AAII Guidance on Placing Stock Orders

The following is guidance from the American Association of Individual Investors about how buy and sell orders should be placed:

  • Market orders are not used.  Instead, if the quoted bid-ask spread is less than 2% (ask price minus bid price, divided by ask price), place a limit order at the ask price for a buy and at the bid price for a sell.  If the bid-ask spread is more than 2%, try to place a limit order between the bid and ask prices to keep transaction costs low.  If necessary, build a position gradually.  With zero commissions, it is often better to place partial orders than to try to establish a large position all at once.  Be patient.
  • The average daily dollar volume should be at least 10x the amount needed for your position.  This will ensure liquidity to get in and out of the position, even if you need to grow the position gradually and sell gradually.  This will result in a varying number of qualifying stocks for each investor.

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