Finding Blue Collar Jobs Online

If you’ve got more experience in the field than in a cubicle, chances are you like to work with your hands and on your feet.

For blue collar workers — like most everyone else in the labor force — classified ads in newspapers and billboard job postings have largely been replaced with online job boards and virtual recruiters.

Here’s everything you need to know to navigate online job boards like ZipRecruiter and land a great job that fits you.

What Are Blue Collar Jobs?

Blue collar is a broad term, maybe even a bit of a classist one, for distinguishing jobs that require some degree of physical activity from those that don’t.

Some of the smartest and most successful people in the world built their fortunes doing blue collar work. They went to work earlier than their peers, started earning much more money and never looked back.

There isn’t an agreed-on definition of blue collar work, but these are some of the elements most people agree on. Most blue collar jobs:

  • Require some degree of manual labor
  • Are commonly paid hourly, per diem or per project
  • Often require vocational and on-the-job training
  • Less commonly require advanced degrees

While physical labor is typically required of blue collar workers, blue collar jobs may or may not require specialized skills. But the more skill involved, the better the compensation and benefits.

Best Job Boards for to Find Blue Collar Work

Most job boards don’t care what color collar you wear. Their focus is to show you as many relevant jobs as they can. However, some job sites have put more effort into attracting blue collar employees and employers. And they make it easier than others to sort through jobs based on industry, experience and skill.


Would you rather shop around in a department store, or at an entire shopping complex? ZipRecruiter is like a shopping mall for job boards.

Unlike other job-search sites, ZipRecruiter syndicates job postings from over 100 partner job boards. You’ll find that some of these boards are brimming with blue collar opportunities, while others may be better suited for the desk-and-computer-monitor setup.

Having 100 options for anything can feel overwhelming, but that’s where ZipRecruiter’s virtual recruiter comes in. You don’t have to sort through all those job boards — their virtual recruiter uses artificial intelligence to match you to jobs and will even recommend you to companies looking for employees like you.

Simply tell ZipRecruiter what you’re looking for, along with the type of experience you have, and your virtual recruiter will recommend highly relevant jobs to you from dozens of job boards.


If you associate LinkedIn primarily with white collar jobs, you might not be wrong.

This business networking site built its name on facilitating opportunities and connections for white collar workers and professionals. But over time, it has expanded to include a fuller spectrum of job opportunities.

Through a series of startup acquisitions, which began around 2012, LinkedIn has worked to flesh out its “economic graph.” This graph is supposed to be a more realistic representation of all the different types of jobs that power the economy.

These days, LinkedIn has stepped up its efforts to facilitate blue collar hiring. While other options may be better suited for connecting you with blue collar jobs, Linkedin certainly isn’t a terrible place to look.


While LinkedIn started with white collar jobs and expanded to include blue collar work, Indeed started with entry-level service jobs and expanded to include many more advanced career opportunities.

Those service jobs weren’t necessarily blue collar work. But over the years, Indeed has seen a marked increase in the types of jobs that require you to work with both your hands and your head.

One common complaint you may find to be true about Indeed is that there’s an ocean of entry-level gigs you’ll need to swim through. And you might find many job postings that are essentially duplicates.

Yes, you can find plenty of “duplicate” postings on other job sites. But unlike ZipRecruiter, Indeed doesn’t offer a virtual recruiter to help sort through all the look-alikes and find postings for blue collar jobs that are just about perfect for you and your life stage.


It used to be one of the best places to find blue collar work, but we’ve got trust issues now. Craigslist has always made it easy for anyone to cheaply post a listing for anything: full-time jobs, one-off gigs, furniture for sale, cars for sale and a whole lot more.

And when we say anyone can post a listing cheaply, that includes both people with good intentions and those looking to rope you into a confidence scam.

Consider applying for work on a job board that has stronger content moderation and employer verification, such as the other job sites listed above.

No matter where you apply, you should always look into the people behind a job listing to make sure you can trust them before sharing personal information.

This is a portrait of an electrician trainee.
Getty Images

Applying for a Blue Collar Job

Blue collar jobs can be much more rewarding than a role based solely on what you know, and these jobs can be lucrative. Here’s how to get started:

1. Assess Your Skills and Figure Out What You Like to Do

No one likes to do a job they don’t care about. Figure out what matters most to you, in terms of your personal values and career goals. We all want to do something that makes a difference, one way or another.

Take an online career assessment and personality test if you’re not quite sure what you want to do. You might learn a little more about yourself and find that you’re suited for work you’d have never considered otherwise.

