in Austin, Texas, about the real ways the pandemic has affected investors’ plans.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/financialdecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Diversification, asset allocation, and rebalancing a portfolio cannot ensure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when a nonretirement account is rebalanced, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Investing involves risk including loss of principal. The policy analysis provided by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.Roth IRA conversions require a 5-year holding period before earnings can be withdrawn tax free and subsequent conversions will require their own 5-year holding period. In addition, earnings distributions prior to age 59 1/2 are subject to an early withdrawal penalty.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB(0820-04MB)

Aug 2020

27 min 51 sec

Illusory correlations occur when people think a correlation between two variables exists, and that correlation, in reality, either isn’t there at all, or it’s much weaker than is commonly believed. One illusory correlation that affects investors right now is the correlation (or the lack thereof) between the performance of the economy and the performance of the stock market.Which indicators really help investors understand the state of the market and the direction of the economy? In this episode, Mark Riepe interviews Schwab’s chief investment strategist, Liz Ann Sonders. Mark and Liz Ann discuss leading and lagging indicators, illusory correlations, how investors can measure valuation and prices in the market over the short term and long term, and other issues.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Correlation is a statistical measure of how two investments have historically moved in relation to each other, and ranges from -1 to +1. A correlation of 1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, while a correlation of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation. A correlation of zero means the assets are not correlated.Diversification and rebalancing a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when a nonretirement account is rebalanced, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0720-0AKJ)

Jul 2020

31 min 41 sec

Leaving a job can be difficult, but understanding what to do with the 401(k) you leave behind shouldn’t add to the difficulty. In this episode, Mark Riepe explores the options available to you if you’ve left your employer but still have a 401(k).  Mark Riepe talks with Nathan Voris, senior managing director at Schwab Retirement Plan Services. They discuss the advantages of various options such as an IRA rollover, an indirect rollover, and doing nothing. In some cases, it might make sense to roll your 401(k) over to your new employer’s plan, but how do you evaluate two different plans to see which is right for you? Mark and Nathan walk you through the details.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.  If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.   Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.  All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.  Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.A rollover of retirement plan assets to an IRA is not your only option. Carefully consider all of your available options which may include but not be limited to keeping your assets in your former employer's plan; rolling over assets to a new employer's plan; or taking a cash distribution (taxes and possible withdrawal penalties may apply). Prior to a decision, be sure to understand the benefits and limitations of your available options and consider factors such as differences in investment related expenses, plan or account fees, available investment options, distribution options, legal and creditor protections, the availability of loan provisions, tax treatment, and other concerns specific to your individual circumstances.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.  HSA withdrawals that are not used for qualified medical expenses are subject to ordinary income tax and prior to age 65 may be subject to a 20% federal tax penalty.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0720-03B6)

Jul 2020

24 min 3 sec

The recently passed CARES Act makes it easier for people to access money that’s locked away in their retirement accounts. In this episode, Mark Riepe explores the factors that determine whether you should use your retirement accounts to support current short-term expenses. To learn more about specific rules and strategies, Mark Riepe talks with Rob Williams, vice president of financial planning, retirement income, and wealth management at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. They discuss the specific provisions and rules about retirement accounts in the CARES Act and explore other ways that might help you meet short-term cash needs.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Please read the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Solutions™ disclosure brochures for important information, pricing, and disclosures related to the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium programs.  Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ are made available through Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (“Schwab”), a dually registered investment advisor and broker dealer. Portfolio management services are provided by Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA"). Schwab and CSIA are subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see www.schwab.com/indexdefinitions.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0620-0WYJ)

