Investing Has Arrived
you ever gone to a client site or lunch; only to find a stock
you wanted had shot up while you were out? Or even worse,
a stock you own dropped like a rock during the few hours you
were away from the office? Now you can avoid these problems
with one of the handheld wireless devices available. The
promise of wireless investment technology is you will be able
to instantly get stock information wherever you are, and be
able to respond with the appropriate buy or sell order.
And with many of these units you can also get directions,
check a movie review, make a dinner or airline reservation
and check your email while you're away from the office.
The options for wireless investing
include PDAs (Personal Data Assistants) like the Palm products,
Internet enabled cell phones, and two-way text pagers. Even
though not a pocket size device, a regular laptop computer
with a wireless modem can also make an effective wireless
Each wireless device has its advantages
and disadvantages. A web enabled cell phone can receive stock
alerts and allow you to enter buy and sell orders. Your ability
to access a meaningful portion of the Internet from these
devices is limited. Due to their small screen, they probably
won't work for you if you like to read news stories or view
price charts before making an investment move. Entering
stock symbols from a numeric keypad isn't easy. High-end
two-way text pagers have an alphabet style keypad that makes
it easier to entering stock symbols when checking quotes or
placing an order, but their screens are still too small to
read news stories or view charts. They are lightweight, fit
into your pocket, and still allow you to check stock prices,
get email alerts, view your account status, and place buy
and sell orders.
The device of choice for active
investors on the go is the Palm VIIx ($449). Less active
investors that don't need charts or news stories will do well
with a web-enable cell phone or a two-way text pager. Most
online brokers are catering to the units from Palm. These
one-pound handheld PDA's have a high-resolution monochrome
screen large enough to display stock charts and news stories.
They use a stylus rather than a keypad and are easy to use.
The Palm VII models have a built-in modem for wireless communications,
which is an-add on with other units.
Handheld PDA's can store addresses,
phones numbers, calendars, and much more, but like a cell
phone, you need an account with a service provider before
it'll communicate with the rest of the world. Web enabled
cell phones offer web services as an add-on to their regular
service. Palm users can use Palm.net or a handful of other
providers. Palm.net basic service is $9.99 per month and
unlimited service is $44.99 per month.
Among the online brokers offering
wireless trading are Ameritrade, eTrade, and Fidelity. Investors
wanting wireless trading capabilities should check with their
current broker. Find out what services they provide and what
devices they support. If they don't offer wireless trading
and this is important to you, then maybe its time to move
your account to another broker.