Tech Industry

Schwab targeting women with financial site

The brokerage launches a financial services site geared toward women, trying to use its brand and reputation to power into a segment already packed with competitors.

By launching a financial services site geared toward women on Tuesday, Charles Schwab is trying to use its brand and reputation to power into a segment already packed with competitors.

The site offers financial advice, news, message boards and links back to Schwab's main page so that customers can check stock quotes and make trades. But, to try to separate itself from the host of other sites of its kind, Schwab said it will take investment education further and will avoid stereotyping.

"We give users the ability to take the next step--whether it's creating or modifying a plan, choosing investments, finding an adviser or placing a trade," Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, the company's vice president of consumer education, said in a statement.

But Schwab's new offering is an old idea. Sites such as Women.com, Oxygen.com and iVillage have offered financial advice in varying degrees for years. Schwab will try to show women that a financial site, rather than a site that contains a variety of content, is the place to seek investment advice and services.

In May, Internet study group PeopleSupport found women have overtaken men as the dominant gender in online shopping. The study found that 63 percent of those who shop online are women, and the percentage of women surfing the Web has grown from 15 percent in 1995 to 50 percent this year.

Schwab is hoping that women will also be a powerful block in the investment world.

The company is trying to attract customers with its reputation as the leading online broker--with more than 7.4 million active accounts and $961 billion in assets.

News.com's Stefanie Olsen contributed to this report.