Jun 2020

23 min 16 sec

We all like low prices and big returns, but when faced with the decision of which bond to buy, should you pick the one with the higher yield? Should you, in essence, shop for a bond bargain? It could be that the yield number catches your attention because it is so salient. This decision is especially pertinent right now, given the low level of interest rates.In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Collin Martin, managing director and fixed income strategist at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, about what to consider—besides yield—when you are evaluating bonds.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. High-yield bonds and lower-rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk and liquidity risk.Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.Preferred securities: (1) Generally have lower credit ratings than the firm's individual bonds (2) They generally have a lower claim to assets than the firm's individual bonds (3) Often have higher yields than the firm's individual bonds due to these risk characteristics. (4) Are often callable, meaning the issuing company may redeem the securities at a certain price after a certain date.International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0620-0MLB)

Jun 2020

30 min 52 sec

Imagine you’ve received a $1,000 windfall—a special bonus from work, or a gift, or even a small inheritance. Maybe you’ve never invested before, and you think now is the time to start. Or maybe you’ve already got a small portfolio, and you’re wondering what the smart thing is to do with this unexpected bit of good fortune. In this bonus episode, Mark Riepe discusses several approaches for investing $1,000.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/FinancialDecoder.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.Schwab Stock Slices™ is not intended to be investment advice or a recommendation of any stock. Investing in stocks can be volatile and involves risk including loss of principal. Consider your individual circumstances prior to investing.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0320-0W3E)

May 2020

6 min 24 sec

When the market drops quickly, many investors scramble for the exits. Yet that decision is usually an emotional one rather than a rational one. In this special bonus episode, Mark Riepe discusses some tools that can help you stay the course with your plan. Mark talks with David Koenig, vice president and chief investment strategist for Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. They discuss how you can use rebalancing, tax loss harvesting, and other strategies to your advantage during a down market.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Please read the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Solutions™ disclosure brochures for important information, pricing, and disclosures related to the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium programs. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ are made available through Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (“Schwab”), a dually registered investment advisor and broker dealer. Portfolio management services are provided by Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA"). Schwab and CSIA are subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ are designed to monitor portfolios on a daily basis and will also automatically rebalance as needed to keep the portfolio consistent with the client’s selected risk profile. Trading may not take place daily.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.Diversification, periodic investment plans (dollar-cost-averaging), and rebalancing a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Roth IRA conversions require a 5-year holding period before earnings can be withdrawn tax free and subsequent conversions will require their own 5-year holding period. In addition, earnings distributions prior to age 59 1/2 are subject to an early withdrawal penalty.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0420-03US)

Apr 2020

28 min 20 sec

Almost everyone has the goal of saving for retirement. But before you can do so, you face one of the most fundamental questions about investing: Which type of account should you choose? If you’re lucky enough to have a workplace retirement plan, that’s often a great place to start. But if you don’t—or even if you do and want to save more, or just want additional options—the individual retirement account, or IRA, is a popular choice for its tax-friendly features. However, choosing between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA requires some difficult forecasting. On this episode, Mark Riepe is joined by Hayden Adams, CPA, CFP®, director of tax and financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, to unpack the complexities underpinning the Roth-vs.-traditional decision.Account choice isn’t a conundrum only when you’re accumulating assets. Listen to the episode “How Can You Pay Yourself in Retirement” to hear more about how to coordinate withdrawals across multiple accounts.Remember that tax laws are always subject to change. You can check out the IRS Newsroom page regularly for updates.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.Diversification and rebalancing a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Roth IRA conversions require a 5-year holding period before earnings can be withdrawn tax free and subsequent conversions will require their own 5-year holding period. In addition, earnings distributions prior to age 59 1/2 are subject to an early withdrawal penalty.Any corporate name mentioned is for illustrative purposes only and is not a recommendation, endorsement, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.

