Two brokerage heavyweights, zeroing in on women's reluctance to play the stock market and make other investments, have begun rolling out programs to get them more involved.

Last week Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. announced a multifaceted program, Women Investing Now, a centerpiece of which will be a women's Internet portal on Schwab's Web site. The portal, to be introduced this month, will try to debunk myths about the stock market and describe how different investments can help people at various stages of their lives.

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