2. Research Career Fields and Specific Jobs

Focus on a few fields you’re interested in, but don’t write anything off. Sometimes the most rewarding jobs are in fields we’d never considered before.

Get a better idea about career paths by examining a day in the life of a typical employee in that field. You can get a look behind the curtain on social media by following people who do the job you’re interested in or by talking to contacts in your extended circle.

3. Gain Experience

Most people don’t walk right into their dream job. You have to get your foot in the door first. And oftentimes, you’ll have to put in extra legwork by doing elements of your dream job without actually having the title or pay.

While a college education isn’t required as often for blue collar professions, consider investing in some form of education. Vocational training or certificate programs can fast-track your career, and a college degree certainly won’t hurt your chances.

At a minimum, make sure you secure a high school diploma or a GED.

4. Apply for the Right Type of Job

Put your experience to use. Online job boards like ZipRecruiter can help match your experience and personality to relevant jobs. The artificial intelligence behind its virtual recruiter can show you relevant blue collar jobs you might not have considered otherwise.


Need a little more information to help you determine if a career in blue collar work is right for you? Here’s a roundup of some of the most commonly asked questions from around the internet.

What types of jobs are blue-collar?

First, there’s usually a significant amount of manual labor involved. But they’re more than just manual labor jobs. The more advanced roles require highly skilled workers with advanced knowledge of their field, both of which can require years of education and training.

You’ll find blue collar workers in just about every sector of the economy, though you’re likely to find a higher concentration of them in certain industries.

Those include construction, auto repair, engineering, hospitality, agriculture, forestry and many more.

What sort of education does a blue collar worker need?

Most blue collar job opportunities require at least a high school diploma or a GED. Though more skilled roles may require some technical or vocational training. And the more advanced jobs may even require advanced college degrees.

How much money can I make as a blue collar worker?

While the lowest-paying jobs are often blue collar work, an experienced, skilled blue collar worker can make about as much as a typical white collar worker. However, the upper crust of white collar employees earns considerably more, while entry-level manual labor jobs often start at minimum wage.

However, blue collar employees can often go to work sooner than white collar workers, which could result in more earnings in at least the near term.

Bottom Line

Finding blue collar work isn’t as simple as it used to be. But sites like ZipRecruiter let you thoroughly research jobs and the companies offering them. You can even read reviews from current and former employers in many cases to get a better idea about what you’re signing up for.

Ready to take the first step? See what blue collar employment you can find on a job search site like ZipRecruiter that partners with dozens of diverse job boards.




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Before You Move: What to Know About Homeowner Associations

Two-thirds of all housing units built in 2018 were in communities governed by their owners, according to the latest Census Bureau statistics, making common-interest developments the nation’s fastest form of home ownership. That means home and condominium owners, about 25% of the U.S. population decide not only what services to provide that their local municipalities don’t, but also under what rules their fellow residents must live by.

In most cases, the monthly or quarterly dues that condo and homeowner associations collect go toward maintaining their streets, operating their clubhouses and other amenities, keeping their public spaces clean, and perhaps even paying for some utilities. In some cases, they may even clean your roof every so often and paint the outside of your house. But your association also dictates how you live. For example, it might not allow for window air conditioning units. You may not be permitted to keep your garage door open, or perhaps receive a letter highlighting the need for better yard maintenance.

Group Making Notes Whilst Attending Neighborhood Meeting In Community CenterGroup Making Notes Whilst Attending Neighborhood Meeting In Community Center

It’s all in the name of maintaining property values, and many association boards (owners elected to do the dirty work) work zealously in that regard. Indeed, the 2.35 million board members nationwide volunteer a collective 80 million hours annually, CAI calculates. If they were paid $22.50 an hour, the value of their time would be a whopping $1.76 billion.

But sometimes, board members, who are owners, just like you, are a tad overzealous. Make sure your draperies are all the same color and material as your neighbors’, plant flowers here, but not there, and only this kind of plant. No clothes lines and no hanging towels over your balcony or deck railing to dry. And those are the least objectionable rules you might have to live by. The downfall? If you can’t afford to do what the association demands, you can be sued.

Most rules are pretty tame, though. So much so that most people who reside in common-interest developments are overwhelmingly satisfied with the experience, according to CAI’s latest poll.

So, if you are a lone wolf who doesn’t like be told how to live, you might not want to consider a house or apartment in a community governed by one of the 47,000 or so owners’ associations nationwide. There are still lots of choices out there, for as widespread as association living is, most houses that are for sale are in places where people are free to paint the front doors yellow if they so desire.

