Personal BUDGETING For Physician Executives

Personal Physician Budgeting Thoughts

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Although some doctors might view a budget as unnecessarily restrictive, sticking to a spending plan can be a useful tool in enhancing the wealth of a practice. And so, I will emphasize keys to smart budgeting and how to track spending and savings in these tough economic times; like today with the stock market busts, venture capitalists invading health care, corona virus the pandemic, aging baby boomer physicians and the great resignation; etc.

   There is an aphorism that suggests, “Money cannot buy happiness.” Well, this may be true enough but there is also a corollary that states, “Having a little money can sure reduces the unhappiness.”

   Unfortunately, today there is still more than a little financial unhappiness in all medical specialties. The challenges range from the commoditization of medicine, aging demographics, Medicare reimbursement cutbacks, ACA, and increased competition to floundering equity markets, the squeeze on credit and declines in the value of a practice. Few doctors seem immune to this “perfect storm” of economic woes. And then Covid-19, corona, and covid.

   Far too many physicians are hurting and it is not limited to above-average earning professionals. However, one can strive to reduce the pain by following some basic budgeting principles. By adhering to these principles, physicians can eliminate the “too many days at the end of the month” syndrome and instead develop a foundation for building real wealth and security, even in difficult economic climates like we face today.

   There are three major budget types. A flexible budget is an expenditure cap that adjusts for changes in the volume of expense items. A fixed budget does not. Advancing to the next level of rigor, a zero-based budget starts with essential expenses and adds items until the money is gone. Regardless of type, budgets can be extremely effective if one uses them at home or the office in order to spot money troubles before they develop.

   For the purpose of wealth building, doctors may think of this budget as a quantitative expression of an action plan. It is an integral part of the overall cost-control process for the individual, his or her family unit or one’s medical practice.1

How To Prepare A Personal Cash Flow Budget

   Preparing a net income statement (lifestyle cash flow budget) is often difficult because many doctors perceive it as punitive. Most doctors do not live a disciplined spending lifestyle and they view a budget as a compromise to it. However, a cash flow budget is designed to provide comfort when there is surplus income that can be diverted for other future needs. For example, if you treat retirement savings as just another periodic bill, you are more likely to save for it.

   You may construct a personal cash budget by recording each cash receipt and cash disbursement on a spreadsheet. Only the date, amount and a brief description of the transaction are necessary. The cash budget is a simple tool that even doctors who lack accounting acumen can use. Since it is possible to track the cash-in and cash-out in the same format used for a standard check register, most doctors find that the process takes very little time. Such a budget will provide a helpful look at how well you are staying within available resources for a given period.

   We then continue with an analysis of your operating checkbook and a review of various source documents such as one’s tax return, credit card statements, pay stubs and insurance policies. A typical statement will show all cash transactions that occur within one year. It is helpful to establish a monthly equivalent to all items of income and expense. For the purposes of getting started, note items of income and expense by the frequency you are accustomed to receiving or spending them.

What You Should Know About The ‘Action Plan’ Cash Budget

   For a medial office, the first operations budget item might be salary for the doctor and staff. Operating assets and other big ticket items come next. Some doctors/clients review their office P&L statements monthly, line by line, in an effort to reduce expenses. Then they add back those discretionary business expenses they have some control over.

   Now, do you still run out of money before the end of the month? If so, you had better cut back on entertainment, eating dinner out or that fancy, new but unproven piece of medical equipment. This sounds draconian until you remind yourself that your choice is either: live frugally later or live a simpler lifestyle now and invest the difference.

   As a young doctor, it may be a difficult trade-off. By mid-life, however, you are staring retirement in the face. That is why the action plan depends on your actions concerning monetary scarcity, a plan that one can implement and measure using simple benchmarks or budgeting ratios. By using these statistics, perhaps on an annual basis, the podiatrist can spot problems, correct them and continue planning actively toward stated goals like building long-term wealth.2

Useful Calculations To Assess Your Budgeting Success

   In the past, generic budgeting ratios would emphasize not spending more than 15 to 20 percent of your net salary on food or 8 percent on medical care. Now these estimates have given way to more rigorous numbers. Personal budget ratios, much like medical practice financial ratios, represent comparable benchmarks for parameters such as debt, income growth and net worth. Although these ratios are still broad, the following represent some useful personal budgeting ratios for physicians.

