Stop vs Limit Orders Explained: Types of Orders in Trading | TIOmarkets

BY TIO Staff

|June 11, 2024

Understanding the different types of orders in trading is crucial for both novice and experienced traders. Stop and limit orders are fundamental tools that can help traders manage their investments more effectively. This article aims to demystify these orders, explaining how they work and when to use them.

Introduction to Orders in Trading

Orders in trading are instructions that traders give to their brokers to buy or sell securities at specified prices or conditions. These orders are essential for implementing trading strategies and managing risk.

What Are Stop Orders?

Stop orders, also known as stop-loss orders, are designed to limit a trader's loss on a security position. When the price of a security reaches a specified level, the stop order becomes a market order and is executed at the best available price.

This type of order is particularly useful in preventing significant losses if the market moves unfavorably. However, it's important to note that the execution price is not guaranteed to be the same as the stop price, especially in volatile market conditions.

What Are Limit Orders?

Limit orders allow traders to specify the maximum or minimum price at which they are willing to buy or sell a security. Unlike stop orders, limit orders are not executed until the market price meets the trader's specified price, ensuring that traders get the price they expect or better.

This control over the execution price makes limit orders ideal for traders who prioritize price over immediate execution. However, there's a risk that the order may never be executed if the market price does not reach the specified limit.

Comparing Stop and Limit Orders

While both stop and limit orders are valuable tools for traders, they serve different purposes and are used in different scenarios.

Key Differences

Stop orders are primarily used to limit losses, while limit orders are used to enter or exit the market at a predetermined price. The execution of stop orders is triggered by the market reaching a specified price, whereas limit orders are executed at the trader's specified price or better.

Pros and Cons

  • Stop Orders:
    • Pros: Helps limit losses and protect profits.
    • Cons: Execution price is not guaranteed; may result in slippage.
  • Limit Orders:
    • Pros: Provides price control and the potential for better execution prices.
    • Cons: Risk of the order not being executed if the price never reaches the specified limit.

When to Use Each Order Type

Choosing between stop and limit orders depends on the trader's strategy, risk tolerance, and market conditions.

Using Stop Orders

Stop orders are best used when you need to limit potential losses on a position. They are particularly useful in volatile markets where prices can change rapidly. Traders often use stop orders as part of a risk management strategy to protect their capital.

Using Limit Orders

Limit orders are ideal for entering or exiting positions when price is more important than immediate execution. They are often used by traders who have a specific entry or exit price in mind and are willing to wait for the market to reach these levels.

Additional Strategies for Using Stop and Limit Orders

Aside from their primary functions, stop and limit orders can be utilized in various trading strategies to enhance performance and manage risk more effectively.

One common strategy is the use of trailing stop orders, which allow traders to lock in profits as a trade moves in their favor. Trailing stops adjust automatically as the price of the security moves, helping traders capture gains while protecting against potential reversals.

Another advanced technique is the implementation of bracket orders, where traders simultaneously place a stop order and a limit order around their entry price. This strategy helps traders define their risk-reward ratio upfront and automate their exit strategy.

Moreover, combining stop and limit orders with technical analysis tools such as moving averages or trend lines can provide traders with additional confirmation signals for their trading decisions.

Trailing Stop Orders

Trailing stop orders are a dynamic form of stop orders that adjust as the market price moves in the trader's favor. This feature allows traders to lock in profits while still giving the trade room to grow. By trailing the stop price at a set distance from the market price, traders can protect their gains in case of a reversal.

Bracket Orders

Bracket orders involve the simultaneous placement of a stop order and a limit order around the entry price of a trade. This strategy helps traders define their risk and reward levels upfront, automating their exit strategy. By setting predefined profit targets and stop-loss levels, traders can manage their trades more efficiently.


Stop and limit orders are essential tools in a trader's arsenal, offering different advantages depending on the trading strategy and market conditions. Understanding the nuances of each order type can help traders make more informed decisions, manage risk more effectively, and potentially improve their trading outcomes.

At TIOmarkets, we are committed to providing our clients with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the complexities of the financial markets. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced trader, understanding how to use stop and limit orders effectively is a crucial step in your trading journey.

Take Control of Your Trading with TIOmarkets

Ready to apply your knowledge of stop and limit orders in the real market? Join TIOmarkets, a top-rated forex broker, and experience trading on a platform where you can trade over 300 instruments across 5 markets. With low fees and a wealth of educational resources, we empower you to trade Forex, indices, stocks, commodities, and futures markets with confidence. Over 170,000 accounts have been opened by traders in more than 170 countries. Don't miss out on the opportunity to elevate your trading skills. Create a Trading Account today and start your journey to successful trading with TIOmarkets.

Inline Question Image

Risk disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Never deposit more than you are prepared to lose. Professional client’s losses can exceed their deposit. Please see our risk warning policy and seek independent professional advice if you do not fully understand. This information is not directed or intended for distribution to or use by residents of certain countries/jurisdictions including, but not limited to, USA & OFAC. The Company holds the right to alter the aforementioned list of countries at its own discretion.

Join us on social media

TIO Staff

Behind every blog post lies the combined experience of the people working at TIOmarkets. We are a team of dedicated industry professionals and financial markets enthusiasts committed to providing you with trading education and financial markets commentary. Our goal is to help empower you with the knowledge you need to trade in the markets effectively.

24/7 Live Chat