It's not easy being in the discount brokerage business. How do you persuade customers to do business with you, vs. every other deep discounter in cyberland? How do you grow the business when the markets are stumbling and trust is lost? First-rate customer service is one way to stand out. Charles Schwab also managed to grow during the financial crisis by rolling out new products for sophisticated investors, like managed-portfolio ETFs and fixed-income funds. That's why the financial services giant was No. 1 among securities companies in Fortune's Most Admired Companies list this year. Here's how it does it.
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The central problem in the stock market is that the return on capital hasn't risen with inflation. It seems to be stuck at 12%. More