   • Basic liquidity ratio = liquid assets / average monthly expenses. Cash-on-hand should approach 12 to 24 months or more in the case of a doctor employed by a financially insecure HMO or fragile medical group practice. Yes, chances are you have heard of the standard notion of setting enough cash aside to cover three months in a rainy day scenario. However, we have decried this older laymen standard for many years in our textbooks, white papers and speaking engagements as being wholly insufficient for the competitively unstable environment of modern healthcare.

   • Debt to assets ratio = total debt / total assets. This percentage is high initially but should decrease with age as the doctor approaches a debt-free existence

   • Debt to gross income ratio = annual debt repayments / annual gross income. This represents the adequacy of current income for existing debt repayments. Doctors should try to keep this below 20 to 25 percent.

   • Debt service ratio = annual debt repayment / annual take-home pay. Physicians should aim to keep this ratio below 25 to 30 percent or face difficulty paying down debt.

   • Investment assets to net worth ratio = investment assets / net worth. This budget ratio should increase over time as retirement approaches.

   • Savings to income ratio = savings / annual income. This ratio should also increase over time as one retires major obligations like medical school debt, a practice loan or a home mortgage.

   • Real growth ratio = (income this year – income last year) / (income last year – inflation rate). This budget ratio should grow faster than the core rate of inflation.

   • Growth of net worth ratio = (net worth this year – net worth last year) / net worth last year – inflation rate). Again, this budgeting ratio should stay ahead of the specter of rising inflation.

   In other words, these ratios will help answer the question: “How am I doing?”

Pearls For Sticking To A Budget

   Far from the burden that most doctors consider it to be, budgeting in one form or another is probably one of the greatest tools for building wealth. However, it is also one of the greatest weaknesses among physicians who tend to live a certain lifestyle.3

   In fact, I have found that less than one in 10 medical professionals have a personal budget. Fear, or a lack of knowledge, is a major cause of procrastination. Fortunately, the following guidelines assist in reversing this microeconomic disaster.

   1. Set reasonable goals and estimate annual income. Do not keep large amounts of cash at home or office. Deposit it in an FDIC insured money-market account for safety. Do not deposit it in a money market mutual fund with net asset value (NAV) that may “break the buck” and fall below the one-dollar level. The new limit is $250,000. Track actual bills and expenses.

   2. Do not pay bills early, do not have more taxes withheld from your salary than needed and develop spending estimates to pay fixed expenses first. Fixed expenses are usually contractual and usually include housing, utilities, food, Social Security, medical, debt repayments, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, auto, life and disability insurance, etc. Reduce fixed expenses when possible. Ultimately, all expenses get paid and become variable in the long run.

   3. Make it a priority to reduce variable expenses. Variable expenses are not contractual and may include clothing, education, recreational, travel, vacation, gas, cable TV, entertainment, gifts, furnishings, savings, investments, etc. Trim variable expenses by 5 to 20 percent.

   4. Use “carve-outs or “set-asides” for big ticket items and differentiate true wants from frivolous needs.

   5. Calculate both income and expenses as a percentage of your total budget. Determine if there is a better way to allocate resources. Review the budget on a monthly basis to notice any variance. Determine if the variance was avoidable, unavoidable or a result of inaccurate assumptions. Take corrective action as needed.

   6. Know the difference between saving and investing. Savers tend to be risk adverse while investors understand risk and take steps to mitigate it. Watch mutual fund commissions and investment advisory fees, which cut into return-rates. Keep investments simple and diversified (stocks, bonds, cash, index, no-load mutual and exchange traded funds, etc.).4

How To Budget In The Midst Of A [Corona] Crisis

   Sooner or later, despite the best of budgeting intentions, something will go awry. A doctor will be terminated or may be the victim of a reduction-in-force (RIF) because of cost containment initiatives of the corona pandemic. A medical practice partnership may dissolve or a local hospital or surgery center may close, hurting your practice and livelihood. Someone may file a malpractice lawsuit against you, a working spouse may be laid off or you may get divorced. Regardless of the cause, budgeting crisis management encompasses two different perspectives: awareness and execution.

   First, if you become aware that you may lose your job, the following proactive steps will be helpful to your budget and overall financial condition.

   • Decrease retirement contributions to the required minimum for company/practice match.
   • Place retirement contribution differences in an after-tax emergency fund.
   • Eliminate unnecessary payroll deductions and deposit the difference to cash.
   • Replace group term life insurance with personal term or universal life insurance.
   • Take your old group term life insurance policy with you if possible.
   • Establish a home equity line of credit to verify employment.
   • Borrow against your pension plan only as a last resort.

