Order Types

At Interactive Investor we offer a comprehensive range of order types to help you get the most out of your trading experience.

Using order types will help you manage and execute your trades, from placing a simple order to helping you to manage risk and potentially lock in profit. Placing an order type means you are giving an instruction which sets out the conditions under which you’re prepared to buy or sell a holding.

Here is a brief guide to the available order types and how best to use them:

Basic Orders

At Best

At Best is the simplest of market orders. It gives you the ability to buy or sell a quantity of securities immediately, and at the best price currently available in the market.

At Best market orders will return an immediate quote, based on having polled over 20 Market Makers, which you can choose to accept within a 15 second time limit.

Market Orders

Market orders allow you to simply buy or sell shares irrespective of the market price. Place a Buy order to buy shares at the current market price or the price when the market opens. Alternatively place a Sell order to sell shares at the current market price or the price when the market opens

Limit Order 

Limit orders allow you to buy or sell a share at your determined limit price, or better.

Place a Buy Limit order to buy shares at a lower price than they are currently. Place a Sell Limit order to sell shares you already own for a higher price than they are currently.

Stop Loss Order

A Stop Loss order is designed to protect profits and minimise losses for a stock you already own. You set both an upper (the price you want to sell at) and a lower (the minimum price you are prepared to sell at) price limit for a Stop Loss order.

If a stock falls below the upper limit, but stays over the lower limit, the stop loss order executes.

Advanced Orders

Rising Buy

A Rising Buy order lets you place a buy limit at a specified price. The order will be triggered if the share price rises above this limit.

You set both a lower price limit (the price you want to buy at) and an upper price limit (the maximum price you're prepared to pay) for a Rising Buy order. If the stock rises above both the upper and lower limits, the rising buy order won't trigger. (This is to protect you from buying the stock at a higher level than you would want in a very fast moving market.)

This limit order type can be useful if you are trading in fast-moving shares or to see if a particular share is going to break through a trend-line, or out of a trading range.

Target Set

A Target Set order can be set for an existing shareholding. It is a combination of: a Limit order to sell at a higher price, and a Stop Loss order to sell at a price lower than the current price.

So, if the current sell price for your shares was 450p you could set a Limit order to sell them at a limit price of 455p, with a Stop Loss order at 447p. If the price began to rise, your limit order would attempt to execute at 455p, but if it began to fall your stop loss would protect you, by attempting to sell your shares at 447p.

Range Trading

Use Range Trading to specify the prices you want to buy and sell a particular stock at, without needing to constantly watch share prices.

Range Trading is a combination of two Limit orders: one to buy shares at a lower price than the current price, and one to sell them at a higher price.

So, you could set up a limit order to run for the next six months, so every time XYZ plc shares hit 800p, you buy a specific number of them. Every time they reach 900p you sell them. Note, the Sell Limit would only become active once the Buy Limit has triggered.

Placing and tracking your orders

Order types are easy to set up. When you come to trade you’ll be given the chance to choose which order type, if any, you'd like to use to set up the trade. You'll then be prompted to fill in your criteria.

Once you've set them up, you can keep track of your orders within your account by clicking on the Orders tab. You can also cancel any unexecuted order types if you no longer want them.

As soon as an order type is executed, you’ll receive a message in your secure message box.

Important information

  1. We do not offer a guaranteed price function which means that the price you request for a limit or stop loss order may not be the price you receive. When the share price reaches your target price, your order is triggered and will be actioned in 'fair and due turn'. This means that the share is dealt as soon as possible at the best price that can be obtained after the trigger price is hit. In addition market volatility can substantially influence the price we achieve for your order.
  2. It is not always possible to execute an order type at your specified price. This can depend on the variables of the instruction. For example, if a share price is particularly volatile, or your order is greater than the amount available at that price, we may be unable to complete your instruction.
  3. If you want to set up an Order Type on your Interactive Investor Trading , ISA or SIPP account or through regular investing, you need to have sufficient funds to cover the cost of any purchases before you set up the order type. If you have insufficient funds your order type may be cancelled.
  4. Order Types can only be placed on eligible UK quoted equities, so overseas stocks and funds are not eligible.