Stop Loss in forex
A Stop Loss is an exit order that is used to limit the amount of loss a trader can take on a trade if the trade goes against him. It also eliminates the worry that every trader inevitably faces when being in a losing trade without a plan. No trading system will make a profit on every trade all the time, and losing trades are natural. Successful risk management means minimising losses. A stop-loss can be an effective solution to this.
If you decide to use a stop loss, it is important to find a good place for it. If the stop order is too close to the current price, there is a risk that price volatility will hit this order during a false move, and then go in the direction you expected, so you will lose money and earn nothing. If the stop order is too far away from the current price, the trader could be vulnerable to large losses if the market reverses against his expectations.
Algorithm for choosing Stop Loss types
There are many types of stop losses. Here's the algorithm for choosing what works for you:
Step 1: Discretionary or system stop?
The position of the stop loss can depend on whether you are a discretionary trader or a system trader. In discretionary trading, it is up to the trader to decide which trades to make each time. The trader places a stop order at a price at which he does not expect the market to trade according to his forecast. In doing so, he can take into account various factors that may vary from trade to trade.
In system trading, trading decisions are made by the trading system. A trader either opens positions manually following the trading system signals, or the trading process is automatic. Here Stop Loss orders are placed according to the trading system's risk/profit and win/loss ratios.
Step 2: Determine the size of stop loss.
- Stop Loss
The size of this stop loss depends on the trader's account size. The most common is 1% of the account per trade. For example, if your capital is $1,000, you can afford to lose $10 on, say, a EUR/USD trade. That's 100 pips per 0.01 lot (1 micro lot). The upper limit of such a stop is considered to be 5%. As you can see, this approach is not a logical answer to what is actually happening on the price chart.
- Stop on the chart
The size of this stop depends on the technical analysis of the price action carried out by the trader. This is usually where a support level is determined and a stop loss is placed below it for a long position. Technically oriented traders like to combine these exit points with stop rules for charting stop orders. Such stops are often set at the highs/minimums of the fluctuations.
- Volatility Stop
The size of this stop depends on the amount of volatility in the market. If the volatility is high and the price fluctuates widely, a trader will need a larger stop to avoid the stop. In the case of lower volatility, a trader puts a smaller stop. Volatility can be measured using indicators such as Bollinger Bands.
- Time Stops
Time stops are based on a predetermined trade time. Imagine you are a day trader, trading only during a certain session and closing your positions before it ends. You can set a time limit, after which your position will be closed. You can do this with Expert Advisors (EA) or with trading robots.
- Margin Stops
There is also one aggressive approach to forex trading that we do not recommend. Some traders take advantage of the fact that forex dealers can liquidate their clients' positions almost as soon as they activate the margin call. A trader may divide his capital into several equal portions and deposit only one portion into his account. He then chooses the size of the position and the potential margin call acts as a stop loss. Be forewarned that these trades are only appropriate with small amounts of money. Please note that this type of trading is intended only for a maximum of one open position at a time.
Step 3: Static or trailing stop?
The static stop retains its place once set. The trailing stop adjusts as the trade moves in the trader's favour to further reduce the risk of an error in the trade.
For example, a trader has opened a long position in the EUR/USD at $1.3100, with a stop loss of 50 pips at $1.3050, and a take profit of 150 pips at $1.3200. No changes will be made to your order until a profit on your open position exceeds 50 pips. If the Euro rises 50 pips to $1.3150, a trader may adjust his stop order by 50 pips to $1.3100. When you move your stop loss to the entry level (as in this case), it becomes a break-even stop order: if price reverses and the trader's stop order triggers, he will not get any money, but he will also lose nothing. Every time the price moves 50 pips from the current stop loss in favor of the trader, the server sends an order to change the current stop loss level to within 50 pips of the current price. In other words, Trailing Stop automatically moves your Stop Loss order following the price.
Trailing Stops are mainly used by traders who enjoy trading trends but do not have the ability to follow the price movement all the time.
Trailing Stops in MT4. To set an automatic trailing stop in MT4, right-click the order in your terminal window, select "Trailing Stop" and select the desired trailing stop size. Please note that the minimum level for the automatic trailing stop is 15 pips. It is important that the trailing stop loss is set on the client's trading platform and not on the server. If the trader closes the terminal or loses the internet connection, the trailing stop will be deactivated, but the stop loss set by the trailing stop will remain active.
To deactivate the trailing stop, select "None" in the "Trailing Stop" sub-menu. If you want to disable trailing stops for all open positions and pending orders, select "Clear All" from the same menu.
Step 4: Waiting for trading results
Once the Stop Loss is set, do not increase it. Only move your stops in the direction of the trade (rolling stops). You have already made your decision. If the market went against you and your stop was hit, analyse your trade and see what you did wrong.
Don't get too upset about the failure. What you need is to succeed in the next trade, so move on to the next opportunity.