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The Various Types of Stock Trades

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What are the trades you want to make on the stock market? The experts advise starting small with less complex trades. Some types of stock trades, such as short selling, options trades and others take a little more expertise to pull off successfully. Depending on the current market conditions, the actual price at the execution for the trade might differ substantially from the price quoted. There are also limit orders, which will result in the trade only being performed at or above a predetermined price. By using limit orders, you can ensure being protected in terms of price, but you also run the risk that the trade will not be performed at all.

If you are investing in initial public offerings, you have to be even more careful. This is particularly true for IPOs that trade at a much higher price than their offering price. Hot stocks are those that have recently traded under fast market conditions where the price changes so quickly that quotes can keep up with the stock price. In these conditions, you risk buying a stock much higher than your original quote. The risk can be reduced by placing a limit order.

Traders need to have a handle on how things can happen in these rapid trades lest they be blindsided by these fast fluctuations in price. A high volume of trades can outpace the ability of quotations to reflect the real price at that moment. These conditions can also cause a trade execution and conformation to lag behind actual prices. Internet based traders are used to getting real-time information; but under some circumstances, these kinds of delays can and do happen.

The thing to keep in mind here is that the SEC has no rules in place as to the time frame in which a trade must be executed. Thankfully, firms which publish a speed they can be held accountable for exaggerating this figure or not informing investors in the event of delays.

Remember that if you want to buy or sell a stock with a price range, then you need to use a limit order. Market orders are direct buys or sells with no conditions, and are filled at whatever price the market provides. A limit order is an order to buy or sell a security at a specific price. A buy limit order can only be executed at the limit price or lower, and a sell limit order can only be executed at the limit price or higher. Market orders do not control the price at which your order will be filled.

Suppose youre interested in a fast moving IPO which was $9 at the initial offer. However, you dont want to pay above $20; in this case you would place a limit order to buy at or below this price. This will protect you from buying this stock at $75 and losing out when it drops. Keep in mind that if the market moves more quickly than your limit order can be filled, your trade may not be executed at all.

Know your options for placing a trade if you cant access your account online. Most online trading firms offer alternatives for placing trades. Alternatives such as Touch-tone telephone trades, faxes, or talking to a broker over the phone are usually available. Most of the time, these services cost more. Remember that any delays of getting online will probably delay the alternative order methods as well.

If you place an order, never assume anything. Some investors have mistakenly assumed their orders were not executed and placed another. Then they either owned twice as much stock as they wanted. Talk with your firm on handling these situations where you are unsure if your original order was executed.
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