Market on Close, Market on Open, Contingent, OCO, Fill or Kill..etc

Market On Close

Now we get to the orders that you may not bother with. The market on close order is an instruction to your broker to execute the trade at the best price he can get when the market closes. You might use this if you didn’t want to hold the bet open overnight, but the prices were still improving during the day. Sometimes there are funny things happening at the market open and market close, because there may not be much volume of trading, and some traders will be rushing to “cover” their positions, distorting the prices.

Market On Open

The market on open order is similarly not used a lot. Unless you are an avid market watcher, you may not know how a particular financial instrument behaves when the market opens, and you can get caught out. Just as I warned while talking about the stoploss order, there can be wild fluctuations in price even when the market subsequently settles down during the day. Anyway, the market on open order instructs your broker to execute the trade at the best price available when the market opens.

Contingent Order

It’s possible that you will use the contingent order. It’s an order that says to your broker only do this if another order happens. It depends how you trade, but one common use is when you have a conditional entry, such as a limit order.

In this case you could commonly use it to place a stop loss order automatically and simultaneously when your entry order is triggered and fulfilled. You can also use it in conjunction with an exit order.

One Cancels Other

As the name suggests, the one cancels other order tells your broker that if one of two orders is fulfilled, then the other should the cancelled. Why would you use this? A common use for it would be to exit out of the trade whether it was successful or not. One of the orders would exit if the trade was losing, as a stop loss, and the other order would be to take profit once a certain level was reached. Whichever one happens first, you don’t want the other order left in place in case the price swings a round and triggers it.

Fill Or Kill

The fill or kill order modifier is used for larger orders. It instructs your broker to get a price for the whole bet that you want to place, or to ignore it (kill it). It more often occurs when you are looking at buying shares, rather than spread betting, when you don’t want to split the purchase.

Volume Weighted Average Price

Another rare order modifier, you probably won’t even come across this one. It instructs your broker to work the order all during the day, effectively getting the average price for that day.

Tracking Your Trades

With all the different types of order you may be wondering how you could ever know where you are. First, I have to say that you won’t normally use, or consider using, several of those orders. It will depend on your trading plan, but you may simply enter your trade at the market each time. Similarly, you may just have a stoploss order to protect you from disaster, or a trailing stop, and otherwise close your bet and take your profit with a market order manually. But I think it is important that you know the other order types exist just in case they would suit the system you want to use.

There are a couple of other ways that you would track your trades. First, you should expect that the website will give you a list of your active positions and your pending other orders. But instead of relying on that, you should also have your own record. I will go into this in more detail in a later chapter, but it is highly recommended that you keep a trading journal. In this you would put all the details of each trade, with other pertinent information. All successful traders keep a good record so that they can go back later and see which trades worked and which didn’t, and try to figure out what the differences were. The journal will contain more detail than your bookie’s website stores as you will write in to it the reasons that you make each trade and what your feelings were about it, whether you were confident or concerned for instance. Again, this comes in a later chapter when we will also consider other aspects of your betting.