Day Order vs Good Till Cancelled (GTC): What’s the Difference and Which One is Better?

Day vs GTD

When it comes to trading stocks or other securities, two of the most popular order types are day orders and good till cancelled (GTC) orders. But what’s the difference between these two order types, and which one should you use? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at day orders vs GTC orders, and the pros and cons of each.

Day Orders

A day order is an order to buy or sell a security that will only be valid for the current trading day. This means that if you place a day order to buy a stock and it doesn’t fill by the end of the day, the order will be cancelled and you’ll need to place a new order the next day if you still want to buy that stock.

Day orders are useful if you’re looking to make a quick trade and don’t want your order to be active indefinitely. They can also be helpful if you’re trading on margin, as it ensures that you won’t accidentally leave an order open for multiple days and potentially take on more risk than you intended.

However, day orders can also be a bit more restrictive than other order types, as they only give you a single trading day to fill your order. If the stock you’re looking to buy or sell doesn’t move much during the day, your order might not fill at all. Plus, having to place a new order every day can be time-consuming if you’re an active trader.

GTC Orders

Compared to day orders, GTC orders are much more flexible. As the name suggests, a GTC order will remain active until it’s either filled or cancelled, regardless of how many trading days pass in the meantime.

This can be especially helpful if you’re looking to buy a particular stock at a specific price, and you don’t want to worry about constantly placing new orders. It’s also a good option if you’re a long-term investor, as it gives you the flexibility to wait for a stock to reach your desired price without having to be actively involved in the market every day.

However, there are some downsides to GTC orders. For one thing, they can cause you to miss out on potential gains if a stock suddenly spikes in price and your order hasn’t been filled yet. Additionally, if you forget about a GTC order, it can remain open for weeks or even months and tie up your capital unnecessarily.

Which One Should You Use?

At the end of the day, the choice between day orders and GTC orders depends on your individual trading strategy and goals. If you’re an active trader who is comfortable placing multiple orders per day and wants to avoid any potential risks associated with open positions, day orders may be the better option for you.

On the other hand, if you’re a long-term investor or looking to buy or sell a stock at a specific price, GTC orders may be the way to go. Just be sure to keep an eye on your open orders and cancel any that are no longer necessary.


In conclusion, day orders and GTC orders are two popular order types used in trading stocks and other securities. While day orders are only valid for the current trading day and GTC orders can remain active for as long as you want, both have their pros and cons. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your personal trading strategy, risk tolerance, and investment goals. By understanding the differences between these order types, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions and potentially improve your trading success.