investing
Order durations
June 05, 2019

Whether you’re trading long or short term, there’s an order duration for you. You’re setting up an order in the IQ platform and you’ve hit the drop-down menu for order duration. A bunch of acronyms such as GTC, GTEM, and FOK pops up on your screen. To new traders, they look like jumbled letters. To experienced traders, they’re special order durations essential to their arsenal of trading tools. We’ll show you what these acronyms are and help you master the art of setting order durations.

Order durations allow you to control how long your order remains active. The following is a list of durations available in our trading platforms.

Duration typeDefinition
DayThe order will remain active until the end of the current trading day. If the order is not filled by the end of the trading day, the order is cancelled.
Good ‘till date (GTD)The order will remain active until the specified date. If the order is not filled by the chosen date, the order is cancelled.
Good ‘till cancelled (GTC)The order will remain active until the order is filled, or the order is manually cancelled – whichever occurs first.
Note: the maximum length of time an order can remain active is 90 days. After this point, the order is cancelled automatically.
Good ‘till extended market (GTEM)The order remains open for the current trading day including both pre- and post-market hours until the order is filled.

If the order is not filled by the end of post-market hours, the order is cancelled. U.S. GTEM orders placed during market hours remain active for the post-market. Post-market hours start as early as 4 p.m. and go until 5:30 p.m. ET. Trades placed after 5:30 p.m. ET are active for the pre-market, regular trading hours, and post-market the next trading day.

Pre-market hours start as early as 7:30 a.m. and go until 9:30 a.m. ET. Canadian stocks do not have a pre-market. Canadian post market trading starts at 4:15 p.m. and goes until 5:00 p.m. ET. When trading Canadian stocks in the post-market, the order type must be limit with the limit price equal to the last traded price and the duration must be day.
Fill or kill (FOK)The order will fill immediately and completely, or not fill at all. If the order is not filled in its entirety, the order is cancelled. (Only available for U.S. listed securites).
Immediate or cancel (IOC)All or part of the order will fill immediately. Any portion of the order that is not filled immediately is cancelled.

Key points

  • GTC orders can remain active for up to 90 days
  • There is no pre-market trading for Canadian securities
  • Market orders cannot be used with the GTEM order duration

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Questrade Wealth Management Inc. (QWM) and Questrade, Inc. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Questrade Financial Group Inc. Questrade, Inc. is a registered investment dealer, a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), the benefits of which are limited to the activities undertaken by Questrade, Inc. QWM is not a member of IIROC or the CIPF.