   If you have lost your job or your salary has been depressed, negotiate your departure and get an attorney if you believe you lost your position through breach of contract or discrimination. Then execute the following steps to recalculate your budget and boost your wealth rebuilding activities.

   • Prioritize fixed monthly bills in the following order: rent or mortgage; car payments; utility bills; minimum credit card payments; and restructured long-term debt.

   • Consider liquidating assets to pay off debts in this order: emergency fund, checking accounts, investment accounts or assets held in your children’s names.

   • Review insurance coverage and increase deductibles on homeowner’s and automobile insurance for needed cash.

   • Then sell appreciated stocks or mutual funds; personal valuables such as furnishings, jewelry and real estate; and finally, assets not in pension or annuities if necessary.

   • Keep or rollover any lump sum pension or savings plan distribution directly to a similar savings plan at your new employer, if possible, when you get rehired.

   • Apply for unemployment insurance.

   • Review your medical insurance and COBRA coverage after a “qualifying event” such as job loss, firing or even after quitting. It is a bit expensive due to a 2 percent administrative fee surcharge but this may be well worth it for those with preexisting conditions or who are otherwise difficult to insure. One may continue COBRA for up to 18 months.

   • Consider a high deductible Health Savings Account (HSA), which allows tax-deferred dollars like a medical IRA, for a variety of costs not normally covered under traditional heath insurance plans. Self-employed doctors deduct both the cost of the premiums and the amount contributed to the HSA. Unused funds roll over until the age of 59½, when one can use the money as a supplemental retirement benefit.

   • Eliminate unnecessary variable, charitable and/or discretionary expenses, and become very frugal.

Final Notes

   The behavioral psychologist, Gene Schmuckler, PhD, MBA, sometimes asks exasperated doctors to recall the story of the old man who spent a day watching his physician son treating HMO patients in the office. The doctor had been working at his usual feverish pace all morning. Although he was working hard, he bitterly complained to his dad that he was not making as much money as he used to make. Finally, the old man interrupted him and said, “Son, why don’t you just treat the sick patients?” The doctor-son looked at his father with an annoyed expression and responded, “Dad, can’t you see, I do not have time to treat just the sick ones.”5

   Always remember to add a bit of emotional sanity into your budgeting and economic endeavors.6

   Regardless of one’s age or lifestyle, the insightful doctor realizes that it is never too late to take control of a lost financial destiny through prudent wealth building activities. Personal and practice budgeting is always a good way to start the journey.7

The Author:

Dr. Marcinko is a former university endowed chairman and professor, former certified financial planner and has been a medical management advisor for more than two decades. He is the CEO of, a health economics and business finance consulting firm.

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1. Marcinko DE (Ed). The Business of Medical Practice (Advanced Profit Maximizing Techniques for Savvy Doctors). Springer Publishers, New York, NY, 2000 and 2004 2. Marcinko DE (Ed). Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA, 2005 3. Marcinko DE (Ed). Risk Management and Insurance Panning for Physicians and Advisors, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, MA, 2006. 4. Marcinko DE, Hetico HR. The Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care. Springer Publishing, New York, 2007. 5. Marcinko DE, Hetico HR. The Dictionary of Health Economics and Finance. Springer Publishing, New York, 2008. 6. Marcinko DE, Hetico HR. Healthcare Organizations (Financial Management Strategies). Standard Technical Publishers, Blaine, WA, 2009. Additional Reference 7. Schmuckler E. Bridging Financial Planning and Human and Human Psychology. In, Marcinko DE (Ed): Financial Planning for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals. Aspen Publications, New York, NY, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

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About Securities Order and Position Types

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A Primer for Physician Investors and Medical Professionals

By: DR. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™


[PART 6 OF 8]

BC Dr. Marcinko

NOTE: This is an eight part ME-P series based on a weekend lecture I gave more than a decade ago to an interested group of graduate, business and medical school students. The material is a bit dated and some facts and specifics may have changed since then. But, the overall thought-leadership information of the essay remains interesting and informative. We trust you will enjoy it.


At this point  in our long ME-P essay, it is important to understand the different types of orders and positions that can be used to buy and sell securities from the specialist.

