How to Buy Shares of Stock or Units of ETFs Using the BMO InvestorLine App

As I mentioned, I recently decided to re-invest the dividends and distributions that have accumulated in my TFSA and I decided to take advantage of the free trades InvestorLine is offering for using their new App. I downloaded the InvestorLine App and now I have to set it up and then execute a trade to buy some stock or an ETF: here’s how it works and a few quirks including a couple of insecurity things that irritate me.

How to Get In to Your BMO Banking and InvestorLine App to Use InvestorLine on an iPad

  1. Tap on the BMO icon.
  2. Tap on the InvestorLine button.
  3. In the User ID or account # field, type your InvestorLine userid or the account number for the account in which you want to execute ALL of your free trades.
    (NOTE: You cannot use the trades in multiple accounts, unfortunately.)
  4. In the Password field, type your InvestorLine password.
  5. Tap on the SIGN IN button.

What’s on the Home Page for the BMO InvestorLine App?

If you choose to login with your userid and if you have multiple accounts at InvestorLine, you will see the accounts listed on the left side of the screen. It will list the current value of the account in Canadian dollars and it will list how many open orders are waiting to fill.

On the right side of the screen you will see your

  • total securities
  • total cash
  • total account value
  • unrealized gain (or loss) for the total account
  • order status info, if any
  • and some details including, if applicable, the amount and percentage of your portfolio invested in cash, equities, cash equivalents, etc.

Geez, I wish I’d put everything into CNR back in 2012. Who knew it would double in value before the end of 2014? Still it’s nice to see some green glowing numbers. (PS Don’t consider this a recommendation to buy CNR now: a lot has changed including the price has run-up dramatically!)

Anyway I can see the cash waiting for me to re-balance my TFSA holdings.

The bottom line of the screen is flickering: Turns out it is streaming the Market indices. Bad day to buy, the TSX and NYSE are both up.

Now to find where I can enter a Buy!

Can I Be Signed In to InvestorLine via the App and via a Computer at the Same Time?

OK first I’m going to try another trick: can I simultaneously login to InvestorLine on the computer?

Interesting: Yes, I can. That’s a bit of a security gap in my mind.

Anyway, let’s try to find the Trade screen on the iPad.

Executing a Trade to Buy More or Sell a Current Holding of a Stock or ETF Using the InvestorLine App

I can see how I can tap on the Trade button beside any of my current holdings. So I’ll start by using that to sell some units in AAT770.

  1. Beside the listing for AAT770, tap on the Trade button.
  2. From the Action: drop-down list, tap on the downwards facing arrow to select Sell.
  3. From the Amount: drop-down list, tap on the downwards facing arrow to select Dollars.
  4. In the C field, type the amount in Canadian dollars and tap on Return.
  5. On the right side of the screen, check all the details. If they look good, tap on Submit order.
  6. A window pops open
    * In the Primary # field, type your phone number.
    * In the Extension field, if necessary type your phone extension.
    * In the Trading password field, type your InvestorLine password for this account.
    NOTE: This is typical of what I hate about iPads: it shows each character in your password briefly as you type it. Be wary about where you type your passwords! Know if anyone can see you.
    (My husband is always trying to sneak a peek at mine so he can go in and dump all my holdings and put all my money into Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.)
    * Tap on Place Order.
  7. Review the Order Confirmation for mistakes.

Ah, here’s something I don’t like much. I’m used to copying and pasting the confirmations into a Word document and saving them to a stick. Not so easy on an iPad. Ah well, such is the cost of “convenience.”

Where is the Trade Screen on the InvestorLine App? Or: What Are These Weird Icons on the Left Side of the InvestorLine App?

Now on to try to find the way to get to the Trade screen from the home page. Or for that matter how to get back to the Home page!

Let’s try some small icons arranged down the left side of the screen.


  • The weird
    off-centre Omega symbol with 3 horizontal lines beside it icon
    is actually the icon that leads you to the Home or My Portfolio page if you tap on it.
  • The
    almost-colliding arrows icon
    is the link to the Trade screen.
  • The
    magnifying glass icon
    is actually the link to the Quotes screen.
  • The
    climbing zigzag line graph icon
    links to the Markets and Research screen.
  • The
    envelope icon
    links to the Message Centre. (Note MyLink doesn’t work yet in the App.)

The funny thing is the last thing currently showing in my Message Centre is a link to an “Orientation video.” By the time I found it, I was already oriented!

Ah, but then I realized that there are two choices for the Message Centre, so I selected the second one:  “Offers.”

Nothing about the free trades. Huh.

Ok, let’s tap on the colliding arrows and make a trade.

How to Buy Shares of a Stock or Units of an ETF Using the BMO InvestorLine App

  1. Sign in to the App for the account in which you wish to make the trade.
  2. To open the Trade screen, tap on the Almost Colliding Arrows icon.
  3. In the Search field, type the ticker symbol for the investment you wish to purchase.
  4. In the Symbol search popup, either type the ticker symbol or search for it.

Take a look at the info on the right side of the screen which includes

  • the real time price
  • the Bid
  • the Ask
  • the Volume
  • the day’s price movement up or down as a dollar value and a percentage

You can tap on the blue Refresh Quote link at any time.

If you’re ready to trade, on the left side of the screen

  1. From the Action: field drop-down list, tap on the downwards-facing arrow and select Buy.
  2. In the Quantity field, type how many shares or units you wish to purchase.
  3. From the Order type: drop-down field, tap on the downwards-facing arrow and select the type.
    For example, I selected a limit order by selecting Price Limit.
  4. If applicable, in the Price Limit field, type your price.
  5. From the Settlement funds: drop-down list, tap to select Canadian or US as appropriate.
  6. From the Good until: drop-down list, tap to select a different choice than Today only, if preferred.
  7. Review your order details on the right side of the screen. If they look correct, tap on Submit order.
  8. A window pops open
    * In the Primary # field, type your phone number.
    * In the Extension field, if necessary type your phone extension.
    * In the Trading password field, type your InvestorLine password for this account.
    * Tap on the Place Order button.
  9. Review your Order confirmation to make sure it’s accurate.

Wait for your trade to fill!

In my case I could be waiting all day (I always bid low) so I’ll try to figure out how to sign out. (Note it will time out if you leave it alone too long.)

Where Do You Sign Out of the BMO InvestorLine App?

I returned to the Home page by tapping on Omega 3 Lines. It now shows I have 2 orders and it shows the details of the Buy. If I tap the square with two arrows inside implying they are stretching the box icon, it opens a window to show me the details of the two trades.

Well the Scales icon just opens the Legal stuff, so that’s not how to sign out.

Tapping on my name does nothing.

Tapping on the account number just shows me my other accounts.

To sign out, tap on the 3 horizontal lines on the upper left of the screen. Then tap on the Sign out button.

Phew. So that’s done. And hey, I don’t have a cache to empty or a browser session to close!

To be honest, I think I prefer my computer-based InvestorLine interface. But then I don’t own or regularly use an iPad so it’s probably just lack of skill on my part. To save $9.95 it was worth a bit of effort.

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Do you use the InvestorLine App? Do you think that your six-year-old child could have invented more meaningful navigation icons? Please share your views with a comment.

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