In our last lesson we looked at determining how much you are willing to risk on any one trade as the first step in developing a successful money management strategy. Now that we have established this, in today’s lesson we are going to look at some of the different ways that you can then set your stop, which fit within this initial criteria.
As we learned in last lesson, risking more than 2% of total trading capital on any one trade is a major reason for the high failure rate of most traders. Does this mean that when setting a stop we should simply figure out how many points away from our entry represents 2% of our account balance and set the stop there? Well, traders could obviously do this and to be honest it would probably be a lot better than most of the other money management strategies I have seen, but there better ways.
Although many traders will look at other things in conjunction, having an idea of the historical volatility of the instrument you are trading is always a good idea when thinking about your stop loss level. If for instance you are trading a $100 stock which moves $5 vs. a $100 stock that moves $1 a day on average, then this is going to tell you something about where you should place your stop. As it is probably already clear here, all else being equal, if you put a stop $5 away on both stocks, you are going to be much more likely to be stopped out on the stock which moves on average $5 a day than you are with the stock that moves on average $1 a day.
While I have seen successful traders who get to know a list of the things they are trading well enough to have a good idea of what their average daily ranges are, many traders will instead use an indicator which was designed to give an overview of this, which is known as the Average True Range (ATR)
Developed by J. Welles Wilder the ATR is designed to give traders a feel for what the historical volatility is for an instrument, or very simply how much it moves. Financial instruments that exhibit high volatility move a lot, and traders can there fore make or lose a lot of money in a short period of time. Conversely, financial instruments with low volatility move a relatively small amount so it takes longer to make or lose money in them all else being equal.
As with many of the other indicators we have studied in previous lessons, Wilder uses a moving average to smooth out the True Range numbers. When plotted on a graph it looks as follows:
What you are basically seeing here is a representation of the daily movement of the EUR/USD. As you can see when the candles are longer (which represents large trading ranges and volatility) the ATR moves up and when the candles are smaller (representing smaller trading ranges and volatility) it moves down.
So with this in mind, the most basic way that traders use the ATR in setting their stops is to place their stop a set number of ATR’s away from their entry price so they have less of a chance of being knocked out of the market by “market noise”.
That’s our lesson for today. In tomorrow’s lesson we are going to look at how you can use volatility based stops in conjunction with another method traders use for setting stops based on technical levels so we hope to see you in that lesson.
Actionable trading levels delivered to YOUR charts in real-time.
looking for your first broker or do you need of a new one? There are
more critical things to consider than you might have thought.
We were trading long before there were online brokers. Global-View
has been directly involved with the industry since its infancy. We've
seen everything and are up-to-data with recent regulatory changes.
The Global-View Forex Forum is the hub for currency trading on the web. Founded in 1996, it was the original forex forum and is still the place where forex traders around the globe come 24/7 looking for currency trading ideas, breaking forex news, fx trading rumors, fx flows and more. This is where you can find a full suite of forex trading tools, including a complete fx database, forex chart points, live currency rates, and live fx charts. In addition, there is a forex brokers directory where you can compare forex brokers. There is also a forex brokers hotline where you can ask for help choosing a forex broker that meets your individual fx trading needs. Interact on the same venue to discuss forex trading.
The forex forum is where traders come to discuss the forex market. It is one of the few places where forex traders of all levels of experience, from novice to professionals, interact on the same venue to discuss forex trading. There is also the GVI Forex, which is a private subscription service where professional and experienced currency traders meet in a private forex forum. it is like a virtual forex trading room. This is open to forex traders of all levels of experience to view but only experienced currency tradingprofessionals can post.
Currency trading charts are updated daily using the forex trading ranges posted in the Global-View forex database. You will also find technical indicators on the fx trading charts, e.g. moving averages for currencies such as the EURUSD. This is another forex trading tool provided by Global-View.com.
The forex database can be used to access high, low, close daily forex ranges for key currency pairs, such as the EURUSD, USDJPY, USDCHF, GBPUSD, USDCAD, AUD, NZD and major crosses, including EURJPY, EURGBP, EURCHF, GBPJPY, GBPCHF and CHFJPY. Data for these currency trading pairs dating back to January 1, 1999 can be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet.
Forex chart points are in a currency trading table that includes; latest fx tradinghigh-low-close range, Bollinger Bands, Fibonacci retracement levels, daily forex pivot points support and resistance levels, average daily forex range, MACD for the different currency trading pairs. You can look on the forex forum for updates when one of the fx trading tools is updated.
Global-View also offers a full fx trading chart gallery that includes fx pairs, such as the EURUSD, commodities, stocks and bonds. In a fx trading world where markets are integrated, the chart gallery is a valuable trading tool. Look for updates on the Forex Forum when the chart gallery is updated.
Global-View.com also offers a forex blog, where articles of interest for currency trading are posted throughout the day. The forex blog articles come from outside sources, including forex brokers research as well as from the professionals at Global-View.com. This forex blog includes the Daily Forex View, Market Chatter and technical forex blog updates. In additional to its real time forex forum, there are also Member Forums available for more in depth forex trading discussions.
WARNING: FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRADING AND INVESTMENT IN DERIVATIVES
CAN BE VERY SPECULATIVE AND MAY RESULT IN LOSSES AS WELL AS PROFITS. FOREIGN
EXCHANGE AND DERIVATIVES TRADING IS NOT SUITABLE FOR MANY MEMBERS OF THE
PUBLIC AND ONLY RISK CAPITAL SHOULD BE APPLIED. THE WEBSITE DOES NOT TAKE
INTO ACCOUNT SPECIAL INVESTMENT GOALS, THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OR SPECIFIC
REQUIREMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL USERS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER YOUR FINANCIAL
SITUATION AND CONSULT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISORS AS TO THE SUITABILITY TO YOUR
SITUATION PRIOR TO MAKING ANY INVESTMENT OR ENTERING INTO ANY TRANSACTIONS.