Look elsewhere, too, if you don’t like the idea of paying for trash removal, snow removal and other things you can do yourself. If you don’t like being told exactly how to maintain your lawn, get out before you get in. And if you don’t intend to play golf or use the pool or clubhouse, this definitely isn’t the place for you. You’re still going to have to pay your dues, whether you use the facilities or not.

To decide whether you can live under what some say feels like house arrest, take the time to read the covenants, conditions, and restrictions that are set up to regulate the community’s use, appearance and maintenance. Known largely as the CC&Rs, they are the rules of your neighborhood, so study them carefully.


The penalties for violating any of these and other dictums– or for not paying your dues– can be severe. Your association’s board will flag your first violation and give you ample time to get back in line. But if you continue to balk, you can be fined and if you still fail to comply, you could find yourself in court.

Your board can also bar you from using the commonly owned facilities such as the pool or clubhouse and it can place a lien against your property for unpaid dues and fines, making it far more difficult to sell.

Besides the CC&Rs, you’ll want to take a hard look at the association’s budget, past and current, to try to determine whether the community’s finances are in order. Here, it might be worth your while to hire an accountant who is familiar with homeowner associations to go over the books on your behalf. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure the board stays within its allotted budget or often spends more than what was called for. If they are over budget, then a dues increase is probably in order.

In brand new communities, builders sometimes lowball dues in the project’s early stages to make it more attractive. Later, when they turn over the association to the owners, your board has no choice but to raise the dues, which means you’ll pay more than what you were told originally.

In existing communities, try to determine whether the board is considering a special assessment– an amount over and above your monthly or quarterly dues– to cover some unforeseen and major expense, say street repairs or replacing the clubhouse roof. If so, you could be hit with an appreciable levy soon after you move in.

Lew Sichelman

Syndicated newspaper columnist, Lew Sichelman has been covering the housing market and all it entails for more than 50 years. He is an award-winning journalist who worked at two major Washington, D.C. newspapers and is a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors.


5 Common Reasons for Being Denied Homeowners Insurance

Buying a home is a complicated process, especially for first-time homebuyers.

Yet, purchasing a property is one of the landmark moments in many peoples’ lives, and a home is often a family’s most valuable asset. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to make sure that it has the proper insurance coverage. Some homes, however, can be more difficult to get homeowners insurance for than others. Being denied homeowners insurance is likely to scuttle the deal with a mortgage company.

There are several reasons why obtaining homeowners insurance can be difficult, from where the home is located to who occupies it and what it is being used for. In addition, issues like flooding, wildfires, construction, and renters can all factor into whether or not you can receive homeowners insurance coverage.

5 Common Reasons Insurance Companies Deny a House

This article will lists five of the major factors why obtaining a policy can be difficult (or impossible) for certain houses and how to prevent or resolve these issues so that you can have success with an insurance provider.

1. The House Is Structurally Unusual

The first major category and the hardest to resolve problems for home insurance coverage relate to homes that are structurally unusual. Structural issues involve questions of what type of home it is or what it is made out of. Alternative homes are becoming increasingly popular as buyers seek to find ways around high home prices.

However, homes made of unconventional materials or unusual construction fall under this category and create hurdles to getting a home insurance policy. It includes houses like barndominiums, or barndos, which are barns that have been converted into a residential home. Other unusual home construction includes cloth or canvas homes like yurts, A-frames, dome houses, and even mobile homes and trailers. Tiny homes can also fall under this category making the hunt to find coverage more painstaking.

For some of these types of homes, there are special policies that cover them. In other cases, you may have to find the right homeowners’ insurance company that will underwrite a policy because of the house’s unique status.

Older homes, properties under construction, and homes with severe flaws that need fixing may also be difficult to insure. Typically, houses that are over 50 years old have to be updated by having rewiring, plumbing, and other updates done. Houses under construction need a special type of insurance called “course of construction” insurance. Sometimes this is called builder’s risk insurance.

Remember, the purpose of purchasing homeowners insurance is to mitigate risk. Married couples may find they also need joint life insurance as additional protection.

It is good to be aware of these issues and to make sure to discuss them with a real estate agent or better yet, talk to mortgage lenders or an insurance company before you make an offer. Ensuring you can obtain insurance is as important as having your financing in order.

2. The House Is in a Risky Location

It’s hard enough to find a home in 2022, but it’s important you find a home in the right place. Some homes may be located in an area that puts them at a particular type of risk, like hurricanes, flooding, and forest fires. Houses in dense bush or forest areas may be deemed too high-risk as well. Houses in a flood zone can often only buy insurance if they purchase a separate flood policy.

