General Stock Investment Strategies/Brokerage Sell Orders



Are there other brokerage sell orders than first-in-first-out (FIFO) and last-in-first-out (LIFO? If so, what are they?

I thank you for your reply.

Hi Kenneth-
Those order types you mention are actually tax preferences for trades in a taxable account. That choice has only been added recently in the typical brokerage account, because in the past, brokerage firms weren't required to keep track of the gains and losses from each trade. You should check with your brokerage firm to see what other tax preferences you can set for your no doubt have the option of "specific identification," where you specify which batch you're selling, and could have several others such as "highest cost in, first out," "lowest cost in, first out," and variations based on holding period (short- or long-term).

Aside from tax choices, you also have numerous options for the trade related to the execution price, timing of execution, and size of the order. Again, check with your brokerage firm to see what's offered, or read up on this online - the difference between market orders and limit orders, using "all or none," etc. Any brokerage firm website should have a full description of all of the order types and unlike with the tax preferences, those order types can be specified in tax-deferred accounts like IRAs or Roth IRAs (you may be able to choose LIFO, FIFO, etc. for a trade in an IRA, but it had no real effect).


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Tad Borek


I am a San Francisco-based investment adviser and attorney.


I opened my investment advisory practice, Borek Financial Management, in 1999, and have been a licensed attorney since 1993.

I received my B.S from Cornell University, and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.

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