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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trailing Stop-Loss in Stocks Part-2

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Monthly Loss Limit of 6%
So, you have now established a system whereby your loss from each individual trade is limited to 2% of your risk capital. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that even losing a moderate 1% of your account's value in ten days within a month results in a rather devastating 10% of your account's value within that month (notwithstanding any profits that you might have made in the other twelve-odd trading days within the month). In addition to limiting losses from individual trades, we must establish a circuit breaker that prevents extensive overall losses during a period of time. A useful rule of thumb for overall monthly losses is a maximum of 6% of your portfolio. As soon as your account equity dips to 6% below that which it registered on the last day of the previous month, stop trading! Yes, you heard me correctly. When you have hit your 6% loss limit, cease trading entirely for the rest of the month. In fact, when your 6% circuit breaker is tripped, go even further and close all of your outstanding positions, and spend the rest of the month on the sidelines. Take the last days of the month to regroup, analyze the problems, observe the markets, and prepare for re-entry when you are confident that you can prevent a similar occurrence in the following month. How do you go about instituting the 6% loss-limiting system? You have to calculate your equity each and every day. This includes all of the cash in your trading account, cash equivalents, and the current market value of all open positions in your account. Compare this daily total with your equity total on the last trading day of the previous month and, if you are approaching the 6% threshold, prepare to cease trading. Employing a 6% monthly loss limit allows the trader to hold three open positions with potential for 2% losses each, or six open positions with a potential for 1% losses each, and so forth.

Making Necessary Adjustments
Every month Of course, the fluid nature of both the 2% single trade limit and the 6% monthly loss limit means that you must re-calibrate your trading positions h. If, for example, you enter a new month having realized significant profits the previous month, you will adjust your stops and the sizes of your orders so that no more than 2% of the newly calculated total equity is exposed to a risk of losses. At the same time, when your account rises in value by the end of the month, the 6% rule of thumb will allow you to trade with larger positions the following month. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true: if you lose money in a month, the smaller capital base the following month will ensure that your trading positions are smaller. Both the 2% and the 6% rule allow you to pyramid, or add to your winning positions when you are on a roll. If your position runs into positive territory, you can move your stop above break-even and then buy more of the same stock--as long as the risk on the new aggregate position is no more than 2% of your account equity, and your total account risk is less than 6%. Adding a system of pyramiding into the equation allows you to extend profitable positions with absolutely no commensurate increase in your risk thresholds.

1 comment:

Jones said...

thanks for this helpful information about stock exchange

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