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Poll question: Would you give the login/password to your investment accounts to a financial advisor that operates over the Internet?
Yes
No

Click here to see results so far.

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In fact, I have done so. This is a new era of online financial services which should not be a surprise given the move to web-based applications that has been taking place over the last few years. As I understand it, there are strong protections built in. First of all, such sites cannot execute any transactions -it is read only - your broker still requires that you log in to submit any orders. Second, it is all anonymous - your account information and passwords are encrypted so they are not stored or sent over the internet in readable form. Third, the ability to aggregate all your financial information in one place can help people learn to better understand and manage their finances.

Fuskie
Who doesn't expect everyone to agree but never-the-less is willing and able to place his trust in web companies that he has researched...
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I believe I know where you are going with this question, but it very poorly worded poll question.

In fact I have given my my login and password to Charles Schwab who operates over the internet. Additionally I have given my login and password to another firm so they can make trades in my Schwab Accounts.

What I will not do is give someone authority to move my investments away from Schwab or a similar organization.

Gordon
Atlanta
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If you have somebody to manage your money, it can be arranged that they can trade the account, but not take money out of it. That sort of authority is necessary to have somebody else manage your money. There is no legitimate reason to allow them to take money out of the account. You can do that yourself, unless you become disabled, which is an entirely different question.

If you do have somebody manage your money, there should be a third party, such as Schwab, who is holding the assets, and you should be able to check on the activity in the account at any time. Otherwise, you are in a Bernie Madoff situation.

The lack of the ability to know what the manager is doing, and to terminate the account immediately, is a serious problem. That is why I would never invest in a hedge fund.
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Heard on NPR's All Things Considered this evening:

Passwords are like underwear. They are private, should not be shared with anyone. And should be changed often.

(Probably not an exact quote, but that's the gist of it.)
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Would you give the login/password to your investment accounts to a financial advisor that operates over the Internet?

Why not? He goofs up, you'd have the makings of a big lawsuit.

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As I understand it, there are strong protections built in.
So you don't actually KNOW---you just kinda think you understand.


First of all, such sites cannot execute any transactions -it is read only - your broker still requires that you log in to submit any orders.
Huh???? On all of my broker sites, once I am logged in I can do everything. There is no seperate login or password for executing trades that is different from seeing the account information.

Second, it is all anonymous - your account information and passwords are encrypted so they are not stored or sent over the internet in readable form.
Which has nothing to do with the issue.
The issue is is not "security of login & password" over the internet.
The issue is "giving somebody full access to log in to your account."

They could be as honest as the day is long-----and I still wouldn't give them this information. All it takes is for one security slip-up, or stolen laptop, or hacker hacking into their database---for your login information to be compromised.
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My financial advisor is not "on the internet" so to speak. He has an office in downtown Cleveland. But everyone uses the internet to make trades. So he is listed as a person who can make trades on my accounts. He cannot however, remove an funds from my accounts. He cannot take his "fee" from my accounts. I have to send him a quarterly check for whatever his fee will be.

I like this because I do not have to move my accounts to some brokerage firm that I want nothing to do with. My portfolios stay at the inexpensive firm that I started with.

I do trust my advisor, although I may not have always been thrilled with his decisions during this downturn.

Birgit
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