Mar 2020

20 min 36 sec

On Financial Decoder, we often emphasize the importance of taking a long-term approach to investing, but not everyone has that luxury. Some investors have bills to pay right now and need to pull money from their portfolios to make those payments. In this bonus episode, Mark Riepe discusses several approaches for selling smartly if and when you have to.Learn more about the benefits of rebalancing in the article “Rebalancing to Help Reduce Risk.”Read about the silver lining of investment losses in “Reap the Benefits of Tax-Loss Harvesting.”Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.Diversification and rebalancing a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0320-0FYG)

Mar 2020

9 min

Many people set New Year’s resolutions, but sadly, most don’t keep them. In this episode Mark Riepe offers several suggestions for keeping you on track with your resolutions, as well as proposing some specific resolutions that can help you better manage your financial life—whatever the date you choose to implement them. Mark talks with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz about two of the most popular resolutions: setting and sticking to a budget and how to pay off debt.Then Rob Williams, vice president of financial planning and retirement income, discusses ways you can optimize your portfolio—and how you can prepare for the unexpected.Choiceology host Katy Milkman contributed to research about the “fresh start effect,” which is the tendency for people to get motivated to change their life after temporal landmarks like New Year’s Day or anniversaries.To read more about setting—and sticking to—your own financial resolutions, check out Rob’s article “New Year's Financial Resolutions: Get Your Finances in Shape for 2020.” Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:Please read the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Solutions™ disclosure brochures for important information, pricing, and disclosures related to the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium programs.Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ are made available through Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (“Schwab”), a dually registered investment advisor and broker dealer. Portfolio management services are provided by Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA"). Schwab and CSIA are subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed-income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Diversification and rebalancing a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0220-0ZKT)

Feb 2020

31 min 11 sec

There’s clear evidence that the best way to achieve your financial goals is by starting with a plan. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have a written plan. Why is that? In this episode, Mark Riepe and guest Jullie Strippoli discuss strategies to overcome some of the common mental barriers to getting started with a plan. Read more about Schwab’s Modern Wealth Survey, which includes surprising results such as how millennials are in many cases more focused on saving, investing and financial planning than older generations. The study “Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan” shows that similar households often end up with different levels of wealth because of the varying attitudes and skills with which they approach financial planning.Choiceology host Katy Milkman contributed to research about how prompting people to plan can improve follow-through on important tasks.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.Diversification and rebalancing of a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars and qualified withdrawals of income are tax-free for those 59 ½ or older for accounts that have been open for five or more years.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0000-0000)

Feb 2020

34 min 49 sec

A top concern among those who are retired or about to retire is how to generate income from their portfolio. They’re leaving their primary job, need to replace the paycheck they used to get from their employer, and are looking for their portfolio to help make that happen.In this episode Mark talks with Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Schwab. They discuss how living off interest and dividends alone is unrealistic for most retirees—and what other income strategies might work better.If you’d like to learn more about Schwab’s new way to pay yourself from your portfolio, check out schwab.com/IntelligentIncome.And if you want to hear about recent legislative changes affecting required minimum distributions, listen to this episode of the WashingtonWise Investor podcast.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:Please note that the RMD age changed with the passing of the Secure Act in 2019. If you turned 70 ½ before 2020 then you may be subject to RMDs. For 2020 and beyond, the age at which individuals may be required to take RMDs from retirement accounts is 72.Please read the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Solutions™ disclosure brochures for important information, pricing, and disclosures related to the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium programs.Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ are made available through Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. (“Schwab”), a dually registered investment advisor and broker dealer.Schwab Intelligent Income™ is an optional feature for clients to receive recurring automated withdrawals from their accounts. Schwab does not guarantee the amount or duration of Schwab Intelligent Income withdrawals nor does it guarantee any specific tax results such as meeting Required Minimum Distributions.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Investment value will fluctuate, and bond investments, when sold, may be worth more or less than original cost. Fixed income securities are subject to various other risks, including changes in interest rates and credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications, and other factors. High-yield bonds and lower-rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk and liquidity risk.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you should expect to attain.Diversification and rebalancing of a portfolio cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in any given market environment. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars and qualified withdrawals of income are tax-free for those 59 ½ or older for accounts that have been open for five or more years.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0120-0DGX)

