How To Use Trailing Stops 
How To Use Trailing Stops
by InformedTrades
Video Lecture 46 of 77
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Date Added: May 7, 2017

Lecture Description

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A lesson on how to traders use trailing stops when trading the stock, futures, and forex markets.

In yesterday's lesson we talked about some of the psychological difficulties people have with letting their profits run and introduced the concept of the trailing stop as one way traders can overcome these difficulties that are the downfall of so many traders.

As we spoke about briefly in yesterday's lesson, once a position has begun to move in a traders favor many successful trader's will manage that position through the use of what is known as a trailing stop. The simplest type of trailing stop is what is known as a fixed trailing stop which simply moves along behind a position as that position begins to move in the traders favor. The beauty of the fixed trailing stop, is that while it will move up behind a long position or down behind a short position as the position moves in the traders favor, if at any time the position begins to move against the trader, the stop does not move, essentially locking in a large portion of the gains the trader has made up to that point.

Let's say for example that you had been following the trend in the EUR/USD chart below which started back in August and were looking for an opportunity to get into a trade. Based on your analysis you decided that if the market broke out above the little resistance point that I have highlighted on the chart below and the ADX was in a good position that you were going to enter long at 1.4360 to try and ride the trend. To manage the trade if it moved in your favor you placed a 100 Point trailing stop on the position at 1.4260. Now in this example if the market moved against you from the start 100 points your stop at 1.4260 would not have moved and you would have been executed on that order when the market touched 1.4260. As you can see from the chart below however, in this example the market did not pull back but went higher. As our stop is a 100 point trailing stop once the market moved up from 1.4360 the stop is going to continue to move up remaining 100 points behind the current price. If the market moves down however the stop does not move. So in this example once the market stoped moving higher at 1.4752 so did our stop and since the market pulled back 100 points from that level we were stopped out in this example at 1.4652.

Chart Example


Most trading platforms will allow you to set a fixed trailing stop on the platform so you do not have to manually manage the order.

As we have touched on briefly in previous lessons, indicators can also be used as trailing stops. One of the more popular indicators which was designed specifically for this purpose is the Parabolic SAR which we covered several lessons ago and you should review if you have not done so already.

As we discussed in our lesson on the Average True Range (ATR), this and other methods for measuring volatility in the market are often used to set hard stops by traders when entering the market so they do not get stopped out by market noise. In addition to using the ATR as a hard stop, this and other volatility based indicators can also be used as a trailing stop, moving your hard stop along behind the position a set number of ATR's for instance as it moves in your favor. As with a hard stop this protects your position from market noise, while allowing you to look in profits should the market begin to move against you.

Many if not all of the other indicators could also be used as trailing stops with the Moving Average probably one of the more popular here as well.

Aside from fixed and indicator based trailing stops another strategy that many traders implement is a fixed percentage of profits trailing stop. Using this method a trader will set his hard stop his profit target, and then once the market hits his profit target will then begin trailing a stop which could be any combination of the methods above. This method gives the trader a greater chance that the trade will hit his profit target but provides less protection should the market reverse and begin to move against him.

Course Index

  1. Intro to Technical Analysis
  2. Introduction to Dow Theory
  3. Second 3 Tenets of Dow Theory
  4. How to Read Stock Charts
  5. How to Trade Support and Resistance
  6. Multi Time Frame Analysis
  7. Introduction to the Double Top and Double Bottom Charting Pattern
  8. How to Trade Double Tops Like a Pro
  9. How to Trade the Head and Shoulders Pattern Part 1
  10. How to Trade the Head and Shoulders Pattern Part 2
  11. How to Trade the Wedge Chart Pattern Like a Pro Part 1
  12. How to Trade the Wedge Chart Pattern Like a Pro Part 2
  13. How to Trade the Flag/Pennant Patterns Like a Pro Part 1
  14. How to Trade the Flag/Pennant Patterns Like a Pro Part 2
  15. How to Trade Triangle Chart Patterns Like a Pro Part 1
  16. How to Trade Triangle Chart Patterns Like a Pro Part 2
  17. Learn to Trade with Technical Indicators
  18. How to Trade Moving Averages Like a Pro (Part 1)
  19. How toTrade Moving Averages Like a Pro (Part 2)
  20. How to Trade the MACD Indicator Like a Pro (Part 1)
  21. MACD Indicator: Trade it Like a Pro (Part 2)
  22. How to Trade the Relative Strength Index (RSI) Like a Pro
  23. How to Trade Stochastics Like the Pro's Do
  24. The Difference Between the Fast, Slow and Full Stochastic
  25. How to Trade Bollinger Bands - Stocks, Futures, Forex
  26. How to Trade the Average Directional Index (ADX)
  27. How to Trade the Parabolic SAR
  28. How to Trade Candlestick Chart Formations Part 1
  29. How to Trade Spinning Tops and Doji Candlestick Patterns
  30. How to Trade the Bullish/Bearish Engulfing Candlesticks
  31. How to Trade the Hammer Hanging Man Candlesticks
  32. How to Trade the Morning/Evening Star Candlestick Pattern
  33. How to Trade the Inverted Hammer/Shooting Star Patterns
  34. Why Most Traders Lose Money and The Solution
  35. Why Traders Hold On to Losing Positions
  36. Two Trading Mistakes Which Will Destroy Your Account
  37. Herd Mentality is the Psychology That Leads to Big Trading Losses
  38. Profit Expectations: What Millionaire Traders Know
  39. How to Join the Minority of Traders Who Are Successful
  40. How To Determine Where to Put Your Initial Stop Loss Order
  41. How to Use the Average True Range (ATR) To Set Stops
  42. How to Up Your Chances for Profit When Setting Stops
  43. How to Reduce the Chances of Being Stopped Out on a Trade
  44. How Successful Traders Use Indicators to Place Stops
  45. Stop Your Mind From Causing You to Take Profits Too Soon
  46. How To Use Trailing Stops
  47. Why Position Sizing is So Important in Trading
  48. Why Fixed Position Sizing Is Not the Best Way to Trade
  49. Trading The Martingale and Anti Martingale Strategies
  50. How to Set Trade Position Size for Maximum Profits
  51. Maximize Trading Profits with Correct Position Sizing 2
  52. Fundamental Analysis and The US Economy
  53. A Simple Explanation of the US Economy for Traders
  54. Simple Explanation of The US Economy For Traders Part 2
  55. The Business Cycle and Fiscal Policy - What Traders Know
  56. How Interest Rates Move Markets
  57. What Traders Know About Interest Rates Part 2
  58. What Traders Need to Know About The Structure of The Fed
  59. How the Fed Changes Interest Rates
  60. How to Determine When the Fed is Going to Change Rates
  61. Why Markets Move Ahead of Interest Rate Announcements
  62. How to Trade the GDP Number (Part 1)
  63. The Components of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  64. Intro to Trading Non Farm Payrolls (NFP's)
  65. Trading the News - Economic Numbers - Retail Sales
  66. Trading the News - Economic Numbers - ISM Manufacturing
  67. The Producer Price Index (PPI)
  68. The Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  69. Trade the News - Existing Home Sales Index
  70. How To Interpret the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
  71. How to Interpret the Index of Leading Economic Indicators
  72. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Day Trading
  73. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Swing Trading
  74. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Position Trading
  75. How to Keep a Trading Journal
  76. The Most Important Attributes of a Good Trading Journal
  77. The 20 Components of a Successful Trading Plan

Course Description

This is a series of 77 short video lessons meant to give traders an introduction to the basics of trading as well as the components necessary to develop a profitable trading plan.

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