Schwab Finds Investors Focused Again on Actively Growing Retirement Savings

Growth of Assets a Higher Priority than Protection for Pre-retirees

Thursday, March 4, 2010 5:00 am PST



Public Company Information:

"These results confirm what we hear from our clients every day. They're getting along better financially, but are beginning to think more proactively about getting back on track with their investment plans"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the latest Real Life Retirement quarterly pulse survey by Charles Schwab & Co, Inc., investors still remain uncertain about the future of the economy, with more than half (54 percent) expecting another dip before the stock market settles. But investors are taking a proactive approach to future investing, with 46 percent focused on growing their retirement savings and just 29 percent on protecting, according to the survey.

"These results confirm what we hear from our clients every day. They're getting along better financially, but are beginning to think more proactively about getting back on track with their investment plans," said Stacy Hammond, director of Real Life Retirement Services for Charles Schwab. "To help focus those plans, we encourage all investors to engage in proactive discussions with their advisors about adjusting portfolios and revisiting budgets to accomplish their goals."

Growing vs. Protecting

Among younger investors the focus on growth is even more pronounced: more than half of Americans ages 18-32 (58 percent) and 33-44 (54 percent) consider multiplying retirement assets to be their top priority in preparing for retirement. Differences in attitudes exist between the sexes: more men than women (50 percent vs. 43 percent) think it’s most important to boost their current retirement savings. Women are more likely than men (32 percent vs. 26 percent) to concentrate on protecting the savings they already have.

According to the study, retirement savings don't always match up with expectations. While nearly three in 10 investors agreed they should contribute 10 percent of their income to retirement, twice that number – 60 percent – are allocating less, and 20 percent of those surveyed are currently saving nothing at all for retirement.

"It's promising to see most investors understand the need to take action now toward retirement and that folks nearing retirement aren’t trying to ‘make up for lost time’ by taking on more risk than they can tolerate," Hammond added. "In any market environment, it’s important to balance portfolios and risk tolerance. At Schwab we help our clients bridge the gap between what they'd like to save and what they can afford in a way that marries the two considerations."

Building a “Risk Tolerant” Portfolio

Schwab offers the following guidance to help investors build a portfolio to match their risk tolerance and align with their retirement goals:

1. Get to know your risk tolerance. Could you stomach the market decline of 2008? If not, scale back the risk in your investment plan.

2. Adopt the mantra: Conservatism is the new black. A low return on a safe investment may be an excellent result in part of your portfolio. Make up for lower investment returns with lower spending and increased savings or plan to work longer before retiring.

3. Prioritize. Protect the money you'll need in the first few years of retirement first then think about how to invest for the longer term.

4. Understand that different investments have different objectives. Some are meant for return of capital (principal preservation), others for return on capital (growth). You can't always have both. Get help deciding how much you need of each and invest accordingly.

5. Recognize that yield and safety are not equivalent. A higher return generally means higher risk, so speak with a professional to help you navigate investment options.

For More Information

Charles Schwab encourages individuals to take advantage of Schwab’s Real Life Retirement Services, which provides a realistic approach to retirement, not only offering key insight into actionable ways to save for and manage retirement savings, but also providing guidance on products and services and access to stories from Americans who have successfully moved into life’s third act. For more information please visit,

Boomers and Retirement

Schwab is proud to serve as the title sponsor for a CNBC special report on the Boomer generation and its impact on life, culture and politics: “BOOMER$: The Story of History’s Wealthiest and Most Influential Generation. This CNBC program runs on Thursday, March 4 at 9 p.m. EST.

About the Study

The Charles Schwab Q1 Retirement Omnibus Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between Jan. 26th and Feb. 1st, 2010 using Random Digit Dialing of listed and unlisted numbers. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 7.7 million client brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 739,000 banking accounts, and $1.4 trillion in client assets. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Named "Highest in Investor Satisfaction with Self-Directed Services" by J.D. Power and Associates in 2009, its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through Schwab Advisor Services. The Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC) provides banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at (0310-1657)


Charles Schwab
Matt Hurwitz, 415-667-0480
Pablo Rodriguez, 415-486-3267

Corporate Public Relations
Contacts for Journalists Only




Business Wire NewsHQ℠