DEFINITION of 'Directed Order'

A customer order to buy or sell securities, wherein the customer gives specific instructions to the broker or dealer for the order to be routed to a particular exchange or venue for execution. A directed order is so named because the client directs the order routing for execution. The client preference for a particular exchange for execution may be based on the view that incrementally better execution prices are available there for trading a particular stock or security. This is a factor that is of significantly greater importance to the active trader than it is to the average retail investor.

BREAKING DOWN 'Directed Order'

In contrast to directed orders, non-directed orders are those where the client does not specify a particular venue for order execution. The choice of exchange or venue for order execution in this case is left up to the broker or dealer. In an effort to facilitate transparency and prevent wrongdoing with regard to routing of non-directed orders, the SEC adopted Rule 11Ac1-6 in November 2000, requiring all broker-dealers to furnish quarterly reports that disclose their order routing practices. Rule 11Ac1-6 was subsequently replaced by Rule 606.

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