Location, location, location has always been the driving mantra when looking for a home but that usually had to do with its proximity to work and schools, not so much about insurance requirements. There are now other factors to thinking about a home’s location in the house hunting process.

Finally, if your home is inaccessible or difficult to access, you may have trouble becoming insured. Houses that are difficult for emergency services, like police and fire, to get to may have higher premiums or be denied homeowners insurance.

Ensuring you select an area without some of these risk factors will make acquiring homeowners insurance far easier than elsewhere.

3. The House Is Being Used for a Business

Third, some buyers forget to consider usage issues when purchasing their homes. Some types of uses will not be covered under a homeowners insurance policy or may result in you being denied coverage.

Special uses include things like businesses, such as daycare, or even farming and ranching. If you are planning on incorporating an LLC and running a business out of your home, then it’s important to make sure that your homeowners’ policy permits this use. You certainly don’t want to find this out by getting denied insurance claims after the fact.

Working from home for another company is not likely to affect your ability to get a policy, especially if you are sitting at a computer most of the day and clients are not regularly coming to the house.

Agricultural business uses that occur on a property can also make you ineligible for standard homeowners insurance. Other home-based businesses, like caring for others in your home, require their own type of insurance. Home daycare insurance is required if you plan to run a daycare out of your home and a reputable insurance company can help you with this.

4. The House (Or Part of It) Will be Rented

Another usage issue for the insurance company is whether or not you will rent out your home. Renting is a great way to earn additional income, especially now as national rent prices are hitting all-time highs.

Rental issues encompass long-term renting as well as short-term renting, like listing your home on websites like Vrbo or Airbnb. It’s critical to double-check your property insurance policy before you rent out your home — or even a bedroom — because it may end up voiding your coverage in many cases.

5. The House Has Maintenance Issues

The final set of issues is related to how you occupy your home. Most homeowners insurance policies require the home to be “owner-occupied.” This means that you have to live in your home. Periods of vacancy or living elsewhere, like in another home, can all potentially undermine your efforts to acquire or maintain homeowners insurance.

Additionally, it is important to be mindful of how you live in your home. A frequent issue is a home that does not show “pride of ownership.” It means that the property is not being maintained. Hoarding is a common issue in this category, but so is failing to maintain your lawn and landscaping. or failing to repair property damage caused by natural disasters. These things represent a risk to insurers.

Other issues may relate to keeping the house in good repair. For example, if your property has broken windows, a collapsing porch, or shabby paint, these factors may all contribute to whether or not you can acquire an insurance policy. Even if the lack of maintenance is a product of the previous homeowners, you could bear the consequences.

As the price of gold slips to $1,803 per ounce, it’s important to think about how you protect the value of your home as an investment. Keeping it in good condition and making home improvements plus ensuring you have the right insurance are both steps in the right direction.

Analyze Your Situation and Find the Right Insurance Company

These are just the main considerations to keep in mind when trying to find a home that will be covered by homeowners insurance. Remember that if one company does not write you a policy, another might.

More often than not, avoiding unique homes, older homes, properties in potentially dangerous areas, and houses that require updating is one of the best ways to make sure you can get homeowners insurance.

New York contributor Kiara Taylor specializes in financial literacy and financial technology subjects. She is a corporate financial analyst who also leads a group affiliated with University of Cincinnati that teaches financial literacy to Black students and helps them secure employment and internships.


Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage? Ask These 5 Questions

AlyoshinE /

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

One of the more hotly debated issues in personal finance is whether you should pay off your mortgage early.

As with most things, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Here are a few questions to guide you.

1. Are you receiving a tax deduction?

Hands forming a tax shelter over money
Andrey_Popov /

Although everyone assumes that they are getting a tax deduction from their mortgage, many people aren’t.

If you have a small mortgage or have had it for a long time, the amount of interest in each payment is likely to be small. Did you itemize your last tax return? If not, you don’t pay enough interest to receive a deduction.

2. What is your interest rate before and after the tax deduction?

Stressed retiree doing budgeting and paying bills
Elnur /

If you are not receiving a mortgage interest deduction, your effective interest rate is the same as the rate on your mortgage.

If you are able to deduct the mortgage, then your after-tax interest rate is lower than the rate on the mortgage. You can use this calculator to see the effective interest rate (after tax deductions) versus the stated interest rate.

