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3 types of common stops,

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#1 TTHQ Staff

TTHQ Staff


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Posted 20 February 2009 - 11:03 AM

Here are the three most commonly used types of stops.

(1) Dollar stop.
(2) Percentage stop.
(3) Chart stop.

All three are money management stops and are used to either lock in profits or protect capital.

1) A dollar stop, is when you set a predetermined dollar amount to a trade. Let’s say you want to risk $500 on a grain trade or $750 on a stock trade. Once you get your fill back from your broker or electronically online you simply figure from your fill price where to put your stop.

Pros: Easy to implement and use.
Cons: Can place stops too close in a volatile market


2) Percentage stop, is a very simple way for you to place a stop on a position. Here’s how it works. Let’s say your trading account is 100,000 dollars and let’s say you only want to risk 1% of your total portfolio on any one trade. You simply take a $1,000 risk which represents 1% of your over all portfolio. This can help enormously in avoiding taking BIG LOSSES. A 1% loss is easy to absorb. A 30% or 40% loss in a trade is an account killer, and should be avoided at all costs.

Pros: Easy to implement and use.
Cons: Can place stops too close.


3) Chart stop, a chart stop is where you place a stop that is either above or below a crucial chart level. The good thing about a chart stop is that this level is often used by other traders. That can both be a good thing and a bad thing, here’s why. Using either one of our first two examples only you know where the stop is. With a chart stop, a great many traders/brokers know that is where the stops are. In an illiquid market this type of stop should not be used, as many times brokers gun for the stops. In a highly liquid and active market this is a good stop to use.

Pros: Very easy to implement and use.
Cons: Can’t be used in thinly traded markets.

Of course, there are 'mental stops' but you really have to be paying attention, and ACTUALLY abide by your mental stops as well, or they are useless.

Here's a video by INO.com on the use of stops: Link to video