What Is Overtrading?

Over-trading is the excessive trading of securities, such as stocks, to the point of damaging the trader or going against certain rules. Over-trading can involve exceeding a specific number of trades in a designated period, as if a broker had a limit on the number of times the same shares can be bought and sold on any given day.

Learn more about over-trading, how it works, and what it means to you.

Definition and examples of over-trade

Over-trading means buying and selling investments too often. Not everyone will agree on the dividing line between normal trade and over-trade. A financial advisor, for example, may have his own recommendations on what he qualifies as over-trading based on a trader's particular circumstances.

Over-trading is also a strategy used by some brokers to try and charge more commissions. This is known as agitation and is illegal.

Alternative name: excessive negotiation, agitation.

Over-trade is a subjective term; Excess can mean different things to different people. Understanding what over-trading is can help you stay within your broker's rules, if applicable, and it can also help you avoid trading so much that your returns are affected.

In some cases, brokers or mutual funds may have their own rules on excessive trading. Over-trading can vary from one trader to another, but it usually involves making too many trades to the point that it is against the best interests of the trader.

This is a situation you might find yourself in that could be considered over-trading: Suppose you bought a share of a stock valued at $ 100. The next day, the price drops to $ 95, so you sell. The next day, the price goes up to $ 105, so you buy again. The price drops the next day to $ 102 and sells again.

In this case, the over-trade would have caused the loss of money both in the purchase and in the sale of the shares. Instead, if you bought just once for $ 100 and sold once for $ 102, you could have made a profit.

If your broker charges a commission or there are other transaction costs associated with trading, over-trading can cost even more.

How does over-trade work?

One way to analyze over-trade is to compare it to the concept of over-thinking. Thinking is usually good, while overthinking is usually bad. There is nothing wrong with trading a large number of stocks, but when your trade reaches the point of making a loss or going against your broker's rules, you fall into the dangerous area of ​​over-trading.

Whether your business volume is very high or not may depend on your financial circumstances and other factors, such as brokerage fees, taxes, or business laws.

Rotation and fees

An institutional investor, such as a hedge fund or professional day trader, can buy and sell stocks much more often than you. For them, this can be considered normal trading, not over-trading.

They may be able to absorb transaction fees or commissions better than someone who has fewer assets, less financial support, or brokerage deals like monthly fees rather than transaction fees.

If your broker charges transaction fees, they can lower your returns the more you trade. A $ 5 fee per transaction may not sound like a lot, but it is. For example, suppose you buy and sell the same stocks 10 times.

You are charged per trade, so you would end up doing 20 trades at $ 5 each. Your broker's commission would be $ 100 that day. If you had used $ 1,000 to make these 20 trades and made a profit of 10% ($ 100), you would have traded excessively because you could not keep any of your profits; they would have gone to their broker's commission.

Many large brokerages began to operate without commissions. If your broker charges you fees, you can switch to one that doesn't.

If you invest or trade mutual funds, you may also have to pay fees. These fees would be separate from the broker's fees and can further add to the cost of excessive trading.


Investors and traders pay taxes on the capital gains they get from trading because the gains are taxable. The IRS defines investors and traders by their activities, how long they keep their assets, and how they make money from them. Additionally, tax laws treat investors and traders differently - the laws are complex, and taxes can increase the costs of excessive trading.


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Source: tutor2u

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