Online Trades

How do I place a Trade?

For investors who would like to place an order subject to the ongoing markets, ShareBuilder offers the ability to Trade Now. Orders placed during non-market hours will be entered when the markets next open.

To Trade Now, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to Trade > Trade Now (sign in required).
  2. Select an Action (Buy or Sell).
  3. Enter the Symbol and # of Shares you want to trade.
  4. Select an Order Type.
  5. Select a Funding Source.
  6. Click Next to review order details.
  7. Once you have verified your order, click Place Order.

Once you have placed your order, you can check its status by navigating to Trade > Order Status (sign in required).

Note: For buy orders, funds must be available at the time the order is placed unless you are using Express Funding. For full commission details, please see our pricing and rates.

What are the transaction costs for Trade Now?

Online trades – real-time buys and sells of stocks and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) – are $6.95. Old school phone trades cost $19.95. Other costs may apply. For more details, see our Pricing & Rates.

Trade Now Order Types

When placing a trade, you can choose between market, limit, and stop-loss order types. Click here to learn more about them.

What is a market order?

A market order lets you buy or sell a security at the price currently available in the marketplace. When you place an order during normal market hours (9:30 AM to 4:00 PM ET), a market order typically executes within seconds. When you place a market order during non-market hours, we'll enter it when the market opens, so it executes as soon as possible. When you place a market order you are not guaranteed that the order will execute at any specific price.

Tip: You may see a short delay between the time you complete your trade and the time your holdings update within your ShareBuilder account.

What is a limit order?

When you set a specific price to trigger a buy or sell order, it's called a limit order. For example, let's say you want to buy a stock for $5.00 or less. You can enter a buy limit order at $5.00, and we'll only purchase the stock if it trades at $5.00 or less per share. If the stock trades above that price, the order won't fill.

For a sell limit order, let's say you want to sell a stock at $10.00 or higher per share. You can create a sell limit order, and we'll sell your shares if the stock is trading at $10 or above.

Important: In certain circumstances, it may not be possible to fill a limit order in a single market day. In these cases, ShareBuilder may partially fill the order over multiple days, which can lead to multiple charges of the real-time trade commission.

For full transaction cost details, check out our Pricing & Rates.

How do I sell stocks in Trade Now?

If you would like to sell, you must do so through the Trade Now section (sells are not permitted in the Automatic Investment Plan).

To place a sell order, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to Trade > Trade Now (sign in required)
  2. If you have more than one account, select the appropriate Account from the drop-down.
  3. For the Action, select Sell.
  4. Select the Symbol from the list of available stocks and enter the Number of Shares you want to trade (or check Sell all).
  5. Select the Order Type (Market, Limit, Stop-Loss, or Stop-Limit).
  6. If you selected Limit, Stop-Loss, or Stop-Limit, enter the limit and/or stop price as necessary and select the Order Expiration.
  7. Click Next to review order details.
  8. Click Place Order if all of the details are correct.

Once you have placed your order, you can check its status by navigating to Trade > Order Status (sign in required). Orders placed during non-market hours will be entered when the markets next open.

If you would like to withdraw the funds after your sell order has processed, you can submit a request by navigating to Accounts > Transfer Money > Deposit & Withdrawal (sign in required); the request will be processed after the trade's settlement date.

Notes:

  • Bank-only holidays such as Columbus Day and Veterans Day are not considered settlement days. To view a list of all market holidays, see our Holiday Calendar.
  • If you are selling less than one full share of stock in total and your request is received during market hours, the partial share will be sold at the closing price for that market day. If a request is received after the market has closed, it will be processed at the closing price for the following market day.
  • For sell orders where the proceeds are less than the commission, the entire proceeds less $0.01 are taken as the commission. In other words, even if the stock is worth less than the commission, you will still receive $0.01 in exchange for your shares.

For full commission details, please see our pricing and rates.

What if my limit order can only be partially filled?

There may not be enough shares trading at your limit price during the day to completely fill your order based on the conditions of the limit order. The future of the order depends on its expiration:

  • Expire at end of day – Your order closes at the end of the day no matter how many shares were posted. You’re charged the commission at this time and will need to enter a new order if you wish to trade the rest of your shares.
  • Good until canceled – Your order will remain open for up to 60 days and trade the rest of your shares if/when the price is right again. You’re charged the commission each day that shares trade even if it is only partially filled.

If you are trading at least 100 shares, you may want to consider the All or None option for your limit order. Your trade will only be completed if we can fill your entire order.

How do I determine the status of my online trade order?

You can check on the status of your orders by going to the Trade tab, then Order Status. Your orders are separated by account and you can sort them by status, investment type and time frame. Just select how you want to view your orders from the drop down lists and click View.

Your orders will have one of these statuses:

  • Open – You've sent the order to market, but the order hasn't filled yet. With the exception of market orders placed during market hours (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), orders with a status of open may be canceled. For orders that are placed while the market is open, any cancellation you make after the market closes at 4 PM ET will not free up your money (from a buy order) or shares (from a sell order) until shortly before the market opens the next business day. This is when we receive the cancellation confirmation from our clearing firm, Pershing LLC.
  • Execution Received – This means that some (or all) of your order has been filled. Click on the Details link to see how many shares (or options contracts) have been traded.
  • Posted – We've filled your order. To view a trade confirmation, go to the Trade tab, then Trade Confirmations.
  • Canceled – Your order is no longer open and will not be filled further. In the case of buy orders, any money reserved by this order is now available for other uses. Shares from a canceled sell order are now free to be used in another order.

How do I cancel an online trade order?

If your order status is Open (i.e. all or a portion of the order has yet to be filled), you can tell us to cancel that unfilled order. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Trade tab, then Order Status
  2. Click Cancel next to the open order and Cancel Order on the pop-up screen

Tip: You can’t cancel an order that has already posted (even if it is only part of your order). For orders that are placed while the market is open, any cancellation you make after the market closes at 4 PM ET will not free up your money (from a buy order) or shares (from a sell order) until shortly before the market opens the next business day. This is when we receive the cancellation confirmation from our clearing firm, Pershing LLC.