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A market order executes a transaction as quickly as possible at the present price. Immediacy is the main concern. A limit order is executed at or below a purchase or sale price. Price is the key with limit orders.

Market orders are the most basic. A broker receives a trade order and processes it at the current market price. But prices might change between the time the broker receives the order and the time it’s executed. Occasionally, those changes can be large.

Limit orders give investors more control over the prices at which they buy and sell. Purchase orders require investors to select a maximum acceptable purchase price. Sales orders need a minimum acceptable sales price.

The risk with a limit order is the price may never fall within its guidelines, rendering it useless. Or there may not be enough liquidity in the stock to fill the order.

Limit orders are more expensive than market orders. But it can be difficult to find the price of a low-volume stock that is not listed on a major exchange. Limit orders are then a good option.

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