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 

This type of order is an instruction to automatically place a trade in a stock once the bid or offer price hits your limit. This allows you to set an order to buy a stock once the price has fallen to your chosen bid price or to sell once it has risen to your chosen offer price. You can choose how long you wish the limit to be valid for; up to a maximum of 90 days for UK orders and 20 days for international orders.

Stop loss order

This is a type of order that lets you leave an order to automatically sell if the bid price of a stock falls to your chosen level. The order will be dealt at market best as soon as the stop loss price has been reached. Please note that the price may be considerably lower than the stop loss limit if the shares drop in price dramatically.

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 'order list' in the 'trading' menu. You can also cancel any unexecuted order types if you no longer want them.

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.