Whats The Difference Between Bid Price And Ask Price?

You will see order flow coming through as bid, ask and between orders. If you see the order flow coming in at bid and a ton of red on the tape, then the stock is likely going lower in the short-term. The smart money wants to ensure before taking a position there are speculators on the other side of the trade. One you can develop headaches from straining your eyes, but even more concerning is the risk of over trading.

bid vs ask

Personal Finance & Money Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who want to be financially literate. Advanced strategies are for seasoned investors, and beginners may find themselves in a worse position than they began. If you want your order placed almost instantly, you can choose to place a market order, which goes to the top of the list of pending trades.

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This is the difference between where you might expect to get filled and the price at which the order is executed. There can be a case that several buyers are bidding for an amount that is higher; however, the same will not likely be applicable in case of ask. I believe all-or-none orders are day orders, which means that if there wasn’t enough supply to fill the order during the day, the order is cancelled at market close. @JohnFx You’re most welcome, and thank you for your positive attitude and your service to the SE community. I opted for a comment in this case because I lack the reputation score to downvote, this being my first visit to this particular SE site.

bid vs ask

In the current trading climate, there are supercomputers sending millions of orders that are cancelled before a transaction takes place. Even though it’s the same car you bought a month ago with only 500 miles on the odometer, to buyers it’s not worth as much as something brand new. Every expert will tell you the minute you pull off the lot you lose thousands of dollars in resale value.

The Ask Price

Ian has an MBA and is a real estate investor, former health professions educator, and Air Force veteran. If you’re wondering what the spread is, that’s just the difference between the highest bid and the lowest ask. Any bids and asks in the order book are waiting to be executed, or filled. Uncertainty, like volatility, causes the bid-ask spread to widen. Inner price moves are moves of the bid-ask price where the spread has been deducted.

In that case, you’d post it on your favorite platform—at your requested price—and wait for a bid. You might accept the first one you get, or you might use any bids as the starting point for a negotiation. The bid-ask spread can only be in positive when the Bid price is smaller than the asking price. A spread that is higher will indicate the difference which is wide between the 2 prices that could be due to a lack of liquidity.

Therefore, the bid-ask spread tightens the more liquid a market is. In this case, the spread increases as it’s harder to sell and buy near the market value due to a lack of volume in trades. The difference between the bid and ask prices is referred to as the bid-ask spread. The bid-ask spread benefits the market maker and represents the market maker’s profit. It is an important factor to take into consideration when trading securities, as it is essentially a hidden cost that is incurred during trading. Each offer to sell similarly includes a quantity offered and a proposed sale price.

Price Impact Versus Bid

Bid Price is known as the sellers’ rate because if one is selling the stock, then he will get the bid price. If you are buying the stock, then you will get the Ask Price. The difference between Fibonacci Forex Trading these two prices goes to the broker or the specialist that handles the transaction. The ask price is always higher than the bid price, and the difference between them is called the spread.

  • And, if you’re a trader, be aware of how it impacts your ROI!
  • This does not mean that the current price is a guarantee on what the next filled order price is going to be.
  • No matter your experience level, it’s important understand the difference between a bid and ask price.

For example, the difference in price between someone buying a stock and someone selling a stock represents the bid-ask spread. As the current price represents the market value of a financial instrument, the bid and ask prices represent the maximum buying and minimum selling price respectively. Trade orders refer to the different types of orders that can be placed on trading exchanges for financial assets, such as stocks or futures contracts. John is a retail investor looking to purchase stocks of Security A. He notices the current stock price of Security A is at $173 and decides to purchase 10 shares for $1,730. To his confusion, he noticed that the total cost came out to $1,731.

When To Focus On The Bid And Ask Prices

So, if the ask price was $10, your market order would end up costing $1,000. For example, if you wanted to purchase 100 shares of stock in a particular company for no more than $1,000, you would set your bid price at $10. However, in order to make the purchase, somebody would have to set their ask price at $10 per share.


Stocks function in a similar fashion if a security has a large spread. For example, if you bought a stock for $100 dollars that has a bid ask spread of $95 by $100, you would be forced to take a 5% loss just to get out of the position. When the bid volume is higher than the ask volume, the selling is stronger, and the price is more likely to move down than up. bid vs ask When the ask volume is higher than the bid volume, the buying is stronger, and the price is more likely to move up than down. The below image quotes the Bid and Ask prices for a stock Reliance Industries, where the total bid quantity is 698,780, and the total sell quantity is 26,49,459. To buy an option, you need a seller willing to match up to your price.

The Role Of Bid Price And Ask Price In Liquidity

In contrast, the narrower the spread between the bid price and the ask price of a security, the easier it is to sell. This is a very good thing as a seller, because it means there is plenty of trade volume around the ask price. Meanwhile, if you set a market order to buy 100 shares of stock in a company, you would pay the ask price in the bid-ask spread.

Under competitive conditions, the bid–ask spread measures the cost of making transactions without delay. The difference in price paid by an urgent buyer and received by an urgent seller is the liquidity cost. Since brokerage commissions do not vary with the time taken to complete a transaction, differences in bid–ask spread indicate differences in the liquidity cost. Only you can decide if you want to buy a stock, currency, or asset at the bid or ask price. The bid price and ask price simply represent the highest current buy order price and the lowest current sell order price respectively.

How much the current price has risen or declined from the previous day’s closing price. To toggle between dollar change and percent change, click the column title. The bid ask margin is the percentage change, bid price relative to ask price. Ask price, on the other hand, will be lower than the current market price. During volatile conditions, traders would be wise not to place market orders unless they are completely necessary.


Tight bid ask spreads are very important because they help you to get a better fill price. If your spread is too wide then you won’t get as good of a fill. Watch our video on Major World Indices spreads and their importance when trading.

Author: Jessica Dickler

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