A trade date is the day, month and year that an order to buy, sell or transfer a security is executed in a market. All kinds of transactions in the market have trade dates, including bonds, equities, foreign exchange instruments, commodities, and futures.
Most trades occur during market trading hours. When they happen outside standard market hours, they have alternative trade reporting. Trades executed after the close of a market day are recorded on the next day. Wow. Mind blowing stuff here, right?
The trade date is the first of two important dates in a transaction. The next step is the settlement date or when the transfer is actually made. It’s usually a different day but not always. Things like certificates of deposit (CDs) have settlement dates that are the same as the trade date.
The time in between the trade date and the settlement date is called the settlement period and usually depends on where it’s being traded and how. The timeframe is noted as T+ the number of days to settlement.
Today is the trade date and then it’s T+ two days until I get paaaaaaid.