What is an immediate order?
Known in full as an 'immediate or cancel' (IOC) order, this is a specific type of order given by an investor or broker. The order requires a certain security to be bought or sold immediately. As the name suggests, any part of the order which can't be immediately fulfilled is cancelled.
Where have you heard about immediate orders?
They're often referred to by investors in discussions about duration orders. These are used to determine how long an order for a security should remain active in the market. IOC orders are just one type of duration order.
What you need to know about immediate orders...
These orders are generally used to buy or sell a security in large quantities. So it's important to understand the difference between IOC orders and other types of duration order, such as 'good ‘til cancelled' and 'fill or kill' orders.
A good ‘til cancelled order differs in that an investor orders a security to be bought or sold at a certain price, and the request stays open until the trade is completed or the investor chooses to rescind it.
A fill or kill order needs to be fulfilled immediately. If it can't be completely filled, the entire order is cancelled.