Investing With ShareBuilder

How does the Automatic Investment Plan work?

The Automatic Investment Plan allows you to make dollar-based investments in stocks, ETFs and mutual funds on the security or securities you select on a schedule that you chose.

Here's how it works:

  1. Select the securities you'd like to buy and pick a dollar amount to invest
    To find securities you want to buy in your plan, you can find them in our Research section or use our convenient in-page tabs (e.g. Top Stocks, Top ETFs, Mutual Funds).
  2. Next, set the investment frequency and schedule of your plan for a Tuesday
    You can choose to invest when funds are available in your ShareBuilder account, on a recurring basis or one time.
  3. Transfer money to pay for your automatic investments
    You can fund the purchase(s) either from your bank account or from cash available in your ShareBuilder account's cash balance.

Once you have followed these steps and saved your Automatic Investment Plan, ShareBuilder automatically processes your scheduled instructions, including transferring money (if you’re using this option), creating open orders and executing your trades. If you need to make a change to your investments or schedule, go right ahead edit your plan as often as you like.

Tip: Changes to your Automatic Investment Plan need to be done before 5:00 PM ET on the business day before an investment Tuesday. And, enough cash must be available or on the way. Otherwise, it's too late to set up a plan for the current week. All sales are made with online trades and are subject to applicable commissions.

How do I place a Trade?

For investors who would like to place an order subject to the ongoing markets, ShareBuilder offers the ability to Trade Now. Orders placed during non-market hours will be entered when the markets next open.

To Trade Now, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to Trade > Trade Now (sign in required).
  2. Select an Action (Buy or Sell).
  3. Enter the Symbol and # of Shares you want to trade.
  4. Select an Order Type.
  5. Select a Funding Source.
  6. Click Next to review order details.
  7. Once you have verified your order, click Place Order.

Once you have placed your order, you can check its status by navigating to Trade > Order Status (sign in required).

Note: For buy orders, funds must be available at the time the order is placed unless you are using Express Funding. For full commission details, please see our pricing and rates.

When will my Automatic Investment Plan order be placed?

All Automatic Investment Plan (AIP) orders are created at 5 PM ET the business day (usually Monday with the exception of market holidays) before your scheduled investment day and will trade mid-morning on Tuesday. Since there is no set time or price for your orders to process, it’s possible that not all your orders will be filled at the same time.

Once the order is created, you can see it by going to the Trade tab, then Order Status. Here are the possible order statuses you’ll see on this page:

  • Open – This order is open, but we haven't sent it to market, yet. You can still cancel any open orders with this status (but it may be too late to cancel your bank deposit used to pay for these orders).
  • Pending Funding – We’re just waiting on your automatic electronic funds transfer to deposit the money for your trade, but otherwise your order status is Open.
  • Processing – We've sent your order to market. Come back and check the final details in a little bit.
  • Posted – Your order has posted to your ShareBuilder account. To view a trade confirmation, go to Trade, then Trade Confirmations.
  • Canceled – Your order is canceled, and we didn't send it to the market.

If you don’t see your AIP order, check for what date your plan is scheduled by looking at the AIP calendar on the Trade tab under Automatic Investing.

How do I determine the status of my online trade order?

You can check on the status of your orders by going to the Trade tab, then Order Status. Your orders are separated by account and you can sort them by status, investment type and time frame. Just select how you want to view your orders from the drop down lists and click View.

Your orders will have one of these statuses:

  • Open – You've sent the order to market, but the order hasn't filled yet. With the exception of market orders placed during market hours (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), orders with a status of open may be canceled. For orders that are placed while the market is open, any cancellation you make after the market closes at 4 PM ET will not free up your money (from a buy order) or shares (from a sell order) until shortly before the market opens the next business day. This is when we receive the cancellation confirmation from our clearing firm, Pershing LLC.
  • Execution Received – This means that some (or all) of your order has been filled. Click on the Details link to see how many shares (or options contracts) have been traded.
  • Posted – We've filled your order. To view a trade confirmation, go to the Trade tab, then Trade Confirmations.
  • Canceled – Your order is no longer open and will not be filled further. In the case of buy orders, any money reserved by this order is now available for other uses. Shares from a canceled sell order are now free to be used in another order.

How do I view my trade confirmations?

It's always good to check the details of your buys and sells. Click on Trade > Trade Confirmations (sign in required) to check out your recent trade confirmations.

When you view confirmations, the default display period is for the Current Month. You can view older trade confirmations by selecting Last Month or Year to Date from the 'Time Period' menu.

Once you have found the trade confirmation you want to review, click View to open the confirmation in a new browser window. To print your trade confirmation, go to your browser's File menu and select Print.

Tip: Trade confirmations are only available online. To view your statements, please follow the directions below.

Why are Automatic Investment Plan trades made on Tuesdays?

For whatever reason, calendar makers didn't build a lot of market holidays or other types of regularly scheduled holidays on Tuesdays. This makes it the best day for us to schedule and run the Automatic Investment Plan.

If you don't like to wait for Tuesday to come around in order to make an investment, you can always Trade any day of the week the market is open by placing online market and limit orders – which costs just a bit more.

How do I switch my plan off?

You can switch off your Automatic Investment Plan by following the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to Trade > Automatic Investing (sign in required).
  2. Click the Edit link next to Plan Status.
  3. Select the Switch off my Plan radio button.
  4. Set up a reminder email to turn the plan back on.
  5. Click Save.

Changes to your Automatic Investment Plan must be done by 5:00 PM ET on the business day before an investment Tuesday (generally, Monday at 5:00 PM ET). Otherwise, any updates you made to the plan won't happen for the current week

.

An active one-time investment automatically switches off at the deadline.

Switching off your plan won't affect any open orders. To view any orders that may be open on your account, go to Trade > Order Status (sign in required).

How do I switch my plan on?

Switching on your Automatic Investment Plan is a breeze (details to follow):

  1. Navigate to Trade > Automatic Investing (sign in required).
  2. Click the Switch plan on link.
  3. Review your plan settings and click Save.

Tip Changes to your Automatic Investment Plan must be done by 5:00 PM ET on the business day before an investment Tuesday (generally, Monday at 5:00 PM ET). Otherwise, any updates you made to the plan won't happen for the current week.

Tip (part two): An active one-time investment automatically switches off at the deadline. Switching off the plan won't affect open orders, and they'll execute as scheduled unless you cancel the orders.