What Does Trailing Stop Mean?

As we define in the previous article “What is stop-loss order,” a stop-loss order is an instruction placed with a broker to buy or sell a security by setting a stop loss level, a specified amount of pips away from the entry price.

The stop-loss price level can be fixed, but it can change too. So, What is the trailing stop order?

A trailing stop or trailing stop-loss is an order that moves the stop-loss price level with each new price tick by the trial amount or trailing stop loss percentage away from an asset’s current market price. For BUY trade, if the security price rises, the stop price rises by the trail amount, but the stop-loss price doesn’t change if the security price falls. For the SELL trade, if the security price is going down, the stop price fall by the trail amount, but if the security price is going up, the stop-loss price doesn’t change.

What is a trailing stop quote? Many brokers use the term trailing stop quote to make it clear that the stop order will only be triggered once a valid quoted price level in the market has been met, without negative slippage.

In that case, if we have a BUY order and EURUSD has a 1.3 price level stop loss, the order will close exactly 1.3 or above 1.3.

Trailing stop BUY example: If we buy the asset at $100 and set a trailing stop to be $10 from the beginning price, then when the price goes to $102, my new stop loss will be $102-$10=$92. If the price goes to $150, then my stop loss will move to $150-$10=$140, etc. Instead of a fixed dollar amount, we can use the percentage.

How does a trailing stop work in forex

The reality is that several traders realize that they should accept their losses and let them go as quickly as possible. On the other hand, they also have been told that they should let their profits continue to flow for an extended period. Yet, if someone is not aware of a tool to aid in implementing this strategy, it is necessary to understand how to use trailing stop in forex. It is quite similar to the application of the usage of a stop order that is regular, but it can be placed to flow with the market.

For example, if you desire to ride along with the EUR/USD, you place an emergency stop that will undergo a phase of triggering if the market happens to not move in your favor. Following the passing of a day or a few more, when the trade is tending toward your turn, you desire to conduct a locking in some profit to find out what will occur. It is possible to place a stop in the territory of a positive gain. This could be seen as the placement of a trailing stop. If there is the continuance of the market flowing toward your favor, the profit you have locked in will increase. This will be an ongoing favorable situation until the market slides back in a downward trend and reaches your stop placement.

The trailing stop’s critical role is to engage in the augmentation of the profit lock while the market is in a moving phase. As such, there is no requirement for you to engage in interventions or make adjustments. The trailing stop’s functionality permits you to follow trends with a level of safety in your preferred comfort zone so that there is no need for constant monitoring.

Regarding the trailing stop, you can also engage in the trailing stop placement for the sake of longer-term trading. You can place your stop far removed from the market trend and permit things to undergo development. This works rather successfully for slow trading systems, which tend to engage in the locking in of profits for extended months or days. When someone participates in setting up a target that is long-term, then it is truly advised to place a trailing stop as well. This will permit the person to set up the total trade at an early stage while granting it the freedom to take its route.

With the reality that the forex market is running for a time frame of twenty-four hours over six days each week, this results in the need for many hours to undergo monitoring. Instead of enduring a lack of sleep or interrupted sleep, it makes wise sense to apply the trailing stop to one’s trade in this case. The remarkable result is that the lock of your profit can increase even when you are soundly asleep. The market will continue to go on as it does, while your trade will be able to conduct any needful adjustments or stops.

Disadvantages of trailing stop loss

The main disadvantages of trailing stop loss are:

    • Bad results during sideways market
    • Very often trailing stop loss do not ride the main trend
    • Price can not fluctuate enough and a lot of profitable trades are closed
    • The stronger trend has very often stronger pull back and trailing stop loss too early close trades

Some traders advise avoiding trailing stop loss because they are automatic.
Automatic trailing stops loss move stop loss always per defined number of pips or percentage without analyzing the current market situation. For example, an automatic trailing stop loss can move the stop price level for 15 pips all the time; even that market has 100 pips daily volatility (ATR) or 250 pips daily volatility.

Static stops are great for novice traders as they make them aware of this tool and help them understand risk management. Trailing stops are for those looking to maximize their profits and have already learned the other concepts. This type is about money management rather than risk management. These stops are not stationary and move as the trades move in favor of the trader.

Here’s an example of your understanding. Let’s assume that a trader has taken an extended position and is trading EUR/USD at 1.3200. The pip stop is at 1.3150, with a 100 pip limit at 1.3300. Consider a situation in which this trader decides to move up to 1.325o; he will adjust the stop up to 1.3200. This 0.050 up the original stop value. A trailing stop moves to the entry price of the trader or the breakeven price. This means that if his chosen currency pair reverses and moves against him, the trailing stop will protect the gains that he made at his original position.

Traders can remove the initial risk by using this break-even stop permit. They will feel protected and can move to other Forex trade opportunities. The trailing stop has different types; the easiest one to work with is a dynamic trailing stop. It adjusts the stop for every single pip that will move in favor of the trader. Taking the same example mentioned above, if our currency pair moves to 1.3201 (1.3200 being the starting entry), the stop will automatically adjust to 1.3151.

How the best way to use trailing stops?

If you want more control over the stops, you can always move them manually. Experienced traders who like to trade in a fast-moving market or do trend trading often move the stops manually. This is because the price action is critical in this kind of trading.

Trailing Stop after hours

So, do trailing stops work after hours? Trailing stop orders won’t execute during after hours, the extended-hours session. The trailing stop orders that traders set during extended-hours will queue for the market open of the next trading day. This trailing stop after-hours rule applies to any trading platform or trading broker.

Should you use a trailing stop loss?
Trailing stop loss can be an interesting trading strategy, but traders need to avoid a completely automated trailing stop process. The best results traders can get if they manually set trailing amount or percentage based on current market conditions.



Igor has been a trader since 2007. Currently, Igor works for several prop trading companies. He is an expert in financial niche, long-term trading, and weekly technical levels. The primary field of Igor's research is the application of machine learning in algorithmic trading. Education: Computer Engineering and Ph.D. in machine learning. Igor regularly publishes trading-related videos on the Fxigor Youtube channel. To contact Igor write on: igor@forex.in.rs

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