It’s almost the holidays, and that means traveling to see family and friends in different parts of the country. But what happens if you need to manage your investments while you’re in the airport, or on a train, or at your parent’s house? That can be tricky . . .
While this scenario is rare, it could happen. For buy-and-hold, long-term investors, chances that you would want to sell over the holiday break are slim. However, if you’re a trader, or short-term investor, something could happen while you’re away from your desk.
However, technology can help . . .
Cloud Personal Finance Software
The best place to start is by having cloud personal finance software that can keep track of your investments for you.
On a basic level, this could mean having an app on your phone that tracks your portfolio. If you have an iPhone, you have the Stocks app built right in. You could also download apps from Bloomberg, DailyFinance, Reuters, and many other financial services firms. These apps are great starting points for tracking your stocks. We’ve put together a list of investing apps you can try as well.
At the next level, there are the personalized options for tracking your investments and accounts overall. Right now, our favorite is Personal Capital for managing your investment portfolio. They have a great website, and they also have a great mobile app that you can use to access your accounts as well.
The important thing to remember is that personal finance software will allow you to see your balances, but you can’t do anything else with it. So, this is great for tracking, but not for trading.
Mobile Trading Apps
If you’re going to need to trade while you’re traveling, you need to make sure that you have your broker’s app downloaded before you leave.
Pretty much all of the companies on our cheap investing sites list have mobile trading apps that allow you to access, and trade, from your account while you’re on the go.
However, our favorite mobile app is from our favorite discount broker, Fidelity. The great thing about the Fidelity app is that you can do everything you normally would do online. This includes trading stocks and options, tracking stock performance and other holdings, and even transferring money to and from your account. So, if you get a hot stock tip while on vacation, you can make sure that you have the money you need to invest while you’re on the go!
Old School Broker-Assisted Trades
Don’t have a smartphone or laptop? There’s still another way that you can manage your investments while traveling — it’s just getting rarer and rarer every year. That’s simply calling your broker. Yes, you can call your broker and place a trade. It’s called placing a broker-assisted trade.
Every broker still offers these trades, but they do charge much higher commissions for them — typically around $25 or higher per order. That’s expensive, but if you need to trade while you’re on the go, this could be a viable option for you.
Do you have any other tricks for managing your investments while traveling?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.