Money: Trouble At Schwab

What the CEO's sacking means to investors

More than ever, investors of modest means who are looking for financial advice will have to go it alone. That's the lesson behind last week's sacking of CEO David Pottruck at discount brokerage Charles Schwab. Since taking the sole helm at Schwab 14 months ago, Pottruck has been unable to make the firm's middle-market strategy pay. And with onetime everyman firms like Dean Witter gone and Merrill Lynch refocused on the rich, it's not clear that anyone will step up with a full plate of services for ordinary folks.

"You're basically bisecting the market," says Matt Snowling, a brokerage analyst at...

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