How to buy and sell equities.

Buying and selling equities is the cornerstone of direct investment – it’s probably why you’re on Credential Direct in the first place! There’s a wealth of more specific trading information on our Credential Direct Investing & Trading FAQ page, but here’s how to place an equity buy order and an equity sell order. If you have any questions or problems with equities, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1.877.742.2900.

How to Place an Equity Buy Order

There are three methods for arriving at an Order Ticket for placing a Buy Order:

  • From the Trade menu (Trade -> Equities).
  • Clicking the Buy button on a quote screen.
  • From your Holdings list, clicking on Action -> Buy.

Once you are on an equities order ticket, double-check that the correct account is selected in the drop-down menu at the top of the order ticket. Then enter the stock symbol of the company you wish to buy (if not already populated) and make sure the correct country (‘Canada’ or ‘U.S.’) is selected.

Before entering a Buy Order, it’s always good to check a ‘Real-Time Quote’ – a link will appear to the right of the Canada/U.S. buttons. Once you’ve reviewed the real-time quote, you’ll want to select the appropriate Order Type:

  • A Limit Order sets a ceiling, or the highest price you are willing to pay for the shares when your order is sent to the market – you can set a limit below the real-time ‘Ask’ price if you want to try to buy the shares cheaper than where they are currently offered; or, at or above the real-time Ask price if you wish to purchase the shares immediately.
    • NOTE: If your limit price is significantly below the current Ask price, you may wish to leave your order open for up to 30 days, by selecting a date on the calendar in the ‘Good Through’ drop-down menu.

 

  • A Market Order will fill within seconds at the best price offered at that moment. Before completing a Market Order, it is imperative to check a real-time quote in order to ensure that you’re comfortable with the approximate current price you’ll pay for the desired shares.
    • While market orders will have complete your trade at the best available price, this order type is not suited to stocks which have low average daily trade volume, as those stocks tend to have large bid/ask spreads.

 

  • A Stop Limit Order is more commonly used on a sell order, but can be used for a buy order as follows:
    • A Stop Limit buy is a “special terms” order that tells the market that you do not wish to buy the stock unless it hits a specific price higher than the current Ask price.
      • For example, if the current Ask price is $1.00, and you think a technical breakout on the chart will be triggered if the stock trades at $1.15, so you want to enter a Stop Limit buy order with a ‘Trigger Price’ of $1.15.
    • The trigger price will activate the order, and then the Stop Price will become your new limit order.
      • You may wish to set a Stop Price slightly above your trigger price, in case the stock is moving very quickly and in the few seconds it takes to convert from a special terms order to an open order, the Ask price has moved above your trigger price.

Once you have populated the order ticket, ensure that the correct ‘Contact’ information is displayed, and click Verify Order. Review and accept all “important warnings”, enter your Trading Password, and click Submit. All done! While it may seem complicated at first, you’ll have this foundational transaction mastered in no time. You can check the status of your live orders by logging into your account and going to Trade -> Pending Orders.

 

How to Place an Equity Sell Order

Just like a Buy Order, there are three ways to get an Order Ticket for placing a Sell Order on the Credential Direct trading platform:

  • From the Trade menu (Trade -> Equities)
  • By clicking the Sell button on a quote screen
  • From your Holdings list, clicking on Action -> Sell for a partial sell, or Action -> Sell All to sell your whole position in a stock.

Once you are on an equities order ticket, double-check that the correct account is selected in the drop-down menu at the top of the order ticket. Then enter the stock symbol of the company you wish to sell (if not already populated) and make sure the correct country (‘Canada’ or ‘U.S.’) is selected.

Before entering a Sell Order, it’s always good to check a ‘Real Time Quote’- a link will appear to the right of the Canada/U.S. buttons. Once you’ve reviewed the real-time quote, you’ll want to select the appropriate Order Type:

  • A Limit Order sets a floor, or the lowest price you are willing to accept for your shares when your order is sent to the market – you can set a limit above the real-time ‘Bid’ price if you want to try to sell the shares higher than the current price that the market is willing to pay for the stock; or, at or below the real-time Bid price if you wish to sell the shares immediately
    • NOTE: If your limit price is significantly above the current Bid price, you may wish to leave your order open for up to 30 days, by selecting a date on the calendar in the ‘Good Through’ drop-down menu)

 

  • A Market Order will fill within seconds at the best price bid at that moment. If you’re using a Market order, it is imperative to check a real-time quote in order to ensure that you are comfortable with the approximate current price you will receive for your shares. As with equity buys, this order type isn’t well suited for stocks that have low average daily trade volume, as those stocks tend to have large bid/ask spreads.

 

  • A Stop Limit sell is a “special terms” order tells the market that you do not wish to sell the stock unless it hits a specific price lower than the current Bid price, e.g. the current Bid price is $1.00, and you think a technical breakdown on the chart will be triggered if the stock trades at $0.90, so you wish to enter a Stop Limit sell order with a ‘Trigger Price’ of $0.90
    • The trigger price will activate the order, and then the ‘Stop Price’ will become your new limit order
    • You may wish to set a Stop Price slightly below your trigger price, in case the stock is moving very quickly and in the few seconds it takes to convert from a special terms order to an open order, the Bid price has moved below your Trigger Price

Once you have populated the order ticket, ensure that the correct ‘Contact’ information is displayed, and click “Verify Order”. Review and accept all ‘Important Warnings,’ enter your Trading Password, and client ‘Submit’.

You can check the status of your live orders in Trade -> Pending Orders.

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