Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Technical Problem at BMO Investorline gives a Scare

I’ve been quite happy with my service from BMO Investorline, but yesterday morning when I logged in to my accounts, the cash balances all showed zero. The possible explanations ranged from mostly harmless to scary thoughts of identity theft.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get through to Investorline on the phone until a couple of hours later. Eventually I spoke to a pleasant guy who assured me that it was just some technical glitch. He was able to read the correct cash balances to me.

This would have been less disruptive to my day if the system was able to detect that the cash balances made no sense and presented some sort of error message rather than just showing zeros. I still have no idea of how widespread the problem was.

This brings me to another minor annoyance with Investorline: stale account information. The information presented to me online is from the previous day. There are times when the information seems to be more stale than just one day. Most of the time this delay is harmless, but every so often I want to know if a transaction took place and waiting a full day or more is inconvenient.

Overall I’ve been pleased by Investorline over the years, but I’d like my account access to be more stable and more timely.


  1. That would give me a small heart attack too!

    What I like about TD Waterhouse WebBroker is that you can toggle from "book value view" to "current positions view" which gives me up to the minute market value and cash balances.

  2. @Echo: Getting an up-to-the-minute view of account holding would definitely be nice.

  3. CIBC has one nice feature in this respect.

    Lets say that I trade a stock today. It can be a whole new position, increase or decrease in position. That stock will show up in green text (all of my other positions are shown in black text).

    In addition, my cash position will be adjusted , and it too will show up in green text, indicating a change during the current trading day.

    It lets you easily spot what has changed throughout the day.

    Now if they could only provide better stock and research tools I'd be a happy camper :)