Jan 2020

18 min 23 sec

Today, many startups and most of the companies on the Fortune 500 list allow their employees to take ownership in the company through stock awards, employee stock purchase plans, stock options, or some other form of equity compensation. That’s a good thing because aligning the interests of employees and owners makes sense. But employees receiving equity compensation can feel overwhelmed. The details may seem like a confusing swarm of acronyms, tax challenges, and timing decisions that can obscure the benefits of a potential windfall. In this episode Mark talks with Amy Reback, vice president of Schwab Stock Plan Services. They discuss how equity compensation has evolved and what strategies might be best for employees holding various types of stock options or restricted stock. Mark also dives into the biases that might be preventing you from making the best decisions about your equity compensation—and how you can guard against those mistakes. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.Schwab Stock Plan Services provides equity compensation plan services and other financial services to corporations and employees through Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). Schwab, a registered broker-dealer, offers brokerage and custody services to its customers.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB(1219-9JKT)

Dec 2019

27 min 50 sec

Throughout the holiday season, you might encounter dozens of appeals for charity. If you decide to give, or if you donate throughout the year, how can you maximize the impact of your gift? In this episode, Mark talks with Kim Laughton, president of Schwab Charitable, a nonprofit organization established with the support of Charles Schwab & Co. to make charitable giving simpler and more tax-efficient.They discuss direct cash gifts, donor-advised funds, private foundations, and other ways of giving—and which types of investors can benefit from each approach.You can learn more about the science behind why helping others makes us feel good on the “Happiness” episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Schwab Charitable is the name used for the combined programs and services of Schwab Charitable Fund, an independent nonprofit organization. Schwab Charitable Fund has entered into service agreements with certain affiliates of The Charles Schwab Corporation.A donor's ability to claim itemized deductions is subject to a variety of limitations depending on the donor's specific tax situation. Consult your tax advisor for more information.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab Charitable recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, Financial Planner or Investment Manager.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(1119-98G9)

Nov 2019

38 min 44 sec

In today’s world virtually everyone participates in the economy as either a borrower or a lender, and most people are both. If you’ve ever put money in a bank, then you’re a lender. If you’ve ever used a credit card, then you’re a borrower. In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz about the liability side of your personal balance sheet—debt. Of course, not all debts are the same.Among the topics Mark and Carrie discuss are “good” debt versus “bad” debt, paying off debt before you retire, and a handy rule of thumb for managing your personal debt level.You can read more about the exponential growth bias and personal finance in this study.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only. They are not intended to represent a specific investment product.Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner or investment manager. Please consult with your tax advisor on the deductibility of home equity line of credit interest payments for your specific tax situation.This offer is subject to change or withdrawal at any time and without notice. Nothing herein is or should be interpreted as an obligation to lend. Loans are subject to credit and property approval. Other conditions and restrictions may apply. Hazard insurance may be required. Program terms and conditions are subject to change.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(1019-95Z8)

Oct 2019

22 min 34 sec

Charles Schwab & Co. founder and Chairman of the Board Chuck Schwab discusses the decisions that led him to create a revolutionary business model for the brokerage industry. Chuck talks about his decision to start a business, his difficulties raising capital, and even how he convinced his wife to mortgage the house to support his upstart company. He and Mark also discuss the 1983 sale of the company to Bank of America, how he bought the company back—and how Chuck framed both decisions to his employees and the board of directors.The goal of Financial Decoder is to help listeners make better financial decisions. And while the decisions Chuck describes are in the context of his life, many of us will make decisions that may be smaller in scale but are of the same basic type: when to sell, when to change direction when things aren’t going well, when to ask for help, when to borrow money, and many others. And in the context of our own lives, these can be high-stakes decisions indeed.You can learn more about Chuck’s new memoir, Invested, and the company he built at https://content.schwab.com/Invested.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.Examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only. They are not intended to represent a specific investment product.Investing involves risk, including loss of principalApple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB(1019-9Y15)

