It can be defined as the combination of a stop order and limit order. A stop limit order refers to an order placed with a broker and combines the features of both stop and limit orders.

A stop order or stop loss order is an order that allows the purchase or selling of a stock when the price of the said stock has attained a particular price. When the stop price is attained in a stop order, this ultimately becomes the market order.

To successfully execute a stop limit order, two prices points must be determined. The first point helps to initialize the beginning of an action. This is referred to as the stop. The second point is the investors target price and is commonly referred to as the limit.

How stop limit orders work

Let’s assume you want to buy XYZ stock which is currently trading at $21. The price of the stock is expected to rise to $28 but you don’t want to pay more than $28.

When you place a buy stop limit order when purchasing XYZ stock at $28, the order will only become active if the price moves higher than $28. If it becomes active, the order will only be executed at $28 or better.

Assuming you want to sell the XYZ stock if it retails at $19. At the moment, it is currently trading at $23. Your goal is simple, to limit your loss. Since you don’t want to suffer slippage, placing a sell stop limit order to sell the XYZ stock at $19, the order will only become active when the stock’s price goes down past $19.

When it becomes active, it will be executed at$19 or at a much better price. This is the sell stop limit order.

Primary advantages of stop limit order

The goal of a stop limit order is to provide the trader with control over how and when an order will be filled. Furthermore, it can help you overcome major drawbacks that are common with a stop order.

What does this mean? The stop limit order can help you to lower the risks and effects of slippage. Slippage refers to the situation where prices move quickly in fast moving and volatile markets. This results in the trade being executed at a poor price.

Drawback of stop limit order

One thing investors are not guaranteed is the probability that the trade will not be executed especially if the asset does not attain the stop price within the determined period. This means it is not 100% reliable.

Another thing you need to note is that stop limit orders may not work when it comes to dividend stocks.

Final Thoughts

A stop limit order is very useful. Not only does it help you to lower the effects of slippage but it helps to improve profitability. One problem exists; the percentage of orders to be executed will lower.

Always document reasons why you engaged in a stop limit order especially in your trading strategies. It will be beneficial towards decision making in the future.


Other Common Types of Orders

Stop Order

Limit Order

Market Order