Market Order:

A market order is an order to be executed at the best possible price at the time the order reaches the floor. Market orders are the most common of all orders. The greatest advantage of the market order is speed. The doctor specifies no price in this type of order, he merely orders his broker to sell or buy at the best possible price, regardless of what it may be. The best possible price on a buy is the lowest possible price. The best possible price on a sell is the highest possible price. In other words, if a medical professional customer is buying, he logically wants to pay as little as possible, but he is not going to quibble over price. He wants the stock now, whatever it takes to get it. If he’s a seller, the doctor client wants to receive as much as possible, but will not quibble, he wants out, and will take what he can get, right now. No other type of order can be executed so rapidly.

Some market orders are executed in less than one minute from the time the broker phones in the order. Because the investor has specified no price, a market order will always be executed. The doctor is literally saying, “I will pay whatever it takes, or accept whatever is offered”.

Limit Order:

The chief characteristic of a limit order is that the doctor decides in advance on a price at which he decides to trade. He believes that his price is one that will be reached in the market in reasonable time. He is willing to wait to do business until he has obtained his price even at the risk his order may not be executed either in the near future or at all. In the execution of a limit order, the broker is to execute it at the limit price or better. Better, means that a limit order to buy is executed at the customer’s price limit or lower, in a limit order to sell, at price limit or higher. If the broker can obtain a more favorable price for his doctor customer than the one specified, he is required to do so.

Order Length:

Now, even though the doctor has given his price limit, we need to know the length of effectiveness of the order. Is the order good for today only? If so, it is a day order, it automatically expires at the end of the day.  Alternatively, the doctor may enter an open or, “good until canceled” order. This type of order is used when the doctor believes that the fluctuations in the market price of the stock in which he’s interested will be large enough in the future that they will cause the market price to either fall to, or rise to, his desired price, i.e. his limit price. He is reasonably sure of his judgment and is in no hurry to have/his order executed. He knows what he wants to pay or receive and is willing to wait for an indefinite period.

Years ago, such orders were carried for long periods of time without being reconfirmed. This was very unsatisfactory for all parties concerned.  A doctor would frequently forget his order existed and, if the price ever reached his limit and the order was executed, the resulting trade might not be one he wished to make. To avoid the problem, open (GTC) orders must be reconfirmed by the doctor customer each six months. Does that mean six months after the order is entered? …No! The exchange has appointed the last business day of April and the last business day of October as the two dates per year when all open orders must be reconfirmed.

Example: Dr. Smith wants to buy 100 shares of XYZ. The price has been fluctuating between 50 and 55. He places a limit order to buy at 51, although the current market price is 54. Limit orders to buy (buy limit orders) are always placed below the current market. To do otherwise makes no sense. It is possible that, within a reasonable time, the price will drop to 51 and his broker can purchase the stock for him at that price. If the broker can purchase the stock at less that 51, that would certainly be fine with the doctor customer since he wants to pay no more than 51. A sell limit order works in reverse and is always placed above the current market price.

Example: Dr. Smith wants to sell 100 shares of XYZ stock. The order is 54. A sell limit order is place at 56. Sell limit orders are always placed above the market price. As soon as the pride rises to 56, if it ever does, the broker will execute it at 56 or higher. In no case will it be executed at less than 56.

The advantage of the limit order is that the doctor has a chance to buy at less or to sell at more than the current market price prevailing when he placed the order. He assumes that the market price will become more favorable in the future than it is at the time the order is placed. The word” chance ” is important. There is also the “chance” that the order will not be executed at all. The doctor just mentioned, who wanted to buy at 51, may never get his order filled since the price may not fall that low.  If he wanted to sell at 56, the order may also not ever be executed since it might not rise that high during the time period the order is in effect.

Stop Orders:

A very important type of order is the stop order, frequently called a stop-loss order. There are two distinct types of stop orders. One is the stop order to sell, called a sell stop, and the other is a stop order to buy, called a buy stop. Either type might be thought of as a suspended market order; it goes into effect only if the stock reaches or passes through a certain price.

The fact that the market price reaches or goes through the specified stop price does not mean the broker will obtain execution at the exact stop price. It merely means that the order becomes a market order and will be executed at the best possible price thereafter. The price specified on a stop order bears a relationship to the current market price exactly opposite to that on a limit order. Whereas a sell limit is placed at a price above the current market, a sell stop is placed at a price below the current market. Similarly, while a buy limit is placed at a price below the current market, a buy stop is placed at a price above the current market. Why would a doctor investor use a stop order?

