Stop vs Risk

Discussion in 'Risk Management' started by maildigger, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. About my tradingstyle ... Most of the time I take only 1 trade (in index futures) a day and keep it as long as possible.

    When I open a trade I risk 2% of my capital (hard stop). My stop gets hit only occasionally (lets say once every 2 months).

    I exit all my positions between -2% & +3%

    Should I use more leverage (and add more contracts)?
  2. A lot of people say to use a 10 -15% stop. I prefer your approach and when I am up I keep the stop as close as possible. I have an aversion to having profits evaporate like black magic. On the other hand it's often better to keep the 10% stop in the long run. If only we had a crystal ball. I hate to hold onto something that has gone down too far to want to sell but can turn even worse any moment.
  3. Hell yes! What you are essentially saying is that you have a system that is profitable 97.5% of the time, with minimal drawdown. Beg, borrow, and steal and load the boat!
  4. No I am not saying that. I say my stop doesn't get hit often but I do exit with negative outcomes.
  5. Then why bother with the stop at all? If you are going to exit trades at a loss but ahead of your stop, what is the point of having one? There is not enough information to determine whether or not you should increase your leverage but based on the fact that your system seems to be more discretionary than rules based I would say 'no' until you are able to show verifyable results.
  6. Stop to me is always support + 1 to 2% in case someone try to run the stops.

    I don't really look at the #% of my overall equity to determine my stock. I look at the worst case scenario and see if the risk is acceptable. Profit/Risk ratio keep it at least 2:1.
  7. You are making a good beginning for the most part.

    To improve it there are several things you can do.

    In the meantime doing just as you are doing and adding capital with profits only is a very practical and pragmatic option. You can reason why quite simply.

    In trading there are two players: you and the market. the division of responsibilities is quite clear and you are taking the direction (what the market tells you) in a very rational manner.

    By recognizing, occassionally, that you did not get the message (very rarely) you are demonstrating you know how to take corrective actions and eliminate the times when you do not get the message. Keep that up.

    Now lets make some money.

    You can take the time to listen to the market when you are making money. at those times, listen and resist your rule that you take a profit at a given arbitrary point. by listening to the market you may well hear it saying to you "Continue to hold".

    If you hear this then you have opened a door. Gradually, you may want to consider the implications of this new skill you are acquiring.

    There are two eventualities and they are both positive.

    1. If you are neutrally biased your effort to listen for "Continue to hold" is going to become interrupted by a message that says "Enter a trade". These two messages are opposites simply because one is in one direction and the other is the beginning of the opposite direction.

    2. regardless of your biases, if you make the effort to listen for "Continue to hold", there comes a point where you can't hear "Continue to hold". This is called "What wasn't that/" or maybe "WTF?" In either case sideline.

    Lets say you are able to see this effort as a moving window. what I mean is that if you do listen and hear "continue to Hold", could you think of this as the commencement of a trade at its beginning once you hear "continue to hold'? If you are able to then you are beginning a profit segemnt and with that reset your stop and rest your goal of an exit.

    I could go much further to take you past the beginner level. the point is, though, that there are many advances a person makes s he begins to recognize how the markets operate as he leaves the orientation of the numerous strategies designed to make x money and not lose more than y money.

    What I said about your arbitrary beginner goal is only half the story. you also have an arbitrary stop. In both cases you did not recognize that the market has these two things as its job in your trading partnership. It also says that you are not recognizing some of the jobs that are yours and yours alone to deal with.

    This post may take a few reads to get understood. Personally, I hope you do.

    Risk in trading comes directly from not knowing what is going on. you see a lot of posters exhibiting that charactristic here. It is a very good idea to stop not knowing what is going on.
  8. stops beeing your worst enemy or best friend.

    for most intraday traders stops can be your worst enemy.


  9. Baldur

    I understand your point but if you dont use stops for exiting an intra day trade how do you determine the exit point. I use stops as I see them as the lesser of 2 evils, but I am always open to a better suggestion.

  10. I keep very tight stocks for hatred of losing more than 500 bucks. But I lost much more than I gained or protected. With my luck the day I extend the stops , equities will drop3% and then shoot for the stars.
    #10     Jun 23, 2008