For example, if you have a $250,000 mortgage at a 4.5% interest rate, are in the 24% federal tax bracket and have an 8% state income tax rate, the effective after-tax rate on the mortgage is 3.146%.

3. What else would you do with the money?

senior woman wondering questioning /

In finance, people talk about opportunity cost, which is what else you would do with the money. This is where knowing your interest rate comes in handy.

If the after-tax interest rate on your mortgage is 3% and you have credit card debt at 12% interest, then you should put extra money toward the credit card. If the interest rate on your mortgage is 3% and you can get a bank CD for 10% (and there have been times when you could get CDs at that rate), put the money in the CD.

If you have very little in your retirement account, you should contribute to that instead of paying off the mortgage. If you have no other debt, are in good shape on retirement, and can’t find a low-risk investment that returns more than you pay on your mortgage, then pay off the house.

4. How regular is your income?

Older couple thinking about their long-term investments
ESB Professional /

With a mortgage, you have an obligation to pay every month until the mortgage is paid off. If you make a prepayment, you will reduce the time it takes to repay the mortgage, but you won’t be able to get out of any monthly payments until then.

If you aren’t sure that you can make the monthly payments easily (for example, there are rumors of layoffs circulating at work), put your extra money into an emergency fund — unless you have enough extra money to pay off the mortgage entirely.

On the other hand, if you bought your house 10 years ago when you made less money, and now you have a nice, consistent, high income with plenty of money saved, you’re probably safe paying ahead on the mortgage.

5. How close are you to retirement?

Happy woman thinking about retirement
fizkes /

Owning the place where you live is a boon in retirement; it reduces the amount of money you need to live well. If you have to pay your mortgage, you’ll need enough retirement income to do that.

That’s tough for many people. The closer you are to retirement, the more you should concentrate on paying off your house. Once you pay it off, put the money that would have gone to the house payment into a retirement account.

If your mortgage payment is so high that you can’t save for retirement, consider selling your house and moving to cheaper digs.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


Grow With These Green ETFs and Mutual Funds

Thematic green ETFs and mutual funds allow you to zero in on a specific area of the fight against climate change, from electric-vehicle batteries to solar power.

These funds deliver the benefit of diversification and can hold shares in burgeoning companies that you might feel uncomfortable buying on your own because they have no profits and short histories as publicly traded stocks.

What’s more, a lot of leading sustainable companies are based overseas – so you may not be able to buy shares in them, but these funds can. 

KraneShares Electric Vehicle and Future Mobility ETF

Take KraneShares Electric Vehicle and Future Mobility ETF (KARS). The green exchange-traded fund tracks a global index that includes companies throughout the EV ecosystem – from auto and battery makers to autonomous driving technology (sensors), charging stations and raw materials.

KARS owns shares in several EV battery makers, including Contemporary Ameperex Technology Co., better known as CATL, the world’s largest lithium battery maker; its shares trade only in China. Other holdings are new issues. Shares in EV maker Lucid (LCID), for instance, went public last July. The fund has had high volatility over the past three years, but its three-year annualized return of 33.9% tops all industrial-sector funds. 

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF

Battery manufacturing must increase dramatically (some estimates say by 80-fold) if electric vehicle sales are to progress as expected. Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT) tracks an index of lithium mining and 
refining companies and battery makers around the world.

U.S. lithium firm Albemarle (ALB), as well as Tesla (TSLA) and TDK (TTDKY), a Japanese electronics company, are top holdings. Expect high volatility. However, the fund boasts an impressive three-year annualized return of 40.2%. 

Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF

Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW) is a member of the Kiplinger ETF 20, the list of our favorite exchange-traded funds. It covers a range of renewable-energy sources – wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biofuel – and clean-energy tech.

The fund has been clobbered recently; its one-year return is a whopping 57.5% loss. But 
its three-year annualized return, 30.4%, still stands in good stead. 

TrueShares ESG Active Opportunities ETF

For a broad portfolio, consider TrueShares ESG Active Opportunities ETF (ECOZ), an actively managed green ETF that invests in companies with low carbon footprints.

The managers favor a specific measure: greenhouse gas intensity. How many tons of GHG are emitted per $1 million of revenue? The GHG intensity of the fund’s holdings is 85% lower than that of the stocks in the S&P 500 on average, says TrueShares chief investment officer Jordan Waldrep.

