Types Of Time In Force Orders And When To Use Them

Time in Force – Definition

Time in force is implemented while placing a trade to determine how long the order shall stay active before its execution or expiration. It is a special instruction used in trading. Active traders consider this instruction extremely significant as it gives them more specificity regarding the time parameters.

Time in Force – Basics and Analogy

Time in force orders prevents active traders from accidentally executing any trades. The traders don’t have to worry about canceling old trades as they can simply set time parameters. Unintentional trades can prove to be very expensive, especially when the prices are mercurial in turbulent market conditions.

Active traders these days use ‘limit orders’ to keep the prices they pay for a stock in check. This implies that traders manipulate factors like for how long an order stays open by setting a time in force option.

The most common type of orders executed is the day orders; however, under certain conditions, other order types are also executed.

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One can understand the time in force orders by visiting the platform and exploring depths in this domain.

Types of Time In Force Orders

Traders use several types of time in force orders rather than just the day orders. Some brokers don’t offer many order types, but active traders enjoy a wider range of time in force orders.

Numerous brokers use acronyms like DAY, GTC, OPC, IOC, GTD, and DTC while acknowledging these orders.

Various types of orders include –

1. Day Orders 

They are regarded as one of the most popular types of time in force orders. They are the default order types for brokerage accounts. As the name suggests, these orders are automatically canceled if not executed by the end of the trading day.

Day orders are mostly useful for investors when ordering security at a specific price so that the trader is not bothered with monitoring the security throughout the day. This saves the traders a lot of time by giving them the relaxation of the fluctuating price point.

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This enables intraday traders to trade and execute multiple securities simultaneously. Traders analyze each security they trade and then place orders strategically, all before the end of the day.

2. Good-til-canceled Orders 

These order types remain effective until the trade is either executed or canceled. However, there exist some exceptions like stock splits, distributions, account inactivity, modified orders, and during quarterly sweeps.

These order types are a useful option to consider for those traders who are willing to patiently wait for the stock to hit the desired price before they execute the trade once and for all.

This option is not for everyone to consider,as sometimes the trade can take weeks to hit the right pricing for the trader to successfully execute it.

3. Fill-or-Kill Orders

This order is of the ‘do-or-die’ category. One needs to execute it immediately the moment it becomes available else it gets canceled.

These types of orders are used to avoid investing in shares from multiple stocks, all priced differently. It also ensures that the entire order is executed at a single price. This makes it convenient to manage.

Investors prioritize this order type in times of rapidly changing markets and intend to bargain a good price for the stock they are looking to invest in.

4. Market-On-Open Orders

It is a type of order that is to be executed at the day’s opening price. Market-On-Open (MOO) orders are eligible to be executed when the market opens or very shortly thereafter, and provides the first printed price of the day’s commencement.

Traders and investors use this order category when they feel affirmative that the market conditions are just right for buying or selling shares at the open. MOO orders are also often used by brokers to close error positions.

5. Limit-On-Open Orders

This time of force order can only be bought or sold if the market price meets the limit condition.

Anyone interested in this type must know that it is only good during the market opening and doesn’t last throughout the day.

Investors implement Limit-On-Open orders to set specific investing parameters and also to consider risk management. Active traders also employ the category of limit orders to make multiple bets at varying price points in an active trading strategy.

6. Immediate-Or-Cancel Orders

These order types are used to transact with a security that has been executed wholly or part, and any unfulfilled portion of the order is canceled.

IOC orders differ from other times of force orders because they only require a partial fill and not necessarily be filled wholly.

Investors make use of this order type to specify the duration for which the order remains active in the market. It also specifies as to under what conditions the order is canceled.

This order type aids the investors to restrict risk, speed execution, and provide price improvement due to greater flexibility options. Investors typically use IOC orders when submitting a large order to avoid having it filled at an array of prices.

7. Day-til-canceled Orders

Day-til-canceled order types are deactivated if not executed during the trade time. These orders don’t get canceled, and hence, an investor can re-transmit the order later.

Investors usually place DTC orders because they either want to buy at a price lower than the current trading level or sell at a price higher than the current trading level.

They can simply re-initiate the order as it only gets temporarily deactivated instead of being canceled.

One should try the Alpaca paper trading account online. It will help them gain a deeper insight into trading options and give them a briefing on the time of force orders. It will also teach them how to choose the most suitable one while investing in stocks.

Final Words

Traders make use of different order types as to what suits their needs well. There are numerous types of time in force orders, each with their closing times and order termination conditions. While some order types might be good for certain traders and stockbrokers, it might lead to reckless investments for others.

Every order type has a different strategy behind it. Some order types last for a day, some get closed immediately while the others stay open, until acted upon otherwise.

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