Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Interesting Week

When I was much more of a pessimist, the word "interesting" always triggered the notion of the supposed Chinese Curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Is there really any such thing as "boring times?"

Anyway, this has been an interesting week.  Filled with admiration and praise, love and affection, lies and deceit, disregard for my rights, and a "butt-dial" from someone I would have preferred had sincerely called.  Through it all, I remain me.  Standing tall and proud.  Well, ok.  Standing short and proud, open and loving and ready to face the upcoming week.  It has left me with not much to say, though.  No rants bubble up to my lips.  No pearls of wisdom that I want to share with you, the anonymous, unborn children of this childless woman, in the hopes you avoid the path of my mistakes.  Which must mean ……. it is time to teach you about market orders.

Never.  Ever.  Not ever.  Place a market order for a stock.  If you accidentally do, don't slit your wrists, but make note of the day and never do it again.

If you were going to buy a house, would you go to a real estate agent and say, "I really really want this house.  So just take note of what everyone else says it is worth and at the end of the day, buy it for me at whatever the top price that was named."  Not the lowest price.  The top price.

You would never ever do that, but that is what a market order is.

Explaining to you how to place an order for a stock the first time is a bit like explaining to a young girl how to insert a tampon for the first time.  Difficult without diagrams.  Let's give it a whirl anyway.

You will go to a webpage at your online brokerage.   It will probably be called "Trade."  On this page you will select the option of "buy" or "sell."  You will type in how many shares you want to buy.  (On a side note, never be ashamed of how few shares of something you are capable of purchasing.  It isn't like shame will miraculously lift you into being able to buy more.)  You will type in the Ticker Symbol of the stock you would like to purchase.  You will choose what sort of order type your order is.

Right there.  That moment is the where you will be left with your wallet standing open and no idea what to do, metaphorically speaking.  Market is usually the default option and you will decide that must mean it is a benign enough choice. It is.  But you are doing this to capitalize on your unique capability to move in and out of the market quickly at the price ranges you want and need to make a profit.

The next option offered will probably be "limit."  That is the one you want to use both when buying and selling.  When you are buying, "limit" will mean:  Do not buy the stock for a price HIGHER than what I have listed.  When you are selling, "limit" will mean:  Do not sell the stock for a price LOWER than what I have listed.  You will roughly determine your price by observing what the stock is currently trading at.

As I have been typing, my day has gotten only more interesting.  Which, for the record, could never be a curse.  Boredom would be the curse.  Some days challenge the notion that time was invented so that "everything doesn't happen at once."   Today has been one of those.  On days like today, everything does happen, rapid fire, at once.  So let us discuss more on how to determine your price in a later blog.

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