ECOZ has returned 24.2% annualized since its inception in early 2020, which trails the 26.3% gain in the S&P 500. 

iClima Global Decarbonization Transition Leaders ETF

iClima Global Decarbonization Transition Leaders ETF (CLMA) tracks a proprietary index of innovative companies that deliver products or services making an eco-friendly impact. The green ETF’s holdings include offshore wind energy company Orsted (DNNGY); the all-electric East Japan Railway; and Oatly (OTLY), a plant-based foods company.

Says iClima’s Gabriela Herculano: “A lot of funds, think let’s invest in companies doing less harm. We want to focus on innovation. We’re looking forward, looking to the solution.” The fund opened in July 2021. 

Fidelity Climate Action

Fidelity Climate Action (FCAEX) is also intriguing. Asher Anolic runs this new, actively managed green mutual fund, which launched in June. It invests in global companies that work to address climate change (or its impacts) through corporate strategies or by providing technology, services or products.

Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Nvidia (NVDA) are among FCAEX’s top holdings. 


What Is Buy to Cover & How Does It Work?

Buy to cover refers to when investors purchase shares in a stock that they had previously shorted. This is a form of margin trading that involves higher risk than more traditional buying and selling.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the buy to cover order, how it fits into short selling and margin trading, and when you might want to use a buy to cover order.

Buy to Cover Meaning

Traditionally, you buy a stock on which you have a bullish outlook, and sell to close out your position. In an ideal situation, you buy low and sell high, securing the difference between the purchase price and the sale price as your profit. If you think a stock is currently overpriced, you might sell the stock before you have actually purchased it, via a short sale. This requires temporarily borrowing the shares, usually from your broker or dealer. Then, once the stock (hopefully) goes down, you purchase the shares, closing out your position.

Buying to cover is that after-the-fact purchase of shares that you previously shorted. When you do a short sale by selling first, you will eventually need to repay your short sale by purchasing shares.

What Is a Buy to Cover Limit?

When placing a buy-to-cover order, there are two ways that you can close your position. The first is a market order, in which you simply close the position at the first available market price. The other method involves using a buy-to-cover limit order, in which you set a maximum price at which you’re willing to purchase the share.

One advantage of the latter approach is that you know exactly the price that you’ll get for your shares. This can help you when planning your overall strategy. A drawback, however, is that if the market moves against you, your order may not get filled.

How Does Buy to Cover Work?

A buy-to-cover order works much in the same way as a traditional buy order. The main difference is the order in which you make your buy and sell transactions. In a traditional buy order, you purchase shares that you intend to later sell. With a buy-to-cover order, you’re buying shares to cover a sale that you previously made.

Example of a Buy to Cover Stock

Here’s a buy to cover stock example to help illustrate how the process works:

•   Let’s say that you think stock ABC is overpriced at $50.

•   You sell short 100 shares of ABC, borrowing $5,000 on margin from your broker.

•   After a few days, stock ABC’s price has dropped to $45.

•   You issue a buy to cover order for 100 shares of ABC, paying $4,500.

•   Your profit is $500 — the difference between the amount you receive from the short sale and the amount you pay to close the position.

Sell Short vs Buy to Cover

“Selling short” and “buying to cover” are two sides of the same transaction. If you think that a particular stock or investment is likely to go down in price, you can use a short sale to first sell shares that you’ve borrowed on margin, generally from your broker or dealer.

When you’re ready to close out your short sale transaction, you can place a buy-to-cover order. This will purchase the shares that you sold originally, either at the market price or with a buy-to-cover limit order at a particular price. If the stock has gone down in price as you expected, you will profit from selling high and then buying low.

Buy to Cover and Margin Trades

Using a buy to cover order is intricately tied in with both short selling and margin trading. When you sell short, you are using margin trading to borrow shares to sell that you don’t yet own.

When you are ready to close out your position, you issue a buy-to-cover order, purchasing the shares you need to correspond to the shares that you earlier sold on margin. Keep in mind that if the stock moves against you after your short sale (the stock’s price goes up instead of down), you face a margin call, in which your broker forces you to either liquidate your position or add extra money to cover your position.

The Takeaway

A buy to cover is a purchase order executed to close out a short sale position. In a traditional sale, you purchase a stock first and then later sell the shares. When you sell short, you place a buy-to-cover order to close your position.

While you can profit from a buy-to-cover order if the stock price goes down, you also have unlimited risk if the stock’s price instead goes up. SoFi Invest currently does not offer short selling, but it can be a great way to get started with traditional stock purchasing. By opening an online brokerage account on the SoFi Invest® investment platform, you can build a portfolio of stocks, exchange-traded funds, and crypto currency all from your phone.

Photo credit: iStock/Ridofranz

SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).

2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.


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