Trailing Stops in Forex

Forex investors employ a variety of strategies to boost their earnings and reduce their shortfalls. One of the most challenging considerations that traders must make is taking profits and minimizing losses quickly.

Most traders may exit their position as fast as it increases. For others, they would keep their stock until the pattern flips. One of the most common blunders people makes when trading is the second. So, how can you refrain from committing this error in the future? Trailing stops is the answer. 

Trailing stops are similar to a standard stop order. However, it has the added benefit of being able to adjust it to swing with the price. With trailing stops, investors can make more profits regardless of market swings. 

What Is A Trailing Stop

A trailing stop is a type of stop order used in forex trading. It follows the current market price and moves up or down when the price changes until it reach a specified point. A trailing stop can be used to sell an asset at a sure profit automatically. This is often done while the investor is away from their computer.

A trailing stop-loss protects investors from experiencing losses that could be much higher than profits if they were not present to set the level of the order manually. It also considers fluctuations in market conditions over a trading session, allowing for more accurate management of trades as they unfold. For example, if there is significant volatility during market hours, an investor may want to set a larger trailing stop-loss so that they do not have to monitor the market too closely.

Depending on the investor’s choice, a trailing stop order can be executed at the market, the ask price, or the bid price. The trailing stop is automatically set to maintain a specific distance from the current market price but can also be set as a percentage. As a result, it is possible to have different trailing stop levels for other assets. For example: let’s assume an investor has two positions in ten foreign investments. They can set trailing stop levels of 2% for the first position, 3% for the second position, and 5% for the third one.

The reason for a trailing stop is to protect an investor against unnecessary losses without limiting their trading profits. It can be used as a tool to automatically sell off assets at a moment’s notice, but it must be appropriately managed so that an investor does not sell off assets too early or too late.

How Does A Trailing Stop Order Work in Forex?

A trailing stop can be established as a percentage of the current price of a financial instrument. If a trader has a long trade, the trailing stop should be set below the current valuation of the fx pair. If a trader chooses to open a short call, the trailing stop must be placed beyond the current valuation of the Fx pair.

This stop is often used to protect your profits. It does this by allowing the transaction to continue being profitable as much as the forex pair’s price is going in the desired path. The path depends on the type of position taken; buy or sell. The transaction will be terminated if the pair’s value abruptly gains momentum and swings by a certain percentage, reducing losses.

Let’s consider this trade. An investor chooses to purchase the US Dollar to Japanese Yen pair with 1000 units. The forex pair’s value is 104.00, and the investor secures their trade with a 2% trailing stop order. This implies that the trailing stop execution will be activated if the pair falls by 2% or more, capping losses. The combination rises in value during the following month, hitting 105.50, a profit of 1.44 percent.

The investor is pleased with the profits he has made so far. But, he is concerned that the combination may drop in value. As long as the trailing stop is in effect, it will be activated if the USD/JPY value falls by 2% or above in the subsequent week. Such forex traders may elect to adjust the trailing stop to 1.50 percent to provide additional breathing room for the trade.

USD/JPY rose steadily during the following three trading days, hitting 106.00, then plummeting 1.50 percent to 104.40 in a single day. The 1.50 percent drop would trigger the trailing stop. Afterward, the investor would secure 40 pips of gain if the entry was placed at 104.40.

Remember that although the trailing stop was placed to 1.50 percent, it might not have been activated if the combination had dropped 0.55 percent in one day. As a result, the trailing stop % should be structured in a way that is not too restrictive nor too broad. The transaction will be halted before it has an opportunity to grow if the limit is put too tight to the spot price. Stops positioned too far away from the existing rate will make traders leave too much cash on the activated line.

Technical markers such as candlestick patterns, bands, and line graphs can also be used to modify trailing stops directly.

As the price of a forex pair gained support at the resistance level, a trader who had opened a call option may move the stop order underneath the moving average as the transaction progressed. Nevertheless, the time and method chosen for the moving averages to modify the short position is a question of personal preference. Alternatively, the investor may want to raise the short position in phases. He could opt to adjust the stop order after the formation of new candlesticks.

The Best Trailing Stop Techniques

Savvy investors use several trailing stop techniques. However, you only need to understand two primary strategies to answer the question: ‘What is the best trailing stop method in forex?’

Trailing Stop with Momentum

This approach is the simplest primary method for determining a good departure point. As previously stated, a trailing stop merely keeps a stop-loss trade at a specific percentage beneath or beyond the market rate in the event of a short trade.

The stop-loss option is updated continually in response to trade price movements. This ensures that it is always the identical proportion under or over the current price. Therefore, the investor is “assured” to understand the precise minimal return on their position. The trader’s preference will have decided this degree of income for forceful or cautious trading.

The most challenging element of building a trailing stop strategy for your focused trading selections is determining what comprises suitable earnings or modest losses. Configuring the percentage for a trailing stop may be accomplished in a variety of ways. Instead of strict rules, this is more akin to feeling.

A hazy thought could suggest that you hold off on placing your stops until specific technical or basic requirements are satisfied. For instance, a trader may watch for a breakthrough of a two- to five-week pullback before initiating the trade and placing stops underneath the consolidation’s bottom. The method necessitates the fortitude to wait for the initial quarter of a motion before stopping.

