Schwab Opens Investor Service

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Investment banker Charles Schwab & Co., San Francisco, has launched an enhanced SchwabAlerts e-mail service, opening a fourth channel for investors.

The addition of e-mail to Web site visits, phone or the brick-and-mortar Schwab branches is designed to give customers more flexibility and control over how they interact with the firm.

"SchwabAlerts is yet another example of Schwab's high-tech, high-touch approach to investing," said Robert Seidman, vice president for e-mail at Electronic Brokerage Enterprise, which is steering Schwab's latest effort.

"We've taken an electronic tool people use every day and, with the customer in mind, developed a way to make it part of Schwab's broad investing experience," he said.

Schwab said its e-mail service is the precursor to eventual integration of e-mail and Internet technologies. More than 80 percent of adult Americans who surf the Internet use e-mail, according to a study last year by Forrester Research.

Among the range of e-mail alerts offered are account activity alerts, securities/news alerts, news, market alerts and prices of indices, mutual funds and stocks.

Schwab said its site serves more than 2.2 million active online accounts with $174 billion in online customer assets.

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