Order Confirmation Screen

Following on from @lizmcp’s post here with @piyushsg’s and @kenny’s suggestions

Please can there be an order confirmation screen which gives you a short time to confirm all order details, particularly the actual price, before completing an order?

Knowing the exact price you are going to buy/sell at is key information, especially in a volatile market.

When I used to use TD Direct you could setup an order, similar to how :freetrade: currently does, by entering an amount and seeing estimated number of shares, etc. but when you click submit you would then be presented with a screen giving you about 5 seconds to confirm the order at a set price.

Right now when submitting an order you have no idea how much it will differ from the last price displayed in app which can cause massive price discrepancies (especially with AIM shares that you can’t see 4 digit prices for…)

Doesn’t this assume that the price doesn’t change between you being shown the confirmation and you actually pressing the button.

The only way to guarentee an exact price would be for the market to only process one order at a time.
This is a common problem in software engineering in general, one that has been discussed for about 50 years and is still not completely solved.

I’m not sure the technical process behind it but I know TD Direct and I believe HL already offer this, so it is feasible.

In my case it was only a very short time period (about 5 seconds) to confirm/refuse the order but did guarantee that price for that time, although I think it may be possible for it to decline if it changed too rapidly in that time I can’t remember if that ever happened.

HL give you a few second to accept a quote. not sure how it works in the background, maybe they absorb any extra costs from sudden market moves?

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I also use HL, but that price is still just an estimate, albeit a more accurate one.
If someone was to place an order at the same time you are shown confirmation, the price could change. Maybe the platform would make you re-confirm, maybe it would be OK with the change as long as it was only a small amount, but the only way to completley guarentee it 100% is to not process any other orders untill that one is complete.

It’s effectively a race condition (for any engineering geeks)

Are you sure on that?

I was under the impression HL gets a guarantee on that price from the market maker for a given time period (15 seconds). This depends entirely on how the market pricing works, which I at least don’t have insight into - maybe the market maker provides a quote good for x seconds (taking their cut of course), or it may be HL absorbs the loss/profit which evens out usually, or it is an estimate as you say and not related to the price paid. Do you have a link to say it’s an estimate? I’ve never checked but always assumed I’d get the precise price quoted.

I had another look at the screen and there is no mention that it’s an estimate, which surely they’d require, and also the price is quoted to quite a few decimal places (seems unlikely if just an estimate).

I agree this would be a good feature to have in freetrade, along with more reliable pricing information in the app to guide investors.

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Well, sort of…
It could be as someone else mentioned that someone along the chain absorbs any difference in cost, which would guarentee a price to the user. My point was really that from a technical point of view, there is no way of showing an exact price unless you can guarentee that price will not change within the few seconds it’s on the users screen (unless of course the estimate updates in real time). The only way to guarentee the price doesn’t change is to not process any more orders. You would either need to process all orders, for the entire market in series (which would be very very long if there was a few seconds confirmation time on each one) or someone absorbs the difference (which may well be the case, I hadn’t considered that, I can only speak as a software guy, not a finance guy).

I don’t think that it is a guaranteed price for the 10 or 15 secs, as I have had occasions when I have had a message along the lines of “price has been withdrawn” - though this is usually at times of high volatility.

That’s not the only possibility. Think of it as a row lock vs a table lock on a db. An order for 2 shares doesn’t have to lock up the 10000 that a market marker has at a given price. There are quite a few possibilities depending on the mechanisms and rules of the market in question. I’m afraid I don’t know the answer as to what those mechanisms dictate, but hopefully someone who knows more about how it works can enlighten us. It would be interesting (for me at least) to know more about how this process works in real markets.

That’s interesting thanks. I’ve certainly had orders fail after the quote stage on HL with similar messages, but never noticed a large discrepancy between the quote and the price paid, however I must admit I haven’t checked every order. I do like seeing a quote screen before buying though, it’s reassuring to see the price when things are volatile.

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For me also :smiley:

I’m under the impression even though I can’t confirm this 100%, so maybe someone from Freetrade can chip in, but HL gets a guaranteed price from its counterparties and the reason HL can do this is because of its size and other commercial agreements it has with the counterparties. Kind of the advantage of being a large incumbent but the other way to think about it, it’s the opportunity for a new entrant like Freetrade to disrupt.

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This happened to me today with Greatland Gold (GGP) where price on the market was £0.0420 but Freetrade doesn’t update in real time and got it for £0.0432. This was through math as Freetrade doesn’t show more than 2 decimals before buying.

Am no expert so please correct me if I’m talking rubbish. Wouldn’t be more useful to have a Buy and Sell price and for Freetrade to promise these once confirmed?

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Completely solved on all other major trading apps, im not a software engineer so don’t try to make me explain but it is 100% possible to have a confirmed price. :+1:

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HL’s price never changes from what you are shown on your confirmation screen for 15seconds. It would be illegal to show you a confirmed price and then pay less.

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I think you misunderstand what I was saying to be honest but I’m not going to rehash a month old debate.

Okay

Just a small note. Another broker is saying “quotes when buying or selling shares may expire early”. They are also saying limit orders might not complete as usual.

Sometimes on Interactive Investor’s purchase/sale confirmation screen you get a note saying they actually got a better price than they had originally offered to you. It does feel good to think that you got a better deal, even if it’s only a pound or so.

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I am a big fan of this too. Makes me feel like I am getting a better deal and want to use them more.

Im sorry to bring this up again, but im going to have to stop trading.

Your site says it purchases at the best possible price.

But right now I used a live price tracker to confirm that Galliford trys share price was at 135.22, you estimated 1.37 but stated the best current price (135.22) and then when the trade went through it was (1.38) I’ve paid a 3.8% premium for the fact that there is no confirmed price. Where is the difference going???

Please can we vote everyone, time for confirmed prices.

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