This strategy does not only require patience. It incorporates technical analysis by including the idea of “becoming overpriced” into your trailing order. When a forex pair’s price-to-earnings relationship starts to rise beyond its future two- to four-year growth trajectory, trailing stops should be adjusted to a lesser proportion. This is because the currency’s seeming overvaluation may imply a lower chance of further realized gains.

When a market undergoes a “blow-off” stage, the devaluation can worsen (bending all logic) and persist for days or weeks. Ambitious traders may continue pushing too high gains while still employing trailing stops. With this, they are guarded against deficits by playing with the blow-off. Regrettably, momentum is typically resistant to technical indicators. This means that the more a trader goes into a “rolling stop” approach, the more detached they grow from a rigorous discipline system.

Parabolic SAR (Stop and Reverse) Technique

The trailing stop momentum-based strategy is undoubtedly appealing because of the possibility for significant continuing returns. However, other traders choose the most disciplined technique that is better fitted to a more regulated economy, i.e, an ideal scenario for the cautious trader. The parabolic SAR approach provides stop-loss thresholds on both ends of the trade, which moves gradually with price movements per day.

You will use the SAR as one of the technical indicators provided on the trading platform. The indicator will sometimes cross with the value on a currency pair owing to a rebound or lack of movement in the securities. The transaction is deemed stopped out if this junction happens. Also, the chance of taking the other end of the trade appears.

If a long trade is halted—that is, the asset is traded, and the transaction is complete—you can sell short with a trailing stop directly against or equivalent to the point at which the call order was shut through to the other end of the trade. As the risk swings back and forth over time, the SAR method permits one to catch both ends of the trade.

The SAR’s most important feature is its ability to track irregularly shifting forex pairs. If the price of an asset fluctuates rapidly, the trailing stops can constantly be activated very fast before you get a chance to make enough money. This also means that in a turbulent economy, your trading charges and related expenditures will outweigh any profit, whatever small it may be.

The second stipulation pertains to SAR application to an asset that does not show a definite pattern. Your order will never be achieved if the movement is too low. This means no gains will be secured. As a result, the SAR is ill-suited to assets that lack patterns or whose tendencies swing up and down too frequently. If you can find a middle ground between these dual extremes, the SAR could be precisely what you’re searching for when it comes to establishing your trailing stop values.

Benefits of Using Trailing Stops in Forex

Trailing Stops strategies provide traders with an easy way to enter into a trade at the right time and build a position, usually on regular signals rather than by strict trading rules, as is the case for many other strategies.

This strategy’s lack of strict trading rules gives it a lower risk over other processes, making it perfect for beginners who want to try out this trend-related momentum strategy without breaking their bank balance or losing their shirt.

The psychological benefits of using Trailing Stops can be seen in the increased confidence and enthusiasm of using a simple strategy to trade. Traders become more optimistic about their trades, which leads them to trade for more extended periods, leading to more enormous profits.

The trailing stop gives the benefit of some protection without having to close your order entirely. Sometimes, you can get back into a trade further down when overreaction sets in from other participants on the market.

A trailing stop is also beneficial in that it provides the trader with a better view of the progress of their position. As with other stop-loss strategies, Trailing Stops offer traders a general indication of how far they have gone or how far they have yet to go in their trade.

Best Ways to Use Trailing Stops

When day trading, trailing stops must be used with caution. Forex pairings can bounce back and forth until shifting in their final orientation in currency trading. This instability is often known as “whippy.” The trailing stop will probably be struck if you place a short stop near your purchase and the market whips back and forth. As a result, you should utilize the trailing stops with caution.

Stops are supposed to safeguard your money, but deliberately placing them near the value threatens to drain your fund slowly. The reason being that you will be stopped out continuously. When their transaction is just five pips in the negative, many inexperienced investors attempt to cash in 50% of the profit. This isn’t the ugliest kind of stop, but these traders put their stop halfway below their current transaction price. Stops are placed in various ways depending on your currency trading strategy, but it’s essential to avoid placing them too near a changing price.

Some of the more recent restrictions have altered how stops are managed. Position trading is an investment in which your transaction price is averaged. That is, you purchase something, the price decreases, and you purchase more, resulting in a mean value that is approximately in the center.

In the United States, specific additional rules have made part profit-taking no longer possible. Brokerage differs on how this should be resolved. Nevertheless, if you stop the most recent transaction, the firm will use it on your earliest transaction in that exchange. You may not be aware of this. You may unintentionally incur a loss, despite your most current deal being profitable.


Ultimately, trailing stops are an excellent trading technique that enables investors to safeguard money and secure their profits without constantly monitoring the market.


Should I use trailing stops in forex?

The trailing stop’s primary purpose is to enhance your return guarantee as the price fluctuates without requiring you to act and adapt. The trailing stop is probably to be struck if you establish a tight stop near your market and the value swings back and forth. Therefore it’s vital to utilize it wisely.

Are trailing stops a good idea?

Trailing stop-loss orders are preferable to standard stop-loss techniques. Fifteen percent or 20 percent is the optimum trailing stop-loss % to employ. Stop-loss techniques reduce dramatic downswings in the price of your investment, boosting your risk-adjusted profits significantly.

Do day traders use trailing stops?

A day trader can use trailing stops to minimize losses while allowing profits to continue all through the day. The stop can be defined as a dollar sum or a percent. The stop price rises if the value of your assets rises in your interest.