DEFINITION of 'Alternative Order'

An investor mandate to buy or sell a particular stock or other financial instrument on what amounts to a first-come-first-served basis. For example, an investor might place an order to buy Acme Widgets at $10 and $5. If and when one of the orders is filled, the other order is automatically canceled.

Alternative orders are sometimes called "one-cancels-the-other orders."

BREAKING DOWN 'Alternative Order'

Some technical analysts favor alternative orders because they allow investors to buy and sell at specified levels that correspond with the analysts' perception of support and resistance. Alternative orders can also be used to buy different stocks. For example, an investor might place an alternative order to buy Stock A at $25, Stock B at $30 and Stock C at $35. Whichever stock reaches its buy point first, is the official order. Again, for technical analysts in particular, this type of order can be beneficial, as it hones in on stocks exhibiting a desired behavior.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Immediate Or Cancel Order - IOC

    An order to buy or sell a security that if not immediately filled, ...
  2. Cancel Former Order - CFO

    An order from an investor to a broker, to cancel a previously ...
  3. Limit Order

    An order placed with a brokerage to buy or sell a set number ...
  4. Bracketed Buy Order

    A buy order that is accompanied by a sell limit order above the ...
  5. Good This Month - GTM

    A limit order to buy or sell a security that remains in effect ...
  6. One-Cancels-the-Other Order - OCO

    A pair of orders stipulating that if one order is executed, then ...
Related Articles
  1. Trading

    The Basics Of Trading A Stock

    Taking control of your portfolio means knowing what orders to use when buying or selling stocks.
  2. Investing

    Explaining Market Orders

    A market order is the most common order used to purchase a financial security.
  3. Investing

    Understanding Buy Stop Orders

    A buy stop order is an order to buy a stock at a specific price above its current market price.
  4. Investing

    Making The Trade: Understand Order Types

    Buying and selling stock can be a lot like buying or selling a car. Traders should use and understand tools such as market orders, limit orders, day orders, and good-'til-canceled orders to ensure ...
  5. Trading

    Which Order To Use? Stop-Loss Or Stop-Limit Orders

    Stop-loss and stop-limit orders can provide different types of protection for investors seeking to lock in profits or limit losses. Investors need to know how each type of order works to know ...
  6. Trading

    NYIF Instructor Series: "Fill or Kill" Order

    In this short instructional video Anton Theunissen explains what the "fill or kill" order is.
  7. Investing

    Narrow Your Range With Stop-Limit Orders

    With stop-limit orders, buyers protect themselves from prices too high for their tastes.
  8. Trading

    Understanding Order Execution

    Find out the various ways in which a broker can fill an order, which can affect costs.
  9. Trading

    How To Place Orders With A Forex Broker

    Learn how to set each type of stop and limit when trading currencies.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can I use a buy limit order to buy a stock?

    Learn how a buy limit order is used by an investor who wants to buy a stock at a certain price, and understand how limit ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do I place a limit order online?

    Learn how a limit order is placed, the types of stocks it is most useful for and the specifications placed with it to suit ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between a market order and a limit order?

    Buy and sell trades with market orders at the present stock price and execute limit orders if the stock price falls within ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between a buy limit and a sell stop order?

    Understand the differences between the two order types, a buy limit order and a sell stop order, and the purposes each one ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do I place an order to buy or sell shares?

    Read a brief overview of how to open a brokerage account, how to buy and sell stock, and the different kinds of trade orders ... Read Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between a stop and a market order?

    Learn about market orders and stop orders, how they are used and executed, and the main difference between stop orders and ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  2. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
  3. Liquidity Event

    An event that allows initial investors in a company to cash out some or all of their ownership shares and is considered an ...
  4. Job Market

    A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs. The job market is not a physical place as ...
  5. Yuppie

    Yuppie is a slang term denoting the market segment of young urban professionals. A yuppie is often characterized by youth, ...
  6. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
Trading Center