Oct 2019

24 min

Which generation is more prone to herding—millennials or Generation X? Should anchoring bias worry Baby Boomers or younger investors more? In this episode, Mark Riepe is joined by Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer for equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management and an expert in behavioral finance. Mark and Omar discuss the results of a survey that identified the biases most prevalent among baby boomers, Gen X, and millennials. This study from the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis tests the implications of anchoring bias associated with forecasting earnings per share.Another study from Information Systems Research examined the role of confirmation bias in virtual communities such as stock message boards.You can learn more about nosology and the classification of diseases in this article: https://www.3mhisinsideangle.com/blog-post/the-first-nosologists-classifying-disease-in-16th-century-london/Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.  Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Digital currencies, such as bitcoin, are highly volatile and not backed by any central bank or government. Digital currencies lack many of the regulations and consumer protections that legal-tender currencies and regulated securities have. Due to the high level of risk, investors should view Bitcoin as a purely speculative instrument.This is for general informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as tax, investment or legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel and tax advisors about your particular circumstances.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.(0919-9DF0)

Sep 2019

21 min 26 sec

The financial services industry is heavily regulated. That means the politicians who write the laws and the regulators who execute those laws shape the environment in which individual investors make their decisions. In this episode, Mark Riepe is joined by Mike Townsend, vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs at Schwab. Townsend is also the host of Schwab’s newest podcast, WashingtonWise Investor. Among other things, Mark and Mike discuss how politicians use certain cognitive and emotional biases to frame policy proposals, win elections, and pass legislation.This study of Facebook users examined how interacting with diverse news and opinions affected exposure to content across the political spectrum.This study from the Journal of Marketing Research showed that taxes are disliked more than their equivalent (or larger) costs.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures:The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results.This is for general informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as tax, investment or legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel and tax advisors about your particular circumstances.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.(0919-9J5G)

Sep 2019

31 min 55 sec

Trading is a crucible of emotions and analysis. During volatile markets and periods of economic change, it is common for regular investors to ask whether they should be more active with their portfolios. In this episode, Mark Riepe is joined by Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Mark and Randy review a list of biases that have an impact when you’re making trading decisions, and then they discuss techniques that can blunt the impact of those biases. This study of day traders using real money revealed the link between emotions and trading performance. This study from the Journal of Marketing Research documented the tendency of investors to repurchase stocks they previously sold for a gain rather than ones they previously sold for a loss and repurchase stocks that have lost value subsequent to a prior sale rather than those that have gained value. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This is for general informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as tax, investment or legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel and tax advisors about your particular circumstances. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0619-9406)

Jun 2019

26 min 29 sec

Discussing what will happen to your children and your assets after you die might not sound like the most pleasant task. Is that why so many people don’t have wills or estate plans? Mark talks with Colleen O’Brien about what’s actually in an estate plan and how you can get started creating one. You can read more about the number of people without wills in this NBER working paper. The concept of “choice bracketing” is explored in this article from the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This is for general informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as tax, investment or legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel and tax advisors about your particular circumstances. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0619-9FP2)

Jun 2019

17 min 26 sec

After saving up your whole life, is it finally the right time to retire? It’s a complex decision with a lot of variables. In this episode, Mark Riepe examines how affective forecasting and optimism bias could hinder you from making the best decision. Mark talks with Robert Aruldoss, a senior research analyst for financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, about how much savings you should have, when you should sign up for Medicare, when you should take Social Security, and other factors influencing your decision of when to retire. You can read more about the rising costs of health expenses in retirement from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Working longer and delaying retirement can be a powerful strategy. Read more about the benefits in this study. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0519-9YBN)

May 2019

29 min 33 sec

Saving for retirement can seem overwhelming—especially if you are 50 years old and haven’t saved nearly enough. Fortunately there are some provisions in the tax code that allow you to make additional contributions to tax-advantaged accounts. In this episode, Mark Riepe examines some of those provisions as well as a few biases that might actually help you get back on track. Mark is joined by Hayden Adams, director of tax and financial planning for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. They discuss the catch-up provisions available with employer-sponsored plans as well as individual plans. You can read more about the specifics of each type of catch-up contribution allowed at IRS.gov. The benefits of immediate rewards as they relate to long-term goals are explained in this article from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. 0519-91AN

