Get your free website from Spanglefish


01 October 2020STOP LOSSES 2



Where to set stop losses is always a tricky judgement. The following methods may be suitable for you.


Use only that which you are comfortable losing by setting a percentage of your available Capital as a maximum. This percentage will vary depending on your appetite for risk but should be in the area of 1%-4% per position to keep you in the game. This means that you should be able to handle any losing run provided the win/loss ratio of the system you are using is reasonable ie better than (say) 50/50.


This is slightly more technical as it uses the Average True Range (ATR) of the product that you are looking at. It has the benefit of being more flexible in that the risk will be adjusted to match the current volatility. If your fixed percentage risk is (say) 6 units but the volatility of your target is (say) 10 units it is likely that your stop will be hit even although the trade might be perfectly sound. So use the ATR (over a time period that you are happy with) to calculate where your stop should be by setting your risk %, setting your ATR number, then calculate risk%/ATR  which will give you the size that you are able to put on your trade.

These methods should allow you to succeed at 50/50 or better provided you let your winners run to a conclusion. But as in anything, there are no guarantees.



01 August 2020Stop LOSSES 1



Refusing to allow a trade to start running at a loss to the extent that it will damage your capital base is one of the most important aspects of trading. To state the glaringly obvious, if you lose your capital you will no longer be in a position to trade. And what is more you will be psychologically harmed by the process. It is well documented that losses can cause traders to become fearful of putting on the next trade in case more losses are incurred as a result. If you accept the proposition that none of us are perfect then it is easier to accept that losses are as much a cost of trading as is putting fuel in a vehicle is a cost of motoring.

So, how to handle it. If we continue with the motoring analogy, we put as much fuel in our vehicle as we can comfortably afford and so can travel with a degree of relaxation in the knowledge that our costs of doing so are at an acceptable level. We need to apply this logic to our trading plan and we do so by knowing how much we are prepared to lose BEFORE we enter the trade, so we can relax in the knowledge that the trade cannot damage our Capital beyond the level that we are comfortable with.

So far so good, now we have to add in the ingredient of market behaviour. If our stops are too close to our entry price perfectly good trades will be stopped out at a loss which will also make us feel bad. If our Stop is set too far away a trade that is wrong will incur losses beyond that which we are comfortable with. We must find a “happy medium” where losses are set far enough away from the entry price to give the trade a chance to “breath”, put not so far away to incur losses that will cause us damage.

We will deal with how to do this next month.


View All Stories

WikanikoWork from Home
site map | cookie policy | privacy policy | accessibility statement