As the world of finance continues to evolve and modernise, new concepts that may be unfamiliar to many are introduced. One such concept is a Not Held (NH) order – an alternative broker-dealer trading method. NH orders have gained popularity recently due to their flexibility and potential for cost savings. However, understanding how these orders work and when they should be used can take time and effort for those not well-versed in the complexities of the financial industry.   This article will dive into the basics of Not Held orders, covering everything from their definition and purpose to their advantages and limitations. By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of NH orders and feel confident incorporating them into your investment strategy.

Define not held orders and explain the key differences compared to market and limit orders 

Not Held (NH) orders are a type of order where the broker is given discretion on when and how to execute the trade. It means that the investor places an order with specific instructions, but leaves it up to the broker to determine the best timing and price for execution.  

The critical difference between NH orders and market or limit orders is the level of control given to the broker. Market and limit orders are known as “held” or “specified” orders, where the investor specifies the price and time at which the order should be executed. With NH orders, the investor only sets the parameters but leaves it up to the broker’s discretion for execution. 

NH orders also differ from other orders in that they are typically used for larger trades and are not displayed on the market. It allows for greater flexibility and better execution, as large orders can often impact the market and lead to unfavourable prices. 


The purpose of not held orders 

The primary purpose of NH orders is to give investors more control over their trades. By providing discretion to the broker, investors can avoid being tied to specific prices or timings, which can be limiting in volatile markets. NH orders also allow for more efficient execution, as brokers can use their expertise and market knowledge to find the best prices and times for trade execution. 

Another benefit of NH orders is cost savings. By giving discretion to the broker, investors can negotiate lower commission fees, as they do not require specific actions from the broker. 

In addition, NH orders can also be used for complex or customised trading strategies that require flexibility and may not fit within the parameters of market or limit orders. 


Discuss factors to consider when deciding whether to use a not-held order, including risk tolerance and market volatility 

When considering whether to use a Not Held order, there are several factors that investors should take into account. One of the most critical considerations is risk tolerance. NH orders give brokers discretion on execution, which means that the trade may not be executed at the price or time desired by the investor. It can lead to potential losses or missed opportunities, so investors with lower risk tolerance may prefer to use market or limit orders for greater control. 

Market volatility is another crucial factor to consider. In more volatile markets, the price and timing of trade execution can fluctuate greatly, making it difficult for investors to predict the best time to execute a trade. NH orders may be beneficial in these situations as they allow for flexibility and potential cost savings. 

Other factors to consider include the trade size and any specific trading strategies. NH orders are typically used for larger trades and may be more suitable for complex or customised strategies that require flexibility. 


Limitations of not held orders 

While NH orders offer many benefits, it’s also important to note their limitations. As mentioned earlier, these orders give brokers discretion on execution, which means the investor is not guaranteed to get the price or timing they desire. It can lead to potential losses or missed opportunities. 

In addition, NH orders are unsuitable for all types of trades and may be more beneficial for specific strategies or market conditions. Investors should consider their risk tolerance and trading objectives before using this type of order. Click here to learn more about not-held orders and their potential advantages. 



Not Held orders offer investors more flexibility and potential cost savings in trade execution compared to market or limit orders. They give brokers discretion on when and how to execute the trade, which can be beneficial in volatile markets or for complex strategies.  

However, NH orders also have limitations and may only be suitable for some trades. Investors should consider their risk tolerance and trading objectives before using this alternative. With a thorough understanding of NH orders, investors can decide when to use them and potentially improve their overall investment strategy.   

By Swati