May 2019

23 min 46 sec

Two corrections for the broad market in 2018, coupled with bear markets in various segments of the market have many investors facing a decision: do I have the right level of diversification in my portfolio or do I need to make some changes? It’s likely that many people aren’t diversified as well as they should be. In this episode, Mark Riepe breaks down the ways your cognitive biases might be preventing you from building a truly diversified portfolio. Joining Mark is Omar Aguilar from Charles Schwab Investment Management. Mark and Omar discuss how you can tell if your portfolio isn’t diversified enough—and how you can change that. You can read more about how diversification works in this study: “Equity Portfolio Diversification,” William N. Goetzmann and Alok Kumar, Review of Finance, 2008 Omar Aguilar discusses home country bias in investing in this article: “The Comforts of Home” Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Correlation is a statistical measure of how two investments have historically moved in relation to each other, and ranges from -1 to +1. A correlation of 1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, while a correlation of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation. A correlation of zero means the assets are not correlated. Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not ensure a profit and cannot protect against losses in a declining market. International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed‐income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Hypothetical examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to represent the past or future performance of any specific investment. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0419-92ZJ)

Apr 2019

38 min 9 sec

A recent survey of people participating in 401(k) plans revealed that 62% of them expect their 401(k) to be their biggest source of income in retirement. But if these accounts are so critical to retirement, why are they so often neglected? In this episode Mark Riepe talks with experts from the world of retirement plan services: Catherine Golladay and Nathan Voris. They discuss saving strategies and the major stumbling blocks that can prevent you from maximizing your 401(k). You can read more about how 401(k)s have evolved in these studies: “Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Determinants of Participation and Contribution Rates,” Journal of Financial Services Research, 2007, Gur Huberman, Sheena S. Iyengar, and Wei Jiang. “Increasing Saving Behavior Through Age-Progressed Renderings of the Future Self,” Journal of Marketing Research, November 2011, Hal E. Hershfield, Daniel G. Goldstein, William F. Sharpe, Jesse Fox, Leo Yeykelis, Laura L. Carstensen, and Jeremy N. Balinesen. And if you’d like to help shape the future direction of the show, please consider taking this brief survey. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Any examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager. Vesting means ownership of your account or your entitlement to benefits. You are always 100% vested in any contributions that you make to your retirement plan, even if you leave your employer. However, depending on what type of retirement plan you have and the choices your employer has made about the benefits under the plan, vesting of employer contributions may be immediate or may take up to seven years. Your plan’s disclosure documents will contain the specific vesting schedule. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0219-997H)

Feb 2019

29 min 8 sec

Like any investment, bonds do come with their own set of risks. How can you best evaluate these different risks? It’s easy to be distracted by stories or personal experiences that aren’t necessarily representative of the current situation. In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist, about the specific risks related to bond investing and how to objectively evaluate them. You can read more about how people’s experiences living through tough economic times affected their future investment decisions in these studies: “Formative Experiences and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from the Finnish Great Depression,” Journal of Finance, February 2-17, Samuli Knupfer, Elias Rantapuska, and Matti Sarvimaki “Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2011, Ulrike Malmendier and Stefan Nagel Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Diversification does not eliminate the risk of investment losses. Any examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only. Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed-income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower-rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk. Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily suitable for all investors. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third parties, and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are inflation-linked securities issued by the U.S. government whose principal value is adjusted periodically in accordance with the rise and fall in the inflation rate. Thus, the dividend amount payable is also impacted by variations in the inflation rate, as it is based upon the principal value of the bond. It may fluctuate up or down. Repayment at maturity is guaranteed by the U.S. government and may be adjusted for inflation to become the greater of the original face amount at issuance or that face amount plus an adjustment for inflation. A bond ladder, depending on the types and amount of securities within the ladder, may not ensure adequate diversification of your investment portfolio. This potential lack of diversification may result in heightened volatility of the value of your portfolio. You must perform your own evaluation of whether a bond ladder and the securities held within it are consistent with your investment objective, risk tolerance and financial circumstances. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0219-9FCR)

