How to Use Stock Trading Alerts to Stay in the Know

Discover how to set up stock trading alerts on TD Ameritrade to effectively monitor, track prices, and optimize portfolio performance for smarter investing. How to set trading alerts
5 min read
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Key Takeaways

  • Set alerts to receive timely information that can affect your assets

  • Customize alerts to your investments to assist you with buy, sell, and hold decisions

  • Use alerts to monitor individual securities as well as your portfolio 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.

Trading alerts can help manage 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 trading or news events that may affect their holdings.

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.

Set up security and stock alerts through TD Ameritrade

Setting up alerts through TD Ameritrade is simple. After logging in to your account, select the Research & Ideas tab, then Alerts (see figure 1). You’ll see a broad choice of customizable alerts that can be delivered via mobile or text on a one-time or recurring basis. 

Set alerts for trading securities, price moves
FIGURE 1: SETTING ALERTS. Image illustrates how to access the Alerts page. Source: For illustrative purposes only. 

Learn how to set up trading and stock price alerts 

Under Research & Ideas > Alerts> Securities, 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 figure 2).
Setting alerts for individual securities
FIGURE 2: ALERTS FOR INDIVIDUAL SECURITIES. Example of how to create a price alert and choose to be notified by primary email when the price increases 10% above its current market price. Source: For illustrative purposes only.

Try out 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 like earnings, news, and research reports 

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.  

The bottom line

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.  


Key Takeaways

  • Set alerts to receive timely information that can affect your assets

  • Customize alerts to your investments to assist you with buy, sell, and hold decisions

  • Use alerts to monitor individual securities as well as your portfolio performance

Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Content intended for educational/informational purposes only. Not investment advice, or a recommendation of any security, strategy, or account type.

Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading.

Third-party research and tools are obtained from companies not affiliated with TD Ameritrade, and are provided for informational purposes only. TD Ameritrade does not guarantee its accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose, and makes no warranties with respect to the results to be obtained from its use. Please consult other sources of information and consider your individual financial position and goals before making an independent investment decision. Past performance does not guarantee future results.


Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options.

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