Even Rich Folks Need Friends — On Facebook: Forbes, September 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 27:  Charles Schwab Co...

Want to know who is hoping to make some new friends on Facebook? Talk to Chuck.

Or maybe, given the discount brokerage’s new embrace of social media, that should be Chat with Chuck – or Tweet with Chuck.

Yes, Charles SchwabThe man is one of the wealthiest in the Bay Area, and his eponymous company is one of the most successful brokerages. Now he’s trying to get young people to invest, a perennially challenging problem, but one that seems to be breaking through with the advent of the Internet and tools likeMint.com (acquired last year by Intuit).

So Schwab has a Facebook fan page, where you can like him (almost 6,000 people do), and a Twitter feed (almost 1,300 people follow him). And now SchwabMoneyWise, his effort to draw in the younger generations, has planted its flag in the social media world, with a page atwww.facebook.com/schwabmoneywise.

What’s next – Schwab Mobs?

The Facebook page has gotten off to a slow start – as of Monday night, only 63 people “like” it, and at least a couple of those work at CRT-Tanaka, Schwab’s public relations firm. But it’s a noble effort. According to Schwab’s press release about the page, “Schwab’s 2010 Families & Money Survey , released in April, found that young adults are reaching financial independence much later than in previous generations.”

Schwab started “Money Mondays” in June, offering help for people just starting to deal with money on their own, like when they get their first job, rent an apartment, and get a credit card. But save? Invest? Pay off your student loans? These may be relatively foreign concepts, but Schwab hopes to make them fun, with contests and interactive dialogue on the social web.

And who knows – maybe in that dialogue, the young people will teach Chuck a thing or two. “We are excited to be on Facebook and to engage in a richer conversation with people just starting out,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation and a senior vice president of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (and Chuck’s daughter – part of the next generation leading the company). “We want to hear their thoughts and point of view.”

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