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What's the difference between a market order and a limit order?
What's the difference between a market order and a limit order?

Market orders are the fastest and easiest way to buy and sell, limit orders let you control the price

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Written by Support
Updated over a week ago

There are four ways to buy and sell shares through Hatch: 

In this article, we break down the differences between two order types: Market and limit:

Market orders

When you place a market order, it's sent to the share market immediately and completed at the current market price.


  • It's fast. You are virtually guaranteed your order will be filled as soon as possible (if the markets are open, it's usually immediate, if they are closed, usually it's as soon as they next open).

  • When you buy shares, you simply enter how much you want to invest and you will generally get the exact number of shares for that money (e.g. For $500, you'll get 3.4787 shares). When you sell shares, you just enter how many you want to sell. You don't need to calculate anything.

  • You can buy and sell full and fractional shares.


  • You don't have a say in the price. Market prices can fluctuate from second to second (even when the markets are closed), so while we show an estimate in Hatch, the current price will most likely be a bit different from the price you get.

Limit orders

Limit orders give you control over the price you buy and sell shares for and are usually used to buy or sell shares at a better price than they're currently trading at. You enter the exact number of shares you want and the price you want to pay (or receive) for them (e.g. 5 shares at $50 each). If you're buying and the market price matches yours, or goes lower, your order will be completed. If you're selling and the market price matches yours, or goes higher, your order will be completed.


  • You control the buy/sell price and are not impacted by market price fluctuations. You only buy or sell the shares at the price you specify or better.

  • You can pick when your order expires (up to 90 days in the future)


  • You can only buy and sell full shares (you can't place limit orders for fractional shares).

  • The full amount of your order is immediately deducted from your available balance until it's filled, you cancel it, or when it expires

  • Your order may not be filled if the market price doesn't reach your desired price.

Note: A limit order is not a stop-loss or stop-buy order. If you set a limit order to sell at below the current market  price, or to buy above the current market price, the order will be automatically filled as soon as possible (see examples).

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