Set Trading Alerts to Help Monitor Your Portfolio

August 17, 2023 Beginner
Setting up alerts can help traders monitor trading events, keep them informed about current news impacting their trades, and help them monitor their portfolio's performance.

With an avalanche of real-time news pouring in on the global economy, markets, and company events, it can be a time-consuming task for investors to stay up to date on information that can affect their investment strategy.

Alerts can help investors cut through the daunting clutter by notifying them of information and news that may affect their holdings, portfolio performance, and investment decisions. These automatic notifications can keep investors informed about poorly performing assets they may want to shed or better-performing securities they may consider buying.

Alerts save time and help investors stay informed.

Alerts for managing a portfolio

Investors can choose from many types of alerts on Some alerts are designed to track a specific security, and they can signal a potential buying or selling opportunity. Others can help investors monitor their portfolio's performance by notifying them when there are significant changes in their portfolio.

Investors can customize alerts to suit their needs, like setting a specific target price or other criteria that signals a need to buy or sell a security or exit a trade.

Setting up alerts

To set an alert, Schwab clients can log in to their account and create an Alert on an existing Watchlist. Clients can access watchlists from either the Research or Trade tab> Watchlist. Clients can also create alerts directly from their existing Positions under the Accounts tab > Positions.

Image illustrates the Watchlist page with the user's Profile menu in the upper right corner. Clients can add alerts by selecting Alerts from the drop-down menu.


Clients can update their preferred Alert delivery methods under Profile > Alert Settings (see image below).

Note: Alerts may be sent via email or wireless device.

Image shows the Alert Delivery Methods selections.


Price & volume alerts for individual securities

Under Profile > Alerts> Securities Alerts, investors can track the performance of individual securities, including changes in price or volume. For example, investors can set alerts for when a security has moved by a certain percentage above or below a specific price target, or when there's a meaningful percentage change in the volume of shares being traded (see image below).

 Image shows the Price & Volume Alerts selections with various alerts available including price targets, percentage targets, and moving average targets.


There's also selections under Price & Volume Alerts where investors can subscribe to dividend and earnings alerts as highlighted below.

Image shows where to subscribe to Dividend Alerts and Earnings Alerts on the Price & Volume Alerts page.


Dividend alerts

The Dividend Announcement alert is sent when the selected company announces details for an upcoming dividend. Alert details include the expected dividend amount, ex-date, and payable date. The Dividend Ex-Date alert is sent on the ex-dividend date, which is the first day following a dividend declaration when a stock buyer is not entitled to the next dividend payment. The Dividend Pay Date alert is sent on the dividend pay date for the selected company.

Other alerts

  • Investors can select alerts based on the Earnings Date (sent when the selected company publishes the date for its next earnings announcement) and Earnings (sent when the selected company's earnings are released). 
  • Receive News Alerts based on news stories or press releases for securities on a watchlist or in a portfolio.
  • Use Research & Reports for updates on the latest research reports from third-party resources. 

Setting alerts can help investors receive timely information and analysis that can help them monitor their portfolio, help inform their investment decisions, and help them act on potential trading opportunities.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness, or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.