What is Slippage

Slippage in trading is an unavoidable consequence of the stock market and can significantly impact your investments. Therefore, it’s important to understand what slippage is, how it affects you as a trader or investor, and most importantly – how to minimize its effect on your trades.

Slippage occurs when there’s too much volatility in the markets or when orders are filled at prices different from those initially requested by traders; this results in increased costs for investors due to discrepancies between expected and actual trade execution prices.

In this blog post, we’ll look at what slippage is, its causes, the types of slippages that exist, their impacts on trading strategies, and some tips for minimizing them.


Slippage is the difference between the originally expected price of a trade before placing the order and the price at which it is executed. It occurs when an order to buy or sell a security, such as stocks, options, futures, or currencies, is filled at a different price than initially anticipated due to market volatility or other factors.

Slippage can occur in both rising and falling markets. In a rising market, slippage may result from orders being filled at prices higher than initially requested due to increased demand for the asset. Conversely, in a falling market, slippage may be caused by orders being filled at prices lower than initially requested due to decreased demand for the help.

In addition to market volatility, several other factors can cause slippage, including liquidity issues with particular assets; large trades that move markets; fast-moving news events; and technical problems with trading platforms or networks.

Slippage impacts traders’ profits since they will not receive their desired entry/exit points when executing trades if they experience significant slippage. For example, if you wanted to buy 100 shares of XYZ stock but experienced 10% slippage, then you would end up paying 10% more per share than your original target price – resulting in lower profits (or more significant losses) compared with what was intended initially when placing your order.

The amount of slippage experienced by traders depends on several factors, including:

  • Their trading strategy;
  • The size of their position;
  • The type of instrument traded (stocks vs options);
  • Liquidity levels available in specific markets;
  • and speed of execution (i.e., how quickly orders are filled).

As such, traders need to understand these factors to manage their risk exposure better and minimize potential losses associated with experiencing excessive amounts of slippage during volatile periods in financial markets.

Slippage is an unavoidable part of trading, and understanding its causes can help traders minimize their losses and maximize their gains. Next, we’ll explore the factors that can cause slippage in trading.

Causes of Slippage

Slippage is a common occurrence in the stock market and can significantly impact trading performance. It occurs when an order to buy or sell a security at a specific price is executed at a different, usually worse, price than expected. Several factors, including market volatility, liquidity issues, and broker-related issues, such as slow execution speeds or incorrect order entry, can cause slippage.

Market Volatility

Market volatility refers to the degree of change in the prices of securities over time. When markets are volatile, it becomes more difficult for traders to predict where prices will go next. This increases the likelihood that orders may be filled at prices that differ from what was initially expected due to sudden changes in market conditions.

Liquidity Issues

Liquidity refers to how quickly and easily assets can be bought or even sold without significantly affecting their value. Low liquidity often leads to slippage because there may need to be more buyers or sellers available for trades at any given moment which could lead to orders being filled at less favorable prices than expected.

Brokers are a vital component of executing trades. However, they can also bring their risks. For example, slow execution speeds or incorrect order entry may lead to slippage if not quickly addressed by customer service representatives who understand these issues and can efficiently resolve them, thus avoiding costly mistakes for traders/investors.

Incorrect order entry can cause slippage, as it may take longer for brokers, traders and investors alike to notice the mistake before it is too late. This could result in unfavorable fills due to delays caused by human error rather than market forces beyond anyone’s control.

Various factors can cause slippage, but understanding the underlying causes is vital to avoid costly mistakes in trading. So now, let’s look at the different types of slippage that can occur when trading stocks.

Types of Slippage

It can occur in any market but is most common in stocks, options, futures, and currencies. Slippage can be either a positive or negative amount, depending on whether the order was filled at a better or worse price than expected.

Positive slippage occurs when an order is filled at a better price than expected due to favorable market conditions such as increased liquidity or reduced volatility. For example, if you placed an order to buy 100 shares of XYZ stock at $50 per share and it was filled for $49 per share instead due to improved market conditions, this would be considered positive slippage.

Negative slippage occurs when an order is filled at a worse price than expected due to unfavorable market conditions such as decreased liquidity or increased volatility. For example, if you placed an order to sell 100 shares of XYZ stock at $50 per share and it was filled for $51 per share instead due to worsened market conditions, then this would be considered negative slippage.

The effects of slippage on trading are contingent upon whether it is positive or negative; however, both can have substantial consequences for traders and investors. For example, positive slippage may result in higher profits, while negative slippage could lead to losses that surpass anticipations; thus making risk management more complex since traders must consider potential losses from unforeseen price fluctuations during execution periods into their plans beforehand.

Slippage can significantly impact traders’ profits, and understanding the different types of slippage is essential for any successful trader. In the next section, we’ll look at how this phenomenon affects trading decisions and strategies.

Impact of Slippage on Trading

It can positively and negatively impact trading performance, depending on whether orders are filled at better or worse prices than expected.

When slippage works in favor of traders, it can result in unexpected profits. For example, if an investor places a buy order for a stock expecting to pay $50 per share but ends up paying only $49 due to slippage, they would profit from that transaction. Similarly, investors may benefit from slippage when selling stocks if their orders are filled at higher prices than expected.

On the other hand, slippage can also lead to losses if orders are filled at worse prices than anticipated. For instance, if an investor places a sell order expecting to receive $50 per share but receives only $49 due to slippage, they will incur losses compared to their expectations. This could be especially damaging for day traders who rely heavily on small margins of profits and cannot afford significant losses due to unfavorable market conditions or broker errors leading to large amounts of slippage.

The impact of slippage largely depends on the level of market knowledge and swiftness in decision-making possessed by investors. Those who remain up-to-date with news events and act quickly when placing trades may suffer less from its effects than those who are not well informed or do not make timely decisions while trading stocks, currencies, etc.

Slippage can significantly impact trading, from incurring additional costs to adversely affecting profitability. To minimize the risks associated with slippage, it is essential to understand how it works and what strategies can be used to reduce its effect. In the next section, we will discuss how traders can minimize slippage in their trades.

How to Minimize Slippage

Slippage is a common issue for traders and investors, especially those who trade stocks or other financial instruments. It occurs when the price of an asset moves away from the expected price before an order can be executed. Slippage can significantly impact trading results, so it’s essential to understand what causes it and how to minimize its effects.

What is Slippage? Slippage refers to the difference between the expected security price at which an order was placed and the actual execution price. This discrepancy often happens because market conditions constantly change, making it difficult for orders to be filled at their intended prices.

Slippage can be caused by factors such as high market volatility, simultaneous large orders from multiple traders, slow execution speeds due to technical issues with brokers’ systems or networks, and liquidity problems resulting from low volume in particular securities or markets. Therefore, it is essential for traders and investors to understand the causes of slippage so that they can take steps to minimize its effects on their trading results.

Impact of Slipping on Trading

The impact that slipping has on trading depends mainly on whether you experience positive or negative falling while placing your orders. If you experience positive slipping, you will benefit from receiving better prices than anticipated; however, if you experience negative slipping, your profits may suffer due to getting worse prices than expected upon execution.


It can significantly impact your profits, so it’s essential to understand what causes slippage and how to minimize its effects. By understanding the different types of slippage, you can better prepare yourself for any potential losses or gains that may occur due to price changes. With careful planning and research, you can reduce the risk associated with slippage in trading and maximize your chances of success in the stock market.

Updated: January 3, 2023
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