Limit Orders

 

A Limit order is an order to buy or sell at a specified price or better. The Limit order ensures that if the order fills, it will not fill at a price less favorable than your limit price, but it does not guarantee a fill.


Products Availability Routing TWS
Bonds US Products Smart Attribute
CFDs Non-US Products Directed Order Type
EFPs         Time in Force
Forex            
Futures            
FOPs            
Options            
Stocks            
Warrants            
Note that direct-routed, non-marketable limit orders may be rejected if the specified destination does not support them.
View Supported Exchanges  Open Users' Guide

Note:

  • Nasdaq RTH LMT orders entered prior to the open cannot be modified between 09:28 and the open.
  • The Reference Table above provides a general summary of the order type characteristics. The checked features are applicable in some combination, but do not necessarily work in conjunction with all other checked features. For example, if Options and Stocks, US and Non-US, and Smart and Directed are all checked, it does not follow that all US and Non-US Smart and direct-routed stocks support the order type. It may be the case that only Smart-routed US Stocks, direct-routed Non-US stocks and Smart-routed US Options are supported.

Classic TWS Example

  • Limit Buy Order

    Order Type In Depth - Limit Buy Order

    Step 1 – Enter a Limit Buy Order

    XYZ stock has a current Ask price of 34.00 and you want to use a Limit order to buy 100 shares when the market price falls to 33.50.

    You create the Limit order as shown above.

    Assumptions
    Action BUY
    Qty 100
    Market Price 34.00
    Order Type LMT
    Limit Price 33.50
     
  • Limit Buy Order

    Order Type In Depth - Limit Buy Order

    Step 2 – Order Transmitted, Market Price Begins to Fall

    As soon as you transmit your Limit order, the market price of XYZ stock begins to fall.

    Assumptions
    Market Price 34.00 and falling
    Order Type LMT
    Limit Price 33.50
     
  • Limit Buy Order

    Order Type In Depth - Limit Buy Order

    Step 3 – Market Price Falls to Limit Price, Order Filled

    The market price of XYZ continues to fall until it touches your Limit Price of 33.50. Your order for 100 shares is filled.

    Assumptions
    Market Price 33.50
    Order Type LMT
    Stop Price 33.50
     


  • Limit Sell Order

    Order Type In Depth - Limit Sell Order

    Step 1 – Enter a Limit Sell Order

    You're long 200 shares of XYZ stock at an Average Price of 14.95 (your entry price). You want to make a profit of at least 50.00, so you use a Limit order to sell 200 shares when the market price rises to 15.20.

    You create the Limit order as shown above.

    Assumptions
    Average Price 14.95
    Action SELL
    Qty 200
    Market Price 15.16
    Order Type LMT
    Limit Price 15.20
     
  • Limit Sell Order

    Order Type In Depth - Limit Sell Order

    Step 2 – Market Price Begins to Rise

    As soon as your transmit your Limit order, the market price of XYZ stock begins to rise.

    Assumptions
    Average Price 14.95
    Action SELL
    Qty 200
    Market Price 15.16 and rising
    Order Type LMT
    Limit Price 15.20
     
  • Limit Sell Order

    Order Type In Depth - Limit Sell Order

    Step 3 – Market Price Rises to Limit Price, Order Filled

    The market price of XYZ continues to rise until it touches your Limit Price of 15.20. Your order for 200 shares is filled and you've earned a profit of 50.00.

    Assumptions
    Average Price 14.95
    Action SELL
    Qty 200
    Market Price 15.20
    Order Type LMT
    Limit Price 15.20
     

Mosaic Example

In the Order Entry panel enter the required ticker symbol. In this example we want to enter an order to sell an entire 400-share position in ticker symbol XLF at no less than $24.50. Clicking the Sell button will turn the background red, while an order to buy will turn the background blue. Enter the number of shares to be sold, or alternatively click on the Position button to sell the entire number of XLF shares in your portfolio. Next, select the LMT order type from the dropdown menu and enter the desired limit price in the field. For sell orders, investors typically set a price above the prevailing NBBO while for orders to buy the chosen limit price is typically below the NBBO. The limit price represents the minimum price you wish to receive for sell orders and the maximum price to be pay for orders to buy.

Assumptions
Action SELL
Qty 400
Order Type LMT
Market Price 24.44
Limit Price 24.50



Mosaic Limit Order

 

Next, choose how long your order should remain intact by selecting from the time-in-force dropdown menu. In this example the choice of DAY means that the order must fill in the current session at the desired limit price or else it will be cancelled at the end of the day. Finally, click on the Submit button to transmit your order to the market.

For buy orders, follow the instructions but first hit the BUY button and enter a limit price below the NBBO.

 

Note:

IB may set a cap for a buy order or a floor for a sell order to protect our clients as well as IB from losses associated with significant and rapidly changing prices. Although the price caps are set at a level intended to balance the objectives of execution certainty and minimized price risk, there exists a possibility that an execution will be delayed or may not take place. For more information on price capping of orders, please see: ibkr.com/pricecap

Any stock or option symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray a recommendation.