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When Does M1 Finance Buy Stock?

When first starting out with M1 Finance the stock-buying can be quite confusing since there is no way to trade stocks manually. Instead, M1 Finance buys stocks for you at your request in specific time windows. So, when does M1 Finance actually buy stock?

M1 Finance has two trade windows: one starts at 9:30 AM ET when the NYSE opens and the other one at 3:00 PM ET just before the stock market closes. However, the later trade window is only available to M1 Plus members.

In this post, we’ll look a bit more deeply into how M1 Finance actually buys a stock and what time exactly trades are executed as this can vary by day. We’ll go over how this process works and when to expect your trades to show up in your account.

How does M1 Finance buy stocks?

M1 Finance is different from other brokers in that you are not able to buy stocks and place trades at just any time. Instead, you can schedule trades to be executed in the trade windows specified above.

This is mainly done for two reasons:

1) M1 Finance is not a day-trading platform but rather focused on long-term growth investing, and

2) trading in bulk keeps costs low for M1 Finance and its users.

To place an order with M1 Finance you will need to hit the Buy/Sell button in your investing dashboard and then enter the amount you would like to buy or sell:

After you type in the amount you would like to buy or sell the next screen will show you exactly what you will trade and when the next trade window is available:

After this, simply hit Confirm Buy and in this example, my order will be executed at 3:30 PM CEST (which is 3:30 PM ET).

What time does M1 Finance trade?

How long does it take M1 Finance to trade?

It takes M1 Finance anywhere from 15 minutes up to 2 hours to execute all trades. This largely depends on the trade volume place with M1 Finance that day. Other factors that can influence trading times are:

  • Liquidity: How fast and at what price trades can be executed is often a function of the assets liquidity. For highly liquid assets such as common ETFs – IVV, VOO, etc. – a buyer and seller can usually be found within seconds.
  • Types of Trades: Just as large-cap ETFs have high liquidity some other types of investments may take longer to execute. More specifically this includes small-cap stocks and newly listed stocks on exchanges.
  • Account Age: The speed of exection on M1 Finance can have be affected by the age of your M1 Finance account. Generally, the longer you are an M1 Finance costumer the faster trades are executed. This is because newer accounts are more frequently vetted to comply with regulation.

The last time I placed an order on M1 Finance I expected the trade to be executed at 9:30 PM ET sharp, however, when I checked my dashboard at 9:31 PM the trade was still progress. In fact, I had to wait about 45 minutes until my trade was fully executed and my funds were available for borrowing.

So, don’t be surprised if your trade still has not settled after an hour. Speed of execution is not one of M1 Finance’s strengths nor goals.

How often can you trade on M1 Finance?

You can trade once per day at 9:30 PM ET on M1 Finance. M1 Plus members may trade up to twice daily at 9:30 PM ET and at 3:00 PM ET.

However, you will need to place your trades before these trading sessions commence. Once the trade window has started there is no way to place additional trades.

Generally, the trade window will close precisely at 9:29 PM and 59 seconds (2:59:59 PM for the afternoon session). After this time M1 Finance will not accept any new order and all orders placed during the trade window will be executed in the following one.

As mentioned, you have the option of becoming an M1 Plus member for around $125 per year which will give you access to the afternoon trade window.

Can I day trade on M1 Finance?

Since trade windows are restricted and now manual trades can be placed outside of those trad windows, day trading is not really an option on M1 Finance. Instead, look for a broker with high-speed instant trade settlement but be prepared for higher fees.

In general, here are some of the use cases that M1 Finance excels at:

  • Long-Term Investing: Everything about the platform is geared toward longer term investing. If you pan on holding your investments for at least a year before even considering selling then M1 Finance may have something to offer to you.
  • Retirement: The ultimate long-term strategy is of course planning for retirement. M1 Finance gives you the tools you need to securely plan your retirement. You access to fantastic research tools, historical data and future projections.
  • Dividend Investing: When it comes to tracking your dividend earnings M1 Finance has really stepped up their game. You can now track all dividend earning on a single page from your dashboard and decide to have all dividends reinvested or paid out, your choice!

Conclusion

If you are looking for fast trade execution and intra-day trading, M1 Finance is not the broker for you. But if you are planning your financial future long-term this innovative modern broker has a lot to offer.

Yes, you will only be able to trade once or max twice per day, however, you pay no commission on these trades! And unlike Robinhood, M1 Finance does not sell your data to high-frequency traders and thus gives you better buy and sell prices across the board.

I’ve been using M1 Finance for the past 2 years and have thoroughly enjoyed managing my portfolio with this broker. If you’re interested in M1 Finance check out my comprehensive M1 Finance Review here.


Current recommendations:

Over the past years, I have discovered several tools and products that have helped me tremendously on my path to financial freedom:

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1) Take a look at M1 Finance, my favorite broker. I love how easy it is to invest and maintain my portfolio with them. I can set up automatic transfers, rebalance my portfolio with one click and even borrow up to 35% of my assets at super low interest rates!

2) Fundrise is by far the best way I've found to invest in Real Estate. You can diversify your portfolio by investing in their eREITs or even allocate capital to individual properties (without the hassle of managing tenants!).

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To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out the Recommended Tools section.

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