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I was surprised to see that one of my simple and rather small buy limit orders for a stock traded on the NASDAQ got placed under review for 23 seconds before it got executed (small ~= 30kUSD, which represents only 0.01% of the firm's market cap).

https://www.tdameritrade.com/retail-en_us/resources/pdf/SDPS819.pdf (mirror 1, mirror 2) mentions:

Order Review. TD Ameritrade reserves the right to review orders before sending them to the market to ensure they comply with the rules and policies of TD Ameritrade and the securities markets. The order review process may delay the routing of orders to exchanges, market makers, and electronic communication networks (ECNs). If it is determined that processing or executing the order poses an unreasonable risk to our clients or our firm, or that it could disrupt the market or our operations, the order will be refused or rejected.

But this is quite vague. What kind of checks must be done on a simple and small buy limit order "to ensure they comply with the rules and policies of TD Ameritrade and the securities market"?

Also I wonder whether this kind of reviews are manual or automated: 23 seconds is rather fast for manual and extremely slow for automated.


The buy limit order in question:

enter image description here

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  • The "mirror" link to archive.today is nearly useless because it only shows a screenshot of part of the first page of the PDF file, and there is no way to retrieve the entire PDF (the "download .zip" button is broken since 2019 [reference]).
    – Flux
    Jun 16 at 5:56
  • What kind of checks must be done...: Are you looking for a complete list? I doubt anyone here can provide that.
    – gaefan
    Jun 16 at 10:51
  • @gaefan just a sense of it Jun 16 at 11:15
  • @Flux I hadn't noticed, thanks! I'll fix it. Jun 16 at 11:16
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    I suggest that you ask TD Ameritrade. It is possibly the only way you can know for sure.
    – Flux
    Jun 17 at 0:47
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One possibility is that you have entered a relatively large order, and the brokerage firm has flagged your order to prevent costly fat finger errors. On 2021-06-14 (i.e. the day before you placed your order), only 3482 shares of FRONU were traded (reference, screenshot). Your marketable limit order of 3000 shares is relatively large; it represents 85%+ of the previous day's trading volume.

I suggest that you ask TD Ameritrade. It is possibly the only way you can know for sure.

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Given the volatility of meme stocks in the past 6 months, particularly in GameStop, brokers have gotten more defensive with such stocks.

There's also the possibility that TD's technology is slow and when there's high volume or a system glitch, review takes longer.

The best answer would be from calling TD and asking, "What gives?"

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