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Old 04-24-2008, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to Place Stop Loss and Take Profit Orders in the Forex Market


Previous Lesson

In my opinion Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) offers the most comprehensive services, and best trading experience in the forex industry.




Next Lesson - Full Forex Trading Course

In our last lesson we started our discussion on the different order types available to forex traders with a look at the market order. In today's lesson we are going to continue our discussion on order types with a look at the all important stop loss order as well as something which is known as a limit order.

As we've discussed extensively in the money management section of our basics of trading course in the free course section of InformedTrades.com, it is not normally how good a trader is at finding entry points that separates the profitable traders from the unprofitable traders, but how good a trader is at exiting their positions.

Successful traders know that no trader is right 100% of the time over the long term, so they always have not only an entry price and profit target for their trade but also a price at which they will close out their trade should the market move against them.

Luckily most electronic platforms including the one that we have been practicing on, allow traders to leave standing orders on the platform which will close their trade if their stop loss level or take profit level is reached. This allows traders to step away from the computer if needed instead of having to sit and wait for the market to reach their level. Because these orders are executed automatically, some traders also use them to better manage the emotions involved with closing out positions when their target price or stop loss levels are hit.

To see what I am talking about lets login to our real time demo trading accounts and place some more trades. If you have not done so already I encourage you to pause this video now and click the link above this video if you are watching on InformedTrades.com or in the description section if you are watching on YouTube and register for a free demo account so you can follow along as well.

Lets say for example that your analysis tells you that the current price for EUR/USD is a good sell price. Your analysis also shows you that 20 points above the current price would be a good level to exit the trade at a loss should the market move against you and that 50 points below the trade is a good level to exit the trade at a profit should the market move in your favor.

As we know from our previous lessons the first step in the process to place this series of orders is to place the market order, so go ahead and click on the buy rate for EUR/USD and execute a 1 lot trade in EUR/USD.

Once that trade is executed it should show up in the open positions window of the platform where you can see the open and current close price for the trade. In this window you will also see a column that says "Stop". Left click on this column which will bring up the stop loss window. In this window you also have a line that says "rate" in this box you can change the rate to reflect the rate at which you wish to be taken out of the market should the market trade against you. In this example we said we would like to be taken out of the market if it trades 20 pips against us so adjust the number in this window to reflect that and then click ok. Once you have done this you should see you new stop loss order appear in the stop column of the open positions window where you now have an order which will close out this position should it reach that level.

Next click the limit column in the open positions window which will bring up the limit or take profit order window. As we said in our example we want to be taken out of the market at a profit if the market moves 50 pips in our favor so adjust the rate in the rate line of the window to reflect this and then click ok. Once you have done this you should see a new limit order appear in the limit column of the platform which will close this position should the market reach that rate.

Both the stop loss and limit order on this particular platform are known as One Cancels Other or OCO orders which means that if your stop loss or limit price is hit, not only will the trade be closed but the opposing stop loss or limit order which was not hit will be canceled as well.

Lastly if you wish to change the rate for either your stop loss or limit order you can do so by simply clicking on the stop or limit column again and adjusting the rate accordingly.

For tonights homework assignment I encourage you to use some of the tools we have learned about in our trading basics course to find trading opportunities and place a trade with both a stop and a limit using the knowledge we have learned here today. If you would like to share your trade and analysis with the InformedTrades.com community I am sure we would all love to see it.

Thats our lesson for today. In our next lesson we will go over another type of order which can be used to enter the market which is known as an entry order so we hope to see you in that lesson. As always if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below, and good luck with your trading!

Other Links to Help You Learn About Stop Loss Orders

InformedTrades Stop Loss Archive
Stop loss methods while stock trading
Stop Loss Trading Tips for Long and Short Positions
Setting Stop Loss Orders -- Technical Analysis Education



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Old 06-07-2008, 01:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Hello David,

Do you ever use trailing stops instead? I believe that it's good to take profits, but I also think that if it keeps moving in your favor, why not let it ride as long as you have a trailing stop to protect your profits.

What do you think? What are your thoughts/methods on using trailing stops?

Thanks again in advance.

