Most of my trading has been done on Tradestation, which still in my opinion has one of the best platforms out there as far as ease of use goes. When I switched to Interactive Brokers I found it quite an adjustment getting used to Trader Workstation – the IB platform. You can do most everything TS does in this platform, but it is all done a little differently so it takes some time to adjust.
One of the things I battled with was adding an OCO for a target and a stop for an existing position. What I usually do is get into a position with a limit order and a stop, and then add the target at a later stage. It’s not a good habit, and something I am changing. Having said that, if you find yourself in a position, wanting to add an OCO (order-cancels-order) for a profit target and a stop, here is how you do it.
- In the classic TWS, click on the contract/stock/forex pair that you want to place the order for. For this example, lets say that I am long one contract of ES at 2070.
- Press the order button in the top left hand corner.
- Lets place the stop first. On the basic tab, we’ll make it at 2068, GTC and a stop order.
- This is the important part. Go to the Misc. tab, and give the order a group name. It must be unique per trade, so you can’t use the same group name all the time. This is the part that links the orders into groups. I’ve called mine “ES_OCO_LONG_01_01”. Press Transmit.
- Now click the Order button again and this time we’re going to do the target. We’ll set our target as a LMT sell order, GTC with a price of 2080.
- Now go the the Misc tab, and paste in (or type) the group name exactly as you did for the stop order. Mine is “ES_OCO_LONG_01_01”
- Press Transmit and double check you’re order in your Activity Monitor and you’re all done.
It’s a lot more work than doing it in TS, but the result is the same and once you get used to it, it really isn’t all that bad. The only thing I wish you could do was place multiple target orders at the same time.