The term held order refers to broker instructions to quickly execute a transaction on behalf of a trader. Held orders are market orders, which means the investor is willing to pay the bid price when buying securities or received the take price when selling them.
While a Non-Held order allows a broker to use their judgement as to the timing, as well as the price paid or received on a security, a held order eliminates this flexibility. A held order is a market order that requires the broker to trade at the bid price for buy orders and the take price for sell orders.
The trader is instructing the broker to execute the transaction without hesitation. This type of instruction is typically used when an investor would like to change their exposure to a specific stock or security. For this reason, the investor is less concerned over the price of the transaction than the timing of it.