Trailing stops anyone?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by ron2368, Sep 29, 2001.

  1. ron2368


    I was wondering how those that more or less swing trade use trailing stops(ts). I have found that over the last 5 or 6 months my opportunities to use a ts have been very few. There has been so much volitility in price movement that many times I look at where I would place my ts and figure that if I move my stop to the new level it is a sure hit so in many cases I just exit the position rather than place a stop.

    Have I developed a bad habit in doing this. I have noticed that my winners and losers are the same basic ratio but I used to have 2 or 3 really decent winners in a week now thats rare.

    My normal procedure is at the start of a trade I will set my usual stop loss and tend to move that stop to breakeven as the stock moves +. I guess that when I move the stop it is more dictated by the price movimg beyond a support/resist level or swing hi/lo level than on a point value.

    Any thoughts appreciated!
  2. sallyboy

    sallyboy Guest

    I've tried many similar things as far as where to adjust my stops and where to take profits. I've tried setting stop losses & profit targets at certain fixed point moves (.50/1.0/1.5,etc.) or setting certain percentage (1%, 1.5%, 2%, etc.). The problem I have found with setting hard and fast rules is that they are normally broken or don't work for every situation. So now I let the market tell me where to look to get out. Depending on market behavior, where it's been, & where it looks like it's going will determine where I start getting out. Remember to that a great technique is to scale out. Start taking profits after nice moves in your favor while leaving some on the table to catch more of the move or have less that can go against you (and you'll feel better having gotten the prices you did on the shares you exited first). For this I usually look to take half or more off, depending again on how I feel about the situation. This helps you get out when you can, not when you have to. Why wait for it to go back all the way up to your stop?

    Good Trading!
  3. vinigar


    It seems almost like no matter what stop loss you put in these days get you get stopped soon as its posted they start licking their a strong market this doesn't happen as much...I just use a stop loss at what ever I can bear to stand to lose in case something dramatic happens...this is usually out of their "I see it dummy and here I come to get it" range. Other than that I use a mental stop and get out imediately if the reaction of the market is not with me. If you are machine like or mechanical this works...but if your emotions take over and your not disciplined this will not work for you.:)
  4. Is there any reason to use a hard stop over a trailing stop?..