Time-in-Force Orders

Definition

The term Time-in-Force refers to broker instructions that indicate how long an order will remain active before it expires or is executed.  Time-in-Force orders provide investors with a mechanism to control the duration parameter for a trade.

Explanation

A Time-in-Force order is typically placed by an investor that would like to buy or sell a security at a value that is significantly above or below its current trading price.  Time-in-Force instructions allow traders to specify the duration that an order will remain active.

While the exact rules can vary by broker, examples of the most common orders include:

  • Day Order:  instructions provided to a broker to buy or sell a security that automatically expires at the end of the trading day if not executed. 
  • Good-Til-Canceled:  instructions provided to a broker to buy or sell a security at a fixed price, and the order will remain active until the investor cancels it or it is filled. 
  • Immediate-or-Cancel:  instructions provided to a broker to buy or sell a security instantly, or cancel the order. 
  • Fill-or-Kill:  instructions provided to a broker to buy or sell a security immediately, and in its entirety, or cancel the order. 

Related Terms

All-or-NoneFill-or-Kill, Good-Til-Canceled, Immediate-or-CancelNational Best Offer, National Best Bid, market order, limit order, day order, One-Triggers-the-Other, One-Cancels-All, Good-Til-Date, At-the-Opening, Market-on Open, Market-on-Close, At-the-Close, Time-in-Force