Feb 2019

30 min 30 sec

People are hardwired to value earning money more than saving it. A recent report shows that 26% of all workers have saved less than $1,000 for retirement and 64% have saved less than $100,000. In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz about ways to overcome some common mental blocks to saving more—and to put savings on autopilot. You can read more about how much American workers have saved at the Employee Benefits Research Institute. The study “How Much Should People Save?” shows that more than half of workers are considered “at risk” of not being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement. See if you are on track to meet your savings goals with Schwab’s Savings Calculator. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (1218-8C1U)

Dec 2018

21 min 23 sec

What’s an acceptable level of performance for your portfolio? Before you can answer that question, you first have to be sure you’re calculating your returns correctly. Even professionals get it wrong sometimes. In this episode Mark examines how the availability heuristic and confirmation bias could affect your ability to make the best decisions with your portfolio. You can read more about the Beardstown Ladies Investment Club and how they miscalculated in this article. To understand more about how CalPERS projected future returns, see this story in the LA Times. A study titled "Why Inexperienced Investors Do Not Learn: They Do Not Know Their Past Portfolio Performance" shows how behavioral mistakes influence investors of all experience levels when it comes to calculating their portfolio performance. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (1218-8ULE)

Dec 2018

13 min 5 sec

In this episode of Financial Decoder, host Mark Riepe examines one of the most critical retirement decisions: When should you take Social Security? When you claim too early, your benefits are reduced, and yet a large percentage of people claim at the earliest possible age. What’s driving this decision? Mark looks at three psychological phenomena that could impact the decision: loss aversion, present bias and reference points. Joining Mark in the discussion is Rob Williams, Vice President of Financial Planning, Income Planning and Wealth Management. Many of the rules and reports that Mark and Rob discuss can be found on the website of the Social Security Administration. The 2017 Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin shows that 30% of Americans claim benefits at the earliest possible age—62. Here's why many of them regret it. The link between income and wealth and longevity was studied by researchers at the Urban Institute in this 2015 report. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (1118-87NN)

Nov 2018

23 min 4 sec

In this episode of Financial Decoder, host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, examines the psychological forces that impact a common investing decision: What should you sell? Investors often spend a lot of time and energy trying to decide which investments are the best to buy. But what about when it is time to sell? In this episode of Financial Decoder, Mark shares what the research tells us about the psychology of the sell decision. Choosing to keep or to sell a stock or other investment can be complicated because of something called the disposition effect. Joining Mark in the discussion is Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer for equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management, who talks about the way professional money managers work to mitigate behavioral and cognitive biases. One study, looking at real brokerage accounts of individual investors, found that stocks with an unrealized gain are 50% more likely to be sold than stocks with an unrealized loss. For more information on this study see “Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?” from The Journal of Finance. Another study found that when stocks are inherited, the disposition effect is half as large as it is when stocks are purchased by the investor. You can read more about this study from the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Mark also discusses the use of stop loss orders to reduce the disposition effect. This was studied in detail by researchers in the European Journal of Finance. Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: Information on this site is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered individualized recommendations or personalized investment advice. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market, economic and geo-political conditions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner or investment manager. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. is an affiliate of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. The type of securities and investment strategies mentioned may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review a security transaction for his or her own particular situation. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. There is no guarantee that execution of a stop order will be at or near the stop price. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (1118-8PEX)

Nov 2018

19 min 42 sec

In this new podcast, host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, unpacks important financial decisions and the biases that may prevent you from choosing wisely. Subscribe for free today to get the first episode when it launches November 5. Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. Important Disclosures Information on this site is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered individualized recommendations or personalized investment advice. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market, economic and geo-political conditions. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (1018-8NXN)

Oct 2018

2 min 19 sec