Sincerely,
Bill
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawola17 View Post
Hello David,

Do you ever use trailing stops instead? I believe that it's good to take profits, but I also think that if it keeps moving in your favor, why not let it ride as long as you have a trailing stop to protect your profits.

What do you think? What are your thoughts/methods on using trailing stops?

Thanks again in advance.

Sincerely,
Bill
Hi Bill,

Yes trailing stops are commonly used to lock in profits and let the position continue to run, especially by trend traders. I have a video outlining my thoughts on this which you can find here:

Trailing Stops

Let me know if there are any other questions

Best Regards,
Dave
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Hello David,

Thanks again for all your videos! I went ahead and experimented with the stop loss order and trailing stop.

I noticed that I can't put a stop loss order above my position. That is to say, if I enter my position and the trade goes in my favor, I would like to move the stop loss to protect my profits. But if my stop loss goes above my position, it won't let me.

Is this how it works?

How would I protect my profits?

So I experimented with the trailing stop. I noticed also that the min. pip you can have is 10 pip. for the trailing stop. So the min. loss (or min. variation) you are required to take w/ a trailing stop is around $100 (since 1 pip is about $10 on the average: 10 pip x$10 you $100).

Is this all true?

Right now, my strategy is more of a day trading strategy so I guess it means that much more for me. I see your strategy learns more towards the position strategy, so a 10 pip move may not be as significant for you.

Is this also true?

Thanks again for all your help!

Sincerely,
Bill
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Bill,

Glad to see you are getting to play around with the platform a bit.

On this particular forex platform the take profit order is referred to as the limit order. You will notice that after placing an order the new position will show up in the "open positions" window of the platform. In this window you should see a column that says "stop" and a column that says "limit". This is where you place your protective stop (the stop column) and your take profit order ( the limit column). These orders are also Once Cancels Other meaning that if your stop level is hit and the position is closed then your take profit order (limit) is automatically canceled.

This is a little confusing for experienced traders who are used to a little bit different terminology so I understand where the confusion lies there.

As for the trailing stop yes the trailing stop can be set only so close as to where the market has to move at least 10 pips before the trailing stop will trail. I would think that even for day trading that anything less than this would not get you away from being stopped out by market noise. One exception to this may be if you are scalping but if that is the case then I would suggest manually exiting positions as you will be sitting right in front of the screen then monitoring your positions in real time.

In my videos I focus more on Swing trades, since this style sits in the middle of day trading and position trading so I feel that its the most relevant to everyone no matter what type of trader they are.

Hope that helps. Feel free to post if there are any other questions.

Best Regards,
Dave
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Hi Dave,
My platform (Fidelity) does not allow trailing stops to be placed after hours. Does this also mean that the trailing stop needs to be set every day, or does it stay in place until triggered or canceled?

Also, you have discussed how some traders will change their stop loss as they approach their price target. Is there any reason to set a special stop when first opening a position? (It's pretty galling to get stopped out for a loss right at the git-go).

Art
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Art,

Glad to hear from you and welcome to the community.

When you place the trailing stop during normal market hours, there should be an option that allows you to set the order to either be a "Day" order or a "Good Till Cancelled (GTC)" order. If you set the order as a "GTC") order then the order will remain on the platform until you cancel it. If you set it to a day order then it will be cancelled at the end of that trading day.

As for setting a stop when you first enter a position, I think most traders would agree that it is always recommended to have a stop in place whenever you have a live trade in the market.

Hope that helps. Let me know if there are any other questions or comments.

Best Regards,
Dave
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Hi David I am new to Forex trading, I have watched all the videos but i still need more time to learn, in my demo account i do not have stop or limit columns and I cannot see any Trailing stops either so how can i practise.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi bains1971,

Glad to hear from you and welcome to the community.

If you are using the FXCM demo account then the stop, limit, and trailing stop colums should all be in the open positions window of the platform. Do you see the open positions window of the platform and if so do you have it expanded all the way out?

Best Regards,
Dave
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Hi David i found the open position window and put in my first stop, limit and Trailing exercise and left it overnight, it closed during the night but i lost track of what i was doing. Is their a place where i can see what my history is because their was nothing in the closed position window. We only use Trailing stops when we buy and not when we sell or can we use them for both.
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