Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

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MrLoco
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:40 am

Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by MrLoco »

Curious if anyone has done this or if it is even allowed by the brokerage houses.
After the pandemic, we want to travel and want to know if the brokerages will allow one to freeze an account until one returns from an overseas trip.
Admit, I am a little paranoid as we have 90+% of all assets with one firm as I am sure many do.
Currently only use 1 computer to access accounts and use the 2 Factor Auth. Strong malware/virus protection always used and updated. Check account balances every day just to make sure balances look "ok." Probably many of you do as well.

If wife and I take a month long trip to Europe ( when things open up again), wonder if I call if the brokerage house and ask them to freeze account ( no transactions allowed) until I return and reactivate account. Have any of you tried this and were you allowed to do this? Or much to do about nothing?

Obviously, do not plan or even want to conduct ANY transactions while away from a foreign WiFi.

Appreciate any responses.
niagara_guy
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:32 am

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by niagara_guy »

I have my accounts set up to not allow disbursements and to not allow web access. I think for Vanguard I had to send them a letter for the disbursements and will have to have a medallion signature to turn it off.
prd1982
Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by prd1982 »

niagara_guy wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 10:40 am I have my accounts set up to not allow disbursements and to not allow web access. I think for Vanguard I had to send them a letter for the disbursements and will have to have a medallion signature to turn it off.
Getting a medallion signature may be a real problem. Many financial institutions don’t do them. Plus they have limits on the amount. For example, credit unions can only guarantee up to $500K.
Makefile
Posts: 924
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:03 pm

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by Makefile »

Vanguard has an option to only allow sign-ons from recognized computers, i.e., in situations where it would otherwise do two-factor, it instead just blocks the login.
JBTX
Posts: 8371
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by JBTX »

Fidelity has a feature where you can go online and freeze whichever accounts you want, which means you can't withdraw or trade from them. At that point any phone call request to withdraw money will not be allowed. You have to go back online to unfreeze them

I keep all my investment accounts frozen but don't freeze my modest cash/money market account.
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ram
Posts: 1865
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by ram »

How about restricting access to one computer and keeping that computer in a bank locker
Ram
bacon4retirement
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:59 pm

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by bacon4retirement »

JBTX wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 1:25 pm Fidelity has a feature where you can go online and freeze whichever accounts you want, which means you can't withdraw or trade from them. At that point any phone call request to withdraw money will not be allowed. You have to go back online to unfreeze them
Unfreezing the Fidelity freeze requires nothing more a normal login. The only benefit might be that you would get an extra text notification when the account is unfrozen. If they added a 1 week period before the assets were available, it might actually be helpful.
Yarlonkol12
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

I wish, I find it strange how little effort the big brokers seem to invest into security features vs the new/tiny crypto brokers like Kraken who all offer hardware token 2FA options and time lock. freezes.

I also have a “sim lock” with Verizon and an account “freeze” with fidelity, but both of these can just be turned off instantly so I dont get the added benefit.

Speaking of, You didn’t mention your 2FA method, if its SMS you should change that to a hardware or software authenticator.
JBTX
Posts: 8371
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by JBTX »

bacon4retirement wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 11:06 pm
JBTX wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 1:25 pm Fidelity has a feature where you can go online and freeze whichever accounts you want, which means you can't withdraw or trade from them. At that point any phone call request to withdraw money will not be allowed. You have to go back online to unfreeze them
Unfreezing the Fidelity freeze requires nothing more a normal login. The only benefit might be that you would get an extra text notification when the account is unfrozen. If they added a 1 week period before the assets were available, it might actually be helpful.
It's not a defense of an online hack. It is a defense against an impersonator calling in, and a defense of someone initiating a transfer out, via ACH or other external means.

If you have 2fa enabled with their app the chance of login hack is near zero.
typical.investor
Posts: 2783
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:17 am

Re: Possible to voluntarily freeze account while away?

Post by typical.investor »

Yarlonkol12 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 11:35 pm I wish, I find it strange how little effort the big brokers seem to invest into security features vs the new/tiny crypto brokers like Kraken who all offer hardware token 2FA options and time lock. freezes.

I also have a “sim lock” with Verizon and an account “freeze” with fidelity, but both of these can just be turned off instantly so I dont get the added benefit.

Speaking of, You didn’t mention your 2FA method, if its SMS you should change that to a hardware or software authenticator.
Honestly?

Big brokers have security guarantees to reimburse for loss if you get hacked.

Kraken I am sure doesn’t have the same.

Anyway, my big broker has a software authenticator now which I prefer to the previous physical token generator.
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