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Owners’ Manual Principle 1: Plan

Success is no accident.

In a study of Americans over 50, successful planners—those who stuck with their plans—achieved an average total net worth three times higher than those who didn’t plan.

Successful planning can help propel net worth.

Non- Planners Successful Planners 3X Average total net worth

About this chart.

Original data was based on 1,269 observations and came from a special retirement planning module for the 2004 Health and Retirement Study targeting Americans over the age of 50. Source: Lusardi, Annamaria, and Mitchell, Olivia S., “Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing,” May 2011, page 29. ©2011 by Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Do you own your plan? Ask yourself these questions:

Is my plan right for me?

Does my plan truly reflect my aspirations, priorities, and realities?

Is it specific?

Are my goals stated in specific terms, such as how much money I’ll need and when?

Does it include everything?

Does my plan consider all my relevant assets—not just those in a specific account—and specify how they should be invested?

Does it reflect my risk tolerance?

Can I accept short-term losses in exchange for my portfolio’s potential future growth?

Do I agree with its assumptions?

Do I agree with its underlying assumptions about future tax rates, inflation, and potential long-term investment returns?

Can I stick with it?

Can I confidently commit to the saving and spending goals it outlines?

How will I know it’s working?

Do I understand how success will be measured and when?

A Schwab Financial Consultant can partner with you to create your plan or troubleshoot one.

Let’s talk.


or stop by your local branch

Schwab ranked "Highest in Investor Satisfaction With Full-Service Brokerage Firms" in the 2016 Full-Service Investor Satisfaction Study.

Charles Schwab received the highest numerical score in the J.D. Power 2016 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study, based on 6,006 responses from 20 firms measuring opinions of investors who used full-service investment institutions and were surveyed in January 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit

Note: No plan can provide assurance that your goals will be met. Investments and investment strategies involve risk, including the potential loss of principal invested.

Important information

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.

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.

Small-cap securities are subject to greater volatility than those in other asset categories.

For general educational purposes. Nothing in this document should be considered a solicitation or a recommendation by Schwab to buy, sell, or continue to hold securities or other investments or to open an account.

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.

Schwab refers to our investment professionals as Financial Consultants. There are certain eligibility requirements if you are interested in working with a dedicated Financial Consultant.

Products with lower fees do not guarantee higher returns or that investors will experience lesser losses during periods of market decline.

The implementation of any recommendations made as a result of advice provided may result in trade commissions or other fees, charges, or expenses.

Investments and investment strategies are not without risk, including the potential loss of principal invested. Past performance is not an indicator or guarantee of future results.

Terms referenced throughout this manual describing our relationship with you, as well as services referenced throughout this brochure, are brokerage services provided by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. We offer our clients planning assistance, educational content, research, and other services that are without a fee and incidental to Schwab acting as a broker-dealer. When we work with you as a broker-dealer, we do not make investment decisions for you or manage your accounts on a discretionary basis. No part of this manual shall be interpreted by any party as Schwab acting as a registered investment advisor and providing investment advisory services, such as ongoing discretionary portfolio management for a fee.

The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

©2016 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”). All rights reserved. Member SIPC. CC0010203 (0715-4WZZ)