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Stock Order FAQs

What do I need to know before submitting my order to buy?

You must ensure that your RBC Direct Investing® account has sufficient available funds or margin excess by the settlement date. Registered accounts must have available funds at the time your transaction is submitted.

What do I need to know before submitting my order to sell?

The security must be held in your RBC Direct Investing account unless it is a short selling transaction.

If you have recently deposited physical stock certificates into your account, we require three to five business days to clear the certificates with the appropriate transfer agent.  Some U.S. stocks may take longer. You can only sell these securities online after they have been cleared.

What is the settlement date?

This is the date when the buyer of a security must pay for a purchase and a seller must deliver the securities sold. Settlement dates for executed trades will be available in the View Activity page found under Trade & Transfer, Transactions.

How do I complete a stock order?

Step 1 of 3

On the Stock Order Entry page:

  • Account #: Select the RBC Direct Investing account.
  • Action: Choose the action you wish to complete: Buy, Sell, Short Sell (an order to sell a specific stock that you do not hold), Cover Short (an order to buy back a stock that you have sold short). Short Sell and Cover Short are only available for margin accounts.
  • Order Type: Select the order type. Choose Market, Limit, Stop and Stop Limit. Please refer to About Order Types to explain your choices.
  • Limit Price: Set your limit price. 
  • Share Quantity: Enter a share quantity and a desired price and the estimated cost of your purchase transaction including commission will display.
  • Order Duration: Choose the date the order will be good until (up to 90 days). This date cannot be chosen for market price type orders which are day orders only. Refer to About Order Duration for more information.
  • Pay Commission with Points: Select this if you want to use your Avion points to pay for your trade commission. Please refer to the important notice and estimated points amount in step 2 below.
  • Phone: Enter your contact telephone number 

Step 2 of 3

Click Continue to proceed to the Confirm Transaction page where you can review your selections. The estimated cost of your transaction includes commission. For market orders, the cost is based on the last known ask price for buys and last known bid price for sells. 

If you selected to pay for your trade commissions with points, you can view the estimated trade commission in dollars along with the estimated number of Avion points needed to pay for the trade.

Step 3 of 3

Once you have reviewed all information click Confirm to complete the transaction and print a copy of this page for your records.

To view your order status, refer to Trade & Transfer on the site menu, scroll down to Transactions, then click on View Order Status.

How am I charged for partial fills?

Only one commission is charged for multiple fills on one order over the same day, within the same trading channel. If your order requires multiple fills over two or more days to fulfill, one commission per day is charged.

Paying from your RBC Direct Investing Account:

  • If you have a debit balance on one side of your investment account but a cash credit in another currency, you will need to perform a foreign exchange transaction between the two sides of your account on, or prior to, the settlement date. You can also choose to transfer cash in from another account to cover your debit balance before your trade settles. Go to Trade & Transfer on the site menu, scroll down to Transfers, then click on Transfer Funds.
  • Cash debit balances are permitted only for RBC Direct Investing margin accounts provided there is sufficient margin excess in the account. Interest charges will be applied in the currency of the debit balances.

Are there restrictions for Market orders?

  • Market orders cannot be placed on:
    • Stocks that have halted trading
    • Zero-priced securities
    • Any over-the-counter (OTC) market

Are there restrictions for Stop and Stop limit orders?

  • Stop limits are required for CDN markets. US markets accept either Stop or Stop limit orders.
  • Stop/Stop limit orders cannot be placed: 
    • On orders with an All or None restriction.
    • For NASDAQ Bulletin Board or Pink Sheet stocks.
    • For Aequitas NEO Exchange stocks.

Are there restrictions for Short Selling?

  • Canadian orders must be in mixed or board lots only, while U.S. orders allow for odd, mixed or board lots.
  • Stocks trading under $3.00 per share (CDN or US) are not eligible for short selling.
  • A security cannot be shorted in the short account if the client already owns the same stock in that same account.
  • Your short selling order will be rejected if RBC Direct Investing is unable to borrow the security to sell at the time the order is placed.
  • You may be forced to buy the shares back at any time  if RBC Direct Investing is unable to borrow shares to protect your position (referred to as a "Buy In").
  • You are responsible for dividends and any other distribution charges that are due while you are short the stock.
  • No interest is credited on cash balances in short accounts.
  • Short positions are marked-to-market.

What happens if I submit an order after the end of a regular trading session?

The order will be queued for the next trade day. Clients who want to participate in extended hours trading must speak to an Investment Services Representative at 1-800-769-2560 as this service is not available through the online investing site.

Is the foreign exchange rate on my executed order the same day official rate?

All foreign exchange rates that are displayed on orders are real-time. Real-time conversions cannot be cancelled or reversed.

A few points to note:

  • If you modify your order many times within a short period of time, you run the risk of duplicate fills.
  • If you place restrictions (i.e. All or None) on your order, it becomes more difficult to fill. These types of orders are placed in the "special terms" market which is handled manually. Orders without restrictions are given priority over orders with restrictions.
  • Do not use the All or None restriction on odd lot stock orders or market price orders.
  • If you wish to buy or sell a stock that you expect might fluctuate greatly in price throughout the day, it may be safer to place a limit order instead of a market order.
  • Day orders automatically expire at the end of the day's trading session. You cannot modify or cancel these orders after-market hours.
  • Always check the status of your previous orders before placing a new order or modifying/cancelling an existing order.
  • Some stocks that trade on the NASDAQ Bulletin Board/Pink Sheet over the counter market are not eligible for purchase in registered accounts (including RESPs, TFSAs, RSPs and Locked-In RSPs).

The Avion Rewards program is offered by Royal Bank of Canada and is subject to the Avion Terms and Conditions at https// You may only use your Avion points through RBC DI to: (1) pay for trade commissions on your eligible RBC Direct Investing accounts; or (2) transfer points for cash contributions to your eligible RBC Direct Investing accounts. It is your responsibility to make sure you have sufficient contribution room within your registered plan when redeeming points for cash contributions to your registered accounts and/or when you use your Avion points to pay for trade commissions on a registered account. The Canada Revenue Agency may apply tax penalties for over-contributions. RBC Direct Investing is not responsible for any such penalties.

RBC Direct Investing Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RBC Direct Investing Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Royal Bank of Canada and certain of its issuers are related to RBC Direct Investing Inc. RBC Direct Investing Inc. does not provide investment advice or recommendations regarding the purchase or sale of any securities. Investors are responsible for their own investment decisions. RBC Direct Investing is a business name used by RBC Direct Investing Inc. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © Royal Bank of Canada 2022. All rights reserved.

1Real-time exchange rates are available during foreign exchange hours (approx. 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. EST on Canadian and US business days). Transactions placed outside these hours or on weekends/holidays will be pending for the next business day. Please note that for pending transactions, the displayed foreign exchange is an indication only, the actual conversion value will be determined once the transaction is booked. Go to Trade & Transfer, scroll to Transactions, then click on View Activity to find the foreign exchange conversion rate.