I've been and investor for quite a while, a trader for a short time. I have found that MARKET executions with my current broker (Scottrade) take a long time to execute, and have been using LIMIT orders for faster fills. I incorrectly thought that a LIMIT would become a MARKET order once hit (which I believe is actually a STOP), and have been placing orders well outside of current bid/ask. Example, stock x trading at 8.6 by 8.65, I place a buy order at 8.8 to ensure a fill in case the stock, which is usually moving fast does not get away. What I have found is that the broker is giving me fills at or near MARKET, lower than my LIMIT in this case. So my question is this... Have I been getting lucky that the MM or SPEC is not pocketing the difference between my limit and current inside, and should I be using STOP orders? If so, do STOPS get the same fast execution as the LIMIT? Or, is this good practice for a fast fill, and though I may not get the optimum price possibly slipped by a penny or two? Thanks in advance.