EN Down
Hi, user_no_name
Live Chat

Street sign reading TRADING with skyscrapers in the background


In the financial markets, traders must contend with the reality of slippage, the divergence between the anticipated price of a trade and the actual execution price. This inescapable component of the trading process has the potential to influence outcomes favorably or unfavorably. 

By gaining an in-depth understanding of the factors that give rise to slippage and strategically deploying techniques to curtail its influence, traders can significantly refine the efficacy of their trading tactics.


What is slippage in trading?

Slippage refers to the difference between the expected price of a trade and the actual price at which it is executed. It occurs when the market moves quickly between the time you place your order and when it is filled. Slippage can be positive or negative depending on the direction of the market move.

Slippage is often unavoidable, but traders can take steps to minimize it. Using limit orders instead of market orders, trading highly liquid instruments, and avoiding volatile periods can help. 

While slippage can be negative in the short term, the key is managing risk to avoid catastrophically large slippage on any single trade. With an effective trading plan and risk management strategy in place, the impact of slippage over many trades can be mitigated.

Start Trading Now


Real-world examples of slippage


  • During major economic announcements: If a trader tries to execute a trade during the release of significant economic news, such as employment data or interest rate changes, the sudden surge in buying or selling can lead to substantial slippage.
  • In cryptocurrency markets: Given the volatility and relatively young market infrastructure, slippage can be quite common in crypto trades, especially for large orders or during turbulent market movements.
  • Flash crash scenarios: During the Flash Crash of May 2010, many traders experienced extreme slippage as prices plummeted and rebounded in a matter of minutes, leading to trades executing at prices far from their intended levels.


Analyzing the causes of slippage


Close-up of a glowing stock market chart with candlestick tracking


As a trader, understanding the causes of slippage and how to manage it is crucial to your success. Slippage refers to the difference between the expected price of a trade and the price at which it is actually executed. Several factors can lead to slippage in financial markets:

  1.       Lack of liquidity: If a market lacks sufficient liquidity, large orders may not find enough  
          counterparties to match the full volume immediately. The order will have to execute over a
          longer period of time and at a range of prices, leading to slippage.
  2.       Volatility: In volatile markets, prices change rapidly over short periods. By the time
          your order is placed and executed, the price may have moved significantly away from your
          intended entry or exit point, resulting in slippage.
  3.       Gapping: Gapping occurs when prices open significantly higher or lower than the previous
          close, skipping a range of prices in between. Limit orders placed within this range will not
          execute, while market orders will incur slippage by executing at the new opening price.

To mitigate slippage, consider using limit orders instead of market orders when possible, spreading out large orders over time, and avoiding placing orders right around major news events. 

While some slippage is inevitable, with close monitoring of the factors that drive it you can minimize its impact on your trading. With the right knowledge and risk management practices, slippage need not undermine your trading success.


Strategies to manage and minimize slippage


Red toned digital stock market graph with fluctuating candlestick patterns


Traversing the financial markets requires a deliberate approach to address certain market challenges, such as slippage. This discrepancy between an intended trade price and the executed price can chip away at profits or amplify losses. 

To effectively manage and minimize slippage, one must understand its underlying causes and apply astute trading strategies. To manage slippage effectively, you'll want to implement some proven strategies.

  1. Choose a broker with low slippage: Select a broker that provides fast trade execution with minimal slippage. Check reviews from other traders to determine which brokers typically have the least slippage for your trading style and instruments. stock
  2. Use limit orders: Rather than using market orders which execute at the next available price, place limit orders that will only execute if the price reaches your specified limit. This ensures you get the price you want and avoids slippage. Be aware that there is a chance the price may not reach your limit, so your order won't execute.
  3. Trade during low-volatility periods: Volatile market conditions often mean wider bid-ask spreads and more slippage. If possible, trade during periods of lower volatility and market activity like the first and last hours of the trading day. You'll typically get tighter spreads and less slippage during these times.
  4. Choose less volatile instruments: Trade instruments with lower volatility and more liquidity like major currency pairs, indices, and blue-chip stocks. These typically have tighter spreads and less chance of slippage versus more exotic or thinly-traded instruments.
  5. Use stop-loss and take-profit orders: To minimize losses from slippage, use stop-loss orders. Also use take-profit orders to lock in gains in case the price moves against you due to slippage after you open your position. Trailing stops are also useful for this.

Carefully managing slippage by using prudent strategies can help reduce losses, lock in gains, and improve your overall trading performance. With some practice, controlling and accounting for slippage can become second nature.


Final thoughts

As you continue your journey as a trader, keep in mind that slippage is an inevitable part of the process. While it can be frustrating to see your profits minimized or your losses maximized, the key is focusing on what you can control. 

Implement smart trading practices, choose highly liquid markets, use limit orders and maintain realistic expectations about execution. Though slippage will still occur at times, with experience comes the wisdom to navigate it and the patience to stay focused on your overall trading strategy. 

Keep learning, adapting and honing your craft. Over the long run, by managing risks and controlling what you can, you'll build the consistency and discipline needed to overcome the challenges of slippage. 

Stay determined and forge ahead the rewards of the journey can be well worth it. 

Learn and trade with Markets: the ultimate trading community.

‘‘When considering "CFDs" for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice.’’

Related Education Articles

How to trade on the commodity of crude oil

Tuesday, 16 April 2024


How Do You Trade in Crude Oil?

Gold Standard

Monday, 15 April 2024


The Gold Standard: A Historical and Its Modern Implications

How To Apply Proper Research On Stocks

Monday, 15 April 2024


How to apply proper research on Stocks

How to open a free demo account

Wednesday, 10 April 2024


How to open a free demo account

Live Chat