Forward Trading

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated July 22, 2021

What is Forward Trading in the Stock Market?

Forward trading, also called front running, occurs when stockbrokers personally purchase shares of a particular stock while knowing that their firm plans to purchase numerous shares of the same stock. Forward trading is considered unethical and is often illegal.

This is not to be confused with futures trading, which gives traders the right to buy or sell an asset in the future at a set price.

How Forward Trading Works (Example)

Stockbrokers and traders often have access to inside information regarding the investments their firm is planning to make. Brokers and traders may be tempted to use this insider information to their advantage by making investments that benefit them personally.

To illustrate, suppose a stockbroker at an investment bank has learned that his bank's executive board will purchase 100,000 shares of Company XYZ stock in the coming week. Knowing that this large purchase will push up the price of the stock, the stockbroker purchases 100 shares of Company XYZ for his personal account, hoping to profit from the jump in price.

Why Forward Trading and Front Running Happens

Forward trading, much like insider trading, is tempting for those with access to inside information as there is much for them to gain financially. In most cases, the practice is highly unethical and may be illegal due to the clear information advantage to industry insiders compared to similarly capable investors outside the firm. Forward trading presents a challenge to regulatory bodies such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which bears the responsibility of preventing it.

Activate your free account to unlock our most valuable savings and money-making tips
  • 100% FREE
  • Exclusive money-making tips before we post them to the live site
  • Weekly insights and analysis from our financial experts
  • Free Report - 25 Ways to Save Hundreds on Your Monthly Expenses
  • Free Report - Eliminate Credit Card Debt with these 10 Simple Tricks
Ask an Expert
All of our content is verified for accuracy by Paul Tracy and our team of certified financial experts. We pride ourselves on quality, research, and transparency, and we value your feedback. Below you'll find answers to some of the most common reader questions about Forward Trading.
Be the first to ask a question

If you have a question about Forward Trading, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.

If you have a question about Forward Trading, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question Read more from Paul
Paul Tracy - profile
Ask an Expert about Forward Trading

By submitting this form you agree with our Privacy Policy

Don't Know a Financial Term?
Search our library of 4,000+ terms