How do I do this in IB?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by chanelops, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. I have a profit target (PT) in mind for an account trading futures. When I the price hits that target, I would like to have a trailing stop kick in, such that if the price drops below the PT, the position is closed, but if the price continues to move in my favor, the stop then moves with the price, trailing the price by X points.

    Note two aspects of the above: first, the trailing stop doesn't activate until the PT is hit. Second, once the stop activates, it triggers to close the position if the price drops below the PT, but only until the price moves more than X points in my favor away from the PT, at which point the stop becomes a conventional trailing stop X points away from the last traded price.

    So there's a band X points wide right after the PT where the stop is a plain fixed stop-loss at the PT value, and then it changes to a trailing stop, trailing by X points.

    Is this possible to do in IB? If so, how? I thought maybe the conditional order method might be the route, but I found out that conditional orders are only good for market and limit order types.

    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
  2. you can try 2 set orders, 1 with wider stop, the 2nd order is conditional to the first 1 order with trialling stops, and set the OCA flags on both orders.
  3. Thanks for the suggestion, which is interesting. I'm having problems with one part, though. How do I place an order so that "the 2nd order is conditional to the first 1 order with trailing stops", as you suggested?

    As far as I can tell, IB won't let me place a conditional order for a 'trailing stop' order type. They want all conditional orders to be limit or market, only.

    Or am I missing something in your idea? (very possible!)
  4. DAV

    DAV ET Sponsor

    You can set up an Alert to accomplish this in TWS.
    Open the Alerts window, set your price condition then select a trailing stop order. Once it's activated, the order will be placed when the condition is met.
  5. thanks, your method is much superior, and I learned a new thing.
  6. I know a lot of folks bash ET, but this little thread shows the significant value of the forum, at least to me.

    Thanks to both of you, and especially DAV. I think the method you suggested is exactly what I wanted to do!
  7. There's something I don't understand about IB's trailing stop order type.

    Yesterday evening I was short several ES contracts, and I then put in an alert-triggered trailing stop order, with the alert set for 1,020.50. I set the parameters for the trailing stop to be 3 points trail, and I put it a stop value of 1,022.50.

    What I expected to happen is that when the alert triggered at 1020.50, I would then have a trailing stop that would work as follows:

    1) If the price kept dropping, the stop level would drop also, maintaining a 3 point trailing distance.

    2) If the price stayed level or rose, I would have a stop in place that would take me out at 1,022.50.

    However, what actually happened was that after the alert triggered, and as I watched, the price rose past 1,023 and no action resulted. I finally had to step in and make the trade manually.

    My question is, is my understanding of how this type of order works wrong? (quite possible!) Or was this some sort of problem at IB's end?

    Any input is appreciated.
  8. Have you got the box checked in the configuration area under presets-futures to "Allow order to be activated, triggered, or filled outside of regular trading hours."?

  9. Yes, I did have that checked.

    However, I've since tried doing this again, and had no problems. I'm thinking this was some sort of fluky trader malfunction -- unfortunately, that's me!

    Thanks for the response.