Different types of orders

You can place different types of orders when buying or selling an instrument. The main types are:

Market Order – an order to buy or sell a stock at the best bid or ask WHEN the order gets to the market. Unfortunately, this is the most widely used order when it should really be the least used. Most people place this order because they think that it will get executed the fastest. This is not true. Even though this order will guarantee you an execution, it can be dangerous and can get you into or out of an instrument a lot later than everyone else. Avoid using a market order as much as possible.

Limit Order – an order to buy or sell a stock at a specified price or better. This is the order that should be most frequently used by traders of all types. Unfortunately, it is not. The reason is that a lot of people are afraid that this order might not get filled (executed), so they place a market order instead. Even though it is true that a limit order might not get filled (since it does not guarantee you an execution), once the trader learns approximately at what price to place it he will achieve an execution the great majority of the times. The advantage of a limit order is that once the order is executed, it will be at an acceptable price to the trader. This outweighs the slight disadvantage of not getting filled some of the times, and often makes it possible to obtain better prices than with a market order (and faster executions).

Stop Order – this is an order that becomes a market order when a specified price (stop price) is reached. It is almost as if the stop order had an alarm or activation feature that, once triggered, sent a market order to the market. This order can be used to limit the loss or protect the profit of a trade. The buy stop order is placed above the current price for the stock and the sell stop order is placed below the current price of the stock. This can be a very beneficial feature for a day trader, especially one who is starting out and needs to build discipline limiting his or her losses.

Stop-limit order – Stop-limit order is an order to buy or sell a instrument that combines the features of a stop order and a limit order. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy or to sell at a specified price. The benefit of a stop-limit order is that the investor can control the price at which the trade will get executed. But, as with all limit orders, a stop-limit order may never get filled if the stock’s price never reaches the specified limit price. This may happen especially in fast-moving markets where prices fluctuate wildly.
A stop-limit order to buy must have a stop-limit price above the market price; conversely, a stop-limit order to sell must have a stop-limit price below the security’s market price.

Market if Touched (MIT) – Market if touched (MIT) order is a combination of market and limit orders, whereby the order becomes a market order when the instrument reach a specified price. Buy MIT’s are placed below the market and Sell MIT’s are placed above the market. An MIT order is usually used to enter the market or initiate a trade.

An MIT order is similar to a limit order in that a specific price is placed on the order. However, an MIT order becomes a market order once the limit price is touched or passed through. An execution may be at, above, or below the originally specified price. An MIT order will not be executed if the market fails to touch the MIT specified price.

Fill or Kill (FOK) – Fill or Kill (FOK) is a limit order to buy or sell an instrument in which the client instructs the broker to execute the order immediately in its entirety. If the order cannot be executed, it is canceled.
FOK orders are usually used when a client wants to transact a large quantity, one that would cause a significant price change if a market order to buy or sell were entered. A FOK requires the immediate purchase or sale of your entire specified quantity of instrument, though not necessarily at one price. If the entire order cannot be filled immediately, it is automatically canceled (killed).

One cancels other order (OCO) – OCO order is simply combination or any of the above two orders (except market and FOK). Two orders are placed at the same time. When one gets executed the other one gets cancelled automatically.