There are two established uses for stop orders. One of them might be called protective, the other might be called preventive.

Protective: This order protects a doctors’ existing profit on a stock currently owned.

For example, a doctor purchases a stock at 60. It rises to 70. He has made a paper profit of $10 per share. He realizes that the market may reverse itself. He therefore gives his broker a stop order to sell at 67. If the reversal does occur and the price drops to 67 or less, the order immediately becomes a market order. The stock is disposed of at the best possible price. This may be exactly 67, or it may be slightly above or below that figure. Why? …Because what happened at 67 was that his order became a market order; the price he actually received was dependent upon the next activity in the market. Let us suppose that the sale was made at 66 1/2. The doctor customer made a gross profit of 6 1/2 points per share on his original purchase. Without the stop order, the stock may have dropped considerably below that before the customer could have placed a market order and his profit might have been less or, in fact, he might have even sold at a loss.


A doctor purchases 100 shares of a stock at 30. He obviously anticipates that the price of the stock will rise in the near future (why else would he buy?). However, he realizes that his judgment may be faulty. He therefore, at the time of purchase, places a sell stop order at a price somewhat below his purchase price, for example, at 28. As yet, he has made neither profit nor loss; he’s merely acting to prevent a loss that might follow if he made the wrong bet and the stock does fall in price. If the stock does drop, the doctor knows that once it gets as low as 28, a market order will be turned in for him and, therefore, he will lose only 2 points or thereabout. It might have been much more had he not used the sell stop.


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Miscellaneous Orders and Positions

Beside market, limit  and stop orders, there are some other miscellaneous orders to know.

A stop limit order is a stop order that, once triggered or activated, becomes a limit order. Realize that it is possible for a stop limit to be triggered and not executed, as the limit price specified by the doctor may not be available.

In addition, there are all or none and fill or kill orders, and even though both require the entire order to be filled, there are distinct differences. An all or none (AON) is an order in which the broker is directed to fill the entire order or none of it. A fill or kill (FOK) is an order either to buy or to sell a security in which the broker is directed to attempt to fill the entire”‘ amount of the order immediately and in full, or that it be canceled.

The difference between an all or none and a fill or kill order is that with an all or none order, immediate execution is not required, while immediate execution is a critical component of the fill or kill. Be cause of the immediacy requirement, FOK orders are never found on the specialist’s book. Another difference is that AON orders are only permitted for bonds, not stocks, while FOK orders may be used for either.

Also, there exists an immediate or cancel order (IOC), which is an order to buy or sell a security in which the broker is directed to attempt to fill immediately as much of the order as possible and cancel any part remaining. This type of order differs from a fill or kill order which requires the entire order to be filled. An IOC order will permit a partial fill. Because of the immediacy requirement, IOC and FOK orders are never found on the specialist’s book.

Long and Short Positions

A long buy position means that shares are for sale from a market makers inventory, or owned by the medical investor, outright. Market makers take long positions when customers and other firms wish to sell, and they take short positions when customers and other firms want to buy in quantities larger than the market maker’s inventory. By always being ready, willing, and able to handle orders in this way, market makers assure the investing public of a ready market in the securities in which they are interested. When a security can be bought and sold at firm prices very quickly and easily, the security is said to have a high degree of liquidity, also known as marketability.

A short position investor seeks to make a profit by participating in the decline in the market price of a security.

Now, let’s see how these terms, long and short, apply to transactions by medical investors, rather than market makers, in the securities markets.

When a doctor buys any security, he is said to be taking a long position in that security. This means the investor is an owner of the security. Why does a doctor take a long position in a security? Beside, receiving dividend income, to make a profit from an increase in the market price. Once the security has risen sufficiently in price to satisfy the investor’s profit needs, the investor will liquidate his long position, or sell his stock. This would officially be known as a long sale of stock, though few people in the securities business use the label “long sale”. This is the manner in which the above investor had made a profit is the traditional method used; buy low, sell high.

Let’s look at an actual investment in General Motors to investigate this principle further. A medical investor has taken a long position in 100 shares of General Motors stock at a price of $70 per share. This means that the manner in which he can do that is by placing a market order which will be executed at the best “available market price at the time, or by the / placing of a buy limit order with a limit price of $70 per share. The investor firmly believes, on the basis of reports that he has read about the automobile industry and General Motors specifically, that at $70 a share, General Motors is a real bargain. He believes that based on its current level of performance, it should be selling for a price of between $80 and $85 per share. But, the doctor investor has a dilemma. He feels certain that the price is going to rise but he cannot watch his computer, or call his broker, every hour of every day. The reason he can’t watch is because patients have to be seen in the office. The only people who watch a computer screen all day are those in the offices of brokerage firms (stock broker registered representatives), and doctor day traders, among others.

