What Is A GTC (Good Til Canceled) Order?

What is a GTC (good til canceled) order? Like a limit order, a GTC order is an order to buy or sell a security at a specific or limit price that lasts until the order is completed or cancelled. A GTC (good...

A GTC (good til canceled) order is an order to buy or sell which remains in effect until it is either executed or canceled (although brokers usually set a limit of 30 to 90 days, after which the broker will automatically cancel it or ask the customer if he/she wants to keep it active). A GTC order is also called an open order.


Like a limit order, a GTC order is an order to buy or sell a security at a specific or limit price that lasts until the order is completed or cancelled. A GTC order will not be filled until the limit has been reached, no matter how many days or weeks it takes. Investors usually use GTC orders to set a limit price that is far away from the current market price.




Some brokerage firms may set a limit on how long a GTC order can remain in force. They may also charge more for executing a GTC order than for, say, a market order.

In most cases, Good Til Cancelled orders are cancelled by brokerage firms within 30 to 90 days. Orders like these are traditionally placed at price points away from the price of the stock at the time the order is placed.

For example, if one of your stocks is currently at $35 per share but you believe it will rise to $45 per share (at which point you would like to sell it), you would place a GTC order at $45. Once the GTC order to sell is placed, at any time over the next few months if the stock price per share meets $45, your shares will be sold.

As you can see from the example, GTC orders can really be a boon to investors, but unfortunately, GTC orders are not accepted by many of the leading electronic platforms operated by exchanges around the world. However, some progressive companies are coming up with ways to work around this. Some companies have invented what they call "Simulated GTC" orders, which behave just like GTC orders but can be placed electronically. Check out the fine print on such orders to make sure that the logistics fit your trading needs.

The National Stock Exchange recently informed its brokers that they could no longer place GTC orders in the Futures and Options (F&O) segment. In theory, eliminating GTC orders could reduce large and dramatic price changes.

It's important to remember to cancel a GTC order when you want it canceled. Otherwise you could end up with some unexpected results.

Keep in mind, too, that if you're placing a large GTC order, it may take several days to fill your entire order, in which case separate transaction fees will be charged for each day's transactions. You may not realize until the order is completely filled that your commission fees were much higher than you anticipated. However, only one commission fee will be charged if a GTC order is fulfilled in multiple lots during the same day.

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