Got a complicated trading strategy? Jeffrey’s got you.

May 2, 2024 Chelsey Sleator
How engagement manager Jeffrey Giles is leveraging his deep trading knowledge and expertise to help self-directed investors at Schwab.

"Show me how you are trading."

That's how engagement manager Jeffrey Giles likes to start most consultations. In his role, Jeffrey meets virtually with clients to help them understand and navigate Schwab's trading platforms and how they can be used to pursue their goals. While he could start by asking questions, he prefers to remote into clients’ computers to watch how they are trading and see how they are using the tools. It helps him get to the root of any issues they may be having and understand what they are trying to accomplish.

"I get a deeper understanding and uncover unstated needs," he explains. “I learn so much more just by shadowing them.”

He recalls watching one client who was getting lost and frustrated by the advanced features in the desktop version of the thinkorswim® platform. Jeffrey was able to recognize that this client really only needed a couple of watchlists and a few charts for the type of trading he was looking to do, so he steered him toward the more streamlined web version of the platform.

"I was able to say here's a solution that works better for you and here’s how it works. And by the end of the consultation, I watched him literally breathe a sigh of relief. That’s what I’m here for,” says Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Giles speaking to a branch colleague.

“The more I know, the more I can help clients”

Jeffrey is at Schwab to help self-directed investors succeed; it’s a client-base he has a deep affinity for because he’s been through every stage of being a self-directed investor himself. 

Jeffrey came to Schwab via Ameritrade where, in 2017 he started as a core client service and support specialist. There he was answering the phone and assisting clients with basic support needs, while also acquiring new financial services licenses, and delving deeper into trading himself. 

But Jeffrey is the kind of person who is always moving forward, so after a few months, he took a leap to the trade desk where he says he was hired not for his knowledge of options and advanced trading strategies, but for his willingness to learn more. So he leveled up his skills, his certifications, and his own knowledge of trading strategies.

But even though he’s achieved a high level of trading expertise, Jeffrey has never given up the spirit of always learning. In fact, he’s recently joined the Schwab Certified Financial Planning® Cohort Program offered to employees, where he’s working alongside colleagues who are studying together and supporting one-another to obtain their CFP certification. Here he’s learning more about economics, wealth management, and tax concepts—topics that he’s already been able to utilize to have more informed conversations with clients, as he’s preparing to take the final certification test.

Making things a little bit easier

Jeffrey loves that in his current role he gets to go a mile deep with clients. A typical consultation lasts 45 minutes, however he’ll set up as many appointments as needed to help a client connect their long-term trading visions with short-term goals on Schwab’s platforms.

But having started his career at the core client service desk, Jeffrey knows that there are opportunities at every level to make things a little bit easier for clients. So, he’s on a mission to help educate the employees working on Schwab’s frontlines so clients don’t have to wait for a specialized consultation.

“Frequently, I will go to team huddles and say ‘Hey, do you guys have questions about thinkorswim?’ Or ‘What are the common questions that you are facing?’ I may even just do a 15- to 30-minute presentation. Making the reps a little bit more equipped is a big deal because answering questions in the first phone call is a big benefit to clients,” he explains. 

Here to help

With the integration of Schwab and Ameritrade, Jeffrey’s been in a unique position to help clients on both ends of the transition align their trading strategies to a wider variety of product offerings. He’s helping long-time Schwab clients learn about new trading capabilities through the thinkorswim platform suite, and he’s helping newly transitioned clients from Ameritrade navigate the Schwab website and enhancements to the trading platforms that they are familiar with. He says it’s been exciting to share these capabilities with clients on both sides.


We have greater resources to make our trading tools better. We’ve already seen that happen. And we have a team of super caring people here to help you navigate it all.

- Jeffrey Giles, Engagement Manager, Charles Schwab

In fact, Jeffrey lights up when he talks about getting into the weeds with clients. While he’s happy to talk to someone that needs help connecting their bank account to their brokerage account, what he loves most is geeking out with active trader clients and showing them all the cool things they can do with Schwab’s tools.