In the above example, with a sell limit order, if the doctor investor was willing to settle for a profit of $12 per share, what order would he place at this time? If you said, “sell at $82 good ’til canceled”, you are correct. Why GTC rather than a day order? Because our doctor investor knows that General Motors is probably not going to rise from $70 to $82 in one day. If he had placed an order to sell at $82 without the GTC qualification, his order would have been canceled at the end of this trading day. He would have had to re-enter the order each morning until he got an execution at 82. Marking the order GTC (or open) relieves him of any need to replace the order every morning. Several weeks later, when General Motors has reached $82 per share in the market, his order to sell at 82 is executed. The medical investor has bought at 70 and sold at 82 and realized a $12 per share profit for his efforts.

Let’s suppose that the medical investor, who has just established a $12 per share profit, has evaluated the performance of General Motors common stock by looking at the market performance over a period of many years. Let’s further assume that the investor has found by evaluating the market price statistics of General Motors is that the pattern of movement of General Motors is cyclical. By cyclical, we mean that it moves up and down according to a regular pattern of behavior. Let’s say the investor has observed that in the past, General Motors had repeated a pattern of moving from prices in the $60 per share range as a low, to a high of approximately $90 per share. Further, our investor has observed that this pattern of performance takes approximately 10 to l2 months to do a full cycle; that is, it moves from about 60 to about 90 and back to about 60 within a period of roughly l2 months. If this pattern repeats itself continually, the investor would be well advised to buy the stock at prices in the low to mid 60’s hold onto it until it moves well into the 80’s, and then sell his long position at a profit. However, what this means is that our investor is going to be invested in General Motors only 6 months of each year. That is, he will invest when the price is low and, usually within half a year, it will reach its high before turning around and going back to its low again. How can the doctor investor make a profit not only on the rise in price of General Motors in the first 6 months of the cycle, but on the fall in price of General Motors in the second half of the cycle? One technique that is available is the use of the short sale.

The Short Sale

If a doctor investor feels that GM is at its peak of $ 90 per share, he may borrow 100 shares from his brokerage firm and sell the 100 shares of borrowed GM at $ 90. This is selling stock that is not owned and is known as a short sale. The transaction ends when the doctor returns the borrowed securities at a lower price and pockets the difference as a profit. In this case, the doctor investor has sold high, and bought low.

Odd Lots

Most of the thousands of buy and sell orders executed on a typical day on the NYSE are in 100 share or multi-100 share lots. These are called round lots. Some of the inactive stocks traded at post 30, the non-horseshoe shaped post in the northwest corner of the exchange, are traded in 70 share round lots due to their inactivity. So, while a round lot is normally 700 shares, there are cases where it could be 10 shares. Any trade for less than a round lot is known as an odd lot. The execution of odd lot orders is somewhat different than round lots and needs explanation.

When a stock broker receives an odd lot order from one of his doctor customers, the order is processed in the same manner as any other order. However, when it gets to the floor, the commission broker knows that this is an order that will not be part of the regular auction market. He takes the order to the specialist in that stock and leaves the order with the specialist. One of the clerks assisting the specialist records the order and waits for the next auction to occur in that particular stock. As soon as a round lot trade occurs in that particular stock as a result of an auction at the post, which may occur seconds later, minutes later, or maybe not until the next day, the clerk makes a record of the trade price.

Every odd lot order that has been received since the last round lot trade, whether an order to buy or sell, is then executed at the just noted round lot price, the price at which the next round lot traded after receipt of the customer’s odd lot order, plus or minus the specialist’s “cut “.  Just like everything else he does, the specialist doesn’t work for nothing. Generally, he will add 1/8 of a point to the price per share of every odd lot buy order and reduce the proceeds of each odd lot sale order by 1/8 per share. This is the compensation he earns for the effort of breaking round lots into odd lots. Remember, odd lots are never auctioned but, there can be no odd lot trade unless a round lot trades after receipt of the odd lot order.

Part 5 of 8: About Securities “Shelf Registration”


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