Giving your broker the right order can help you get the best price.
When you order A hamburger, you could get one that’s pink and juicy in the middle, or one that’s a blackened hockey puck between two buns. That’s why waiters ask you how you want your order. You have several options for ordering stocks as well. Knowing the difference between them can help you get the best price when you trade—and, in some cases, help you avoid losses.
A market order means you want the order executed as quickly as possible. Market orders can be buy orders or sell orders. In either case, you’re simply trading the shares at the current market price. If Microsoft is selling at $140 a share, for example, a market order to buy or sell will probably get you the shares near $140 per share, most of the time.
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Evelyn S. Devadason is a Professor at the Faculty of Economics & Administration, University of Malaya.