UPDATE 11/29/2014: I realized why this solution was working imperfectly. The e-mails from SECFilings.com come via two separate e-mail addresses: sometimes from firstname.lastname@example.org and other times from email@example.com. Therefore, e-mails from both addresses must be forwarded on to your phone’s e-mail address.
Back in May, I set out to solve a problem: how to get text alerts when the companies I own submit filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Surprisingly, a couple quick Google searches didn’t yield any satisfactory solution.
If there is a website out there that will text you when your companies file (for free), I wasn’t able to find it. In the end, I had to break the process down into three steps:
1. Get e-mail alerts
I didn’t even know which SEC filing e-mail alert service to use, so I asked an investor I know. He suggested SECFilings.com. I signed up with them (for free) and selected the option that I wanted to receive alerts whenever any of the handful of companies I own filed anything with the SEC. (If you want, you can just select 10-Qs, 10-Ks, etc.)
NOTE: I have a Gmail account, and initially it was labeling the SECFilings.com alerts as spam and sending them directly to my junk folder. I had to enter the e-mail address “firstname.lastname@example.org” into my Contacts in order to get Gmail to stop treating the alerts as spam.
2. Discover your cell phone’s e-mail address
The second step is slightly more complicated, but if you think you can pick stocks then I’m sure you can handle it.
Every cell phone has a unique e-mail address associated with it. This is not your normal e-mail that you are used to using, such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc. The e-mails sent to your cell phone’s e-mail address do not go into a mailbox, but instead appear as a text message, popping up on your phone screen even if it is in locked mode, just like when you get normal text messages.
So you need to figure out your cell phone’s e-mail address, which is easy to do.
For Verizon customers, your e-mail will be your 10 digit phone number @ vtext.com.
So if your phone number is (123) 456-7890 and you are a Verizon customer, your cell phone’s e-mail is email@example.com.
The four major carriers in the US:
To get the phone e-mail addresses for other carriers, check out the makeuseof.com article where I originally learned about this.
3. Create a filter to forward the e-mail alerts
The last thing you’ve got to do is create a filter in your regular e-mail account (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) which catches all e-mails from the SECFilings.com e-mail address and forwards them on to your newfound phone e-mail address.
Any decent e-mail service will offer the ability to forward e-mails to another e-mail address in an automated way.
If you use Gmail, which I do, the process is pretty simple.
You just need to Create a Filter that catches all e-mails From firstname.lastname@example.org (or whatever e-mail your SEC alerts come from) and then tell Gmail to forward it to your cell phone e-mail address, e.g. email@example.com.
To get a more in depth description of the forwarding process, check out this article for Gmail and this one for Yahoo. If you have a different e-mail, just Google “[hotmail, outlook, etc.] e-mail forwarding” and you should find an easy guide on how to do it. Again, if you’re the type of person who wants to read SEC filings, I think you can handle it.
And that’s it! You’re all set to get free text alerts on your cell phone whenever your companies file with the SEC. I hope this article helps you to earn at least a couple extra bucks over your investing career.
NOTE: In my experience (with the combination of SECFilings.com and Gmail), the alerts are received on my phone almost immediately. For example, a recent alert I got was yesterday’s PFHO 10-Q release, which was filed with the SEC at 4:04 pm, received in my e-mail at 4:04 pm, and received as a text alert on my phone at 4:04 pm.
Note how no real information (or links) are contained in the text. But the purpose is that you know immediately that the filing has occurred, and you can go into your e-mail and follow SECFilings’ link, or go to Edgar or OTCMarkets.com or whatever you use to read filings.
The only glitch I have found is that it appears that if I have Gmail open, it may not send the text. I haven’t quite “scientifically” made this connection yet, to why some alerts do not make it from my e-mail to my phone, but for the most part they seem to, and something is definitely better than nothing here until a perfect solution is found.