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Time in Force Meaning, Definition & Examples



Time in force :These options are particularly useful for active traders because they allow them to be more precise with their time parameters.

What Is Forced Time?

Time in force

Important Points to Remember:

Immediate-or-cancel (IOC) and day orders are two common examples.

The time in force of an order indicates how long it will be active before expiring with your broker.

Different order types are used to determine the time in force for an option.


Day order, immediate-or-cancel (IOC), fill-or-kill (FOK), and good-’til-canceled are all examples of time in force specifications (GTC).

The Fundamentals of Time In Force

Active traders can use time in force orders to prevent trades from being executed by mistake.

They don’t have to remember to cancel old trades because they set time parameters.

If unintended trade executions occur during volatile market conditions with rapidly changing prices, they can be very costly.


The majority of active traders use limit orders to control the price they pay for a stock, which means they specify a time in force option to determine how long the order will remain open.

While day orders are the most common, there are a variety of situations in which other order types are appropriate.

Traders can use a variety of different types of time in force orders. Although some brokers only provide a limited number of order types, active traders are frequently given more options.

These orders are referred to by acronyms such as DAY, GTC, OPC, IOC, GTD, and DTC by many brokers. Below, we take a closer look at these order types.


Orders that are in effect for a set period of time

A common type of time in force order is a day order. If the trade does not execute by the end of the trading day, it is cancelled.

For most brokerage accounts, this is the default order type.

Good-Til-Canceled (GTC) orders are another type of time-in-force order that is active until the trade is executed or cancelled.

Stock splits, distributions, account inactivity, modified orders, and quarterly sweeps are all examples of common exceptions.


These can be a good choice for a long-term investor who is willing to wait for a stock to reach their target price before buying.

Traders may have to wait several days or even weeks for a trade to execute at the price they want.

A third type of time in force order is the Fill-or-Kill (FOK) order.

If the entire order does not execute as soon as it becomes available, they are cancelled.


These are frequently used to avoid buying shares in multiple blocks at different prices and to guarantee that an entire order executes at the same price.

These are common in fast-moving markets, where day traders want to make sure they get a good deal on a trade.

Market-on-Open (MOO) and Limit-on-Open (LOO) orders execute as soon as a market opens; immediate-or-cancel (IOC) orders must be filled immediately or be cancelled; and day-til-canceled (DTC) orders are deactivated rather than cancelled at the end of the day, making it easier to re-transmit the order later.

Time in Force Example

John believes that the stock ABC, which is currently trading at $10, will rise in price, but that it will take three months.


He places a Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC) order on ABC call options with a $15 strike price.

To avoid the order being placed on hold indefinitely, he sets a three-month limit on it.

After three months, stock ABC’s price has yet to break through the $12 barrier. John’s order is automatically cancelled.

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