E-Trade is offering its account holders a free application for their BlackBerry smartphones that allows them to get real-time stock information and execute trades on their phones. Now if you're walking down the street in a big city and see executives throwing themselves out of the windows of some skyscraper, you can read the name on the building, launch your E-Trade account and key in "Sell Mortimer! Sell!"
High-end phone users have for a while been able to access E-Trade's Web site and those of most banks and brokerages, but the online firm is the first major U.S. brokerage to provide a mobile application with cash transfers and real-time quotes.
Online trading through the free application, called E-Trade Mobile Pro, will be much easier than using the Web site through a phone, said E-Trade spokeswoman Pam Erickson. It will allow users to trade stocks and options, set up portfolio watch lists and get news.
Like many financial websites, your session will be closed after a few minutes of inactivity, so even if your phone is pinched, it's unlikely a thief could execute a trade for you. Then again, would a thief really pick stocks that much worse than you? Maybe you wouldn't tell anyone. That's the reason I never report my credit cards being stolen. The criminals always spend less on them then I ever did.