Updated on August 8th, 2019
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A “Good ‘Til Cancelled” Time In Force tells your broker to keep your order active until it is either filled or cancelled on a date entered by you. Although you can set what date you want your order to be cancelled at if not filled, brokers do not allow “Good ‘Til Cancelled” orders to stay open forever. The time before a broker automatically gets rid of a “Good ‘Til Cancelled” order varies from company to company but typically ranges from 30 to 120 days.
Although a “Good ‘Til Cancelled” expiration tells your broker to search for a trade over multiple days, it only directs your broker to look during regular market hours. If you want your order to last longer, you have the option of using a “Good ‘Til Cancelled + Extended” expiration. This tells your broker to execute your order, if possible, during either pre, regular, or after market hours. These few extra hours of trading can potentially serve as an advantage for investors looking to buy or sell a stock based on news or earnings results in extended hours. This potential advantage for investors does come with a couple of things you should look out for though.
Just like “Day + Extended” orders, orders with a “Good ‘Til Cancelled + Extended” expiration can only be Limit Orders. Another catch with “Good ‘Til Cancelled + Extended” orders is that the times you are allowed to trade in extended hours vary between each broker. For instance, even though pre-market hours technically begin at 4am, one broker might allow traders to start trading at 7am while another at 8am. Extended hours trading can also be risky due to higher price volatility, increased chances of competing against professional traders, and an overall lack of buyers and sellers during these times.
Ultimately, “Good ‘Til Cancelled” expirations allow you to set orders that last more than just one trading day.
Stocks: The Basics