Limits orders allow us to place an order at a specific price. We can specify the amount of coin that we want to buy or sell, at the price that we want this to happen at. You may have noticed that the order book is always full of sell orders that are a little higher than the current price and buy orders that are a little lower. The advantage with limit orders is that we can do do the same with our orders. The disadvantage is that our transaction likely will not be filled immediately and will count on the market price to make its way towards us.
Market orders allow us to exchange any amount of coin right away at the current market price. Orders are filled using the best available price in the exchange’s order book. For example, if you placed a market buy order for $100, it would buy from the lowest priced sell order(s) until you had used that $100. The advantage is that this transaction is always completed immediately; the disadvantage is that we don’t know exactly what price we are going to get.
Know what you are investing in, and know the risk. Bitcoin is speculative and volatile. Buying near $Xk means buying near the highest price Bitcoin has ever been. Some think Bitcoin is going to $X2k; some think it is going to $10. It is easy to get euphoric and think whatever today’s price is a safe bet. Historically that has been true or not depending on the weather on a given day.
I bought Elastic $XEL at the obscure Heat exchange. It was rather difficult discovering how to buy it because I was in this case ahead of the herd where the path was not well defined. In the end I bought it at a high price (average 31,367 Satoshis, should have got them at 25,000 Sats) as I got scammed over at Heat by a predator (Arsonic @Ars0nic on Twitter) playing the order book. We’ll see how that plays out. I think the excessive price I paid will not matter too much.
TIP: The tips and tricks below shouldn’t be mistaken for professional investment advice; instead this is basic friendly advice to mull over. If you want professional investment advice, consult a fiduciary. For a shorter list that zeros in on some key points, see: 5 Tips for New Crypto Traders. See also, how to trade and invest in cryptocurrency and our crypto investing / trading starter kit.
Don’t invest blindy. There are people in this world who would sell a blind person a pair of glasses if they could make money. Those same people play in the cryptocurrency markets and use every opportunity to exploit less-informed investors. They’ll tell you what to buy or claim certain coins will moon, just to increase the prices so they can exit. Due to the highly speculative nature of the cryptocurrency markets today, a good investor will always do his or her own research in order to take full responsibility for the potential investment outcome. Information coming from even the best investor is, at best, great information, but never a promise, so you can still get burned.