Custodians are required to provide many different documents to account holders such as trade confirmations, shareholder materials, monthly transaction and holding statements, and tax forms such as 1099s. For most, you can choose to receive notifications of their availability through email. This is convenient, but some custodians like Schwab only allow a single email address to be associated with each account. For a husband and wife to both receive notifications will take a little extra work.
Many email programs allow a copy of received email to be automatically forwarded to another address. There are two ways to use this feature to make sure you both get email notifications in your separate accounts.
The easiest is to set up a third account where you both have login information. That account’s sole purpose will be to automatically forward everything it receives to each of your personal accounts. For this to work successfully, you should set this third email as your primary on Schwab.
Alternatively, you can use either his or her personal account as your primary on Schwab and use Gmail to forward Schwab messages to the other spouse. This eliminates the need for a third email account, but Schwab sends email from different addresses depending on the nature of the message. Unless you know to tell Gmail all the addresses Schwab might use, you could miss forwarding some notifications to your spouse.
Here are instructions on how to set up these forwarding rules in Gmail:
Solution #1: Set up a third Gmail account which forwards every email it receives
First, create the new joint Gmail account and make sure both of you know the login information. Then, give this joint email to your custodian as the notification address for all of your individual accounts.
Now follow these instructions:
- Open the joint Gmail account you gave to your custodian.
- At the top right, click the gear symbol and then in the drop down menu click on “Settings.”
- In the tab menu, click on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP.”
- In the “Forwarding” section, click “Add a forwarding address.”
- Enter one spouse’s email address.
- In the “Forwarding” section, click “Add a forwarding address” again.
- Enter the other spouse’s email address.
- Click “Save Changes” at the bottom.
You also need to decide what to do with the email in the shared Gmail account after it is forwarded on. You can either keep a copy in the shared inbox or you can delete it after forwarding.
Solution #2: Forward custodian emails from one spouse’s existing Gmail account to the other spouse’s existing Gmail account
First, give one spouse’s Gmail account to your custodian as the notification address for all accounts for which you both want to receive emails.
Now follow these instructions to set up rules to forward only the custodian’s emails to your spouse and not other correspondence:
- Open the Gmail account that you gave to your custodian.
- At the top of the screen is a search box. Click on the faint down arrow between the search box and a white magnifying glass on a blue background.
- A window will appear which allows you to specify search criteria. In the “From” field, put the email address from which your custodian sends messages. The custodian probably uses several addresses, so make sure you repeat this step for all addresses the custodian uses. As an example, Schwab uses
- “SchwabAlerts.AccountActivity@schwab.com” for trade confirmations,
- “ProxyMaster@proxyvote.com” for proxy materials, and
- “SchwabAlerts.MyPortfolio@schwab.com” for other communications.
- At the bottom of the Search dialog, click on “Create filter with this search.”
- In the next dialog, choose “When a message arrives that matches this search: Forward it to:” and then type the address you want to forward messages to.
- Click “Create filter.”
To edit or delete or an existing filter:
- At the top right, click the gear symbol and then in the drop down menu click on “Settings”.
- In the tab menu, click on the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab.
- Find the filter you’d like to change.
- Click “edit” or “delete” to the right of the filter.
- Check the check box to select the filter.
- Click “edit” to make your desired changes or “delete” to delete it.
- If you choose to edit the filter, click “Continue” and then “Update Filter” to save your work.
Photo used here under Flickr Creative Commons.