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In the past, a person would typically have to go to the brokerage or another financial entity to buy or sell a security. The trade would be then settled through a personal meeting or, as technology progressed, over the phone. Nonetheless, the implementation of modern technology within the financial markets of the 21st century made placing buy and sell orders as easy as a few mouse button clicks. Nowadays, many trading platforms allow their clients to execute various types of orders beyond ordinary buy and sell orders.

 

Key takeaways:

  • Using limit orders is generally considered one of the safest ways to buy or sell a security.
  • Modern technology allows placing buy and sell orders with a few mouse clicks.
  • A stop-loss and stop-limit orders are used to protect an investor’s capital.
  • A trailing stop locks in some of the accrued profits.
  • Quick trade orders get instantly filled by a single or double click on a bid or ask button.

 

Limit order

A buy limit order is used to buy a security at a specified price. This type of order is executed automatically in a case when the price of a security is lower than the value of the buy limit order. A sell limit order is used to sell a security at a specified price. It gets automatically filled when the price of a security is higher than the value of the sell limit order. This design occasionally allows for the execution of the buy limit order or the sell limit order at a better price. Generally, limit orders are one of the safest ways to purchase or sell a security. 

 

Quick-trade order

Some trading platforms allow the use of quick-trade orders. A quick-trade order is a type of order that is instantly filled by a single or double click on a bid or ask button in a trading platform. These orders are relatively safe to use. However, filling this type of order in highly volatile markets might be difficult due to a quickly changing price.

 

Market order

When traders choose to use a market order, they let the market set the price of security. In essence, this means that for a buy market order, a trade execution occurs at the nearest ask. For a sell market order, a trade execution takes place at the nearest bid. The use of the market order is less safe in comparison to limit order because it allows for worse filling of orders in illiquid markets and markets dominated by algorithmic trading. However, some platforms offer their clients the option to choose the tolerance threshold for such trade orders. 

 

Good ‘Til Canceled order (GTC)

This type of order remains active until it is filled or canceled. 

 

Stop-loss and stop-limit orders

A stop-loss order sells a position at a market price if it reaches or passes a specified price. Unlike a stop-loss order, a stop-limit order liquidates a position only at a specified or better price. These types of orders are used to protect investor’s capital before depreciation. 

 

Trailing stop order

A trailing stop order trails the price as it moves in the trader’s favor. For a long position, a trailing stop moves higher with the price but stays unchanged when the price falls. Similarly, for a short position, a trailing stop moves lower with the price but remains unchanged when the price rises. The intent of a trailing stop is to lock in some of the accrued profits.

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