Having trouble letting my winners run

This is a discussion on Having trouble letting my winners run within the Discretionary Trading forums, part of the Methods category; Originally Posted by Phoenix01 Ever since i started trading i have had a problem of letting my winners run. It ...

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Old Oct 28, 2010, 12:21am   #9
Joined Oct 2010
Re: Having trouble letting my winners run

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Originally Posted by Phoenix01 View Post
Ever since i started trading i have had a problem of letting my winners run. It means overall i end up with far greater average loss per trade than average profit per trade. From review this is the only thing preventing me from becoming a profitable trader because my entries are pretty good.
I have the same problem, but leting winners run is harder than you think. If I try to let the profits run I always end up with even more losses. The problem is you need a strong trend for this.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 12:34am   #10
 
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Joined Sep 2010
Re: Having trouble letting my winners run

A trading system has at least two sets of rules or perhaps three. The rules for entering a trade. The rules for managing the trade (optional). The rules for exiting a trade. Many assume the rules for exit are the mirror image for the rules of entry. I've never found this to be true. YMMV.

I've never found a shortcut to qualifying a trading idea I've developed. I'm a retired engineering manager so my analogy will parallel that background.
  1. Computer Simulation (Backtesting)
  2. Prototype (Paper Trading)
  3. Preproduction (Trading for small money)
  4. Production (Let'r rip)

This is only the short form of the explanation of my system qualification process. The longer form contains material on the inherent limitations of backtesting and paper trading.

Every time I thought the insight I had did not need the full qualification process I lost money. Not some times. Every time. YMMV, but I have my doubts.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 1:16pm   #11
 
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Joined Apr 2008
Re: Having trouble letting my winners run

Maybe you can try to split your position into 2 (or even 3) tranches.
When you hit 30-50 points in profit take profits by closing half position. Move your stop to break even.
Let the 2nd half run or be stopped out at B/E whichever happens. I sometimes do this but only on 4 hr+ TF trades where I have an expectation of a runner.
It might be tricky on low TF trades.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 6:47pm   #12
 
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Re: Having trouble letting my winners run

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Originally Posted by Phoenix01 View Post
Ever since i started trading i have had a problem of letting my winners run. It means overall i end up with far greater average loss per trade than average profit per trade. From review this is the only thing preventing me from becoming a profitable trader because my entries are pretty good.

I usually get out the first instance there is a weakness in following candle. Ive noticed that just before a big move the market seems to throw out a candle hinting to a reveral before it goes steaming in the direction you traded in.

Iam backtesting a system which means that when i enter i pull up a 2 minute chart and get out at the first candle in the opposite direction to my trade (Thats how bad i am at letting them run). This system would have meant i would made 45 point profit today instead of a 17 point loss.

What do people think? Have they any suggestions for a system. I dont mind having a few more small losing trades, if i can let thoses winners run.

Omar
Hello Phoenix01,

I will tell you what I do, this is my very personal procedure and it is based on my personality, maybe it can help you. When I enter the trade I place my stop loss in the area where the market is holding the price (last pullback, if long) then if the price goes strong my way (at least 4 points) I move my stop loss to my entry area + 0.5 points, the worst that can happen is the market pulling back strong to hit my stop (In this case, I do not lose anything). If the play is still with me I start taking profits in waves, as soon as I see any volume capitulation I sell part of my position, if the trends continues I move my stop to the last area of support and keep taking profits in volume capitulation areas until I sell all my contracts or the market hits my stop and takes me out.

By the way, I only day trade the emini NASDAQ-100 index future. (That┤s all I trade).

I hope this helps.

Take care.
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Last edited by malaspina; Oct 28, 2010 at 9:04pm.
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Old May 19, 2017, 8:03am   #13
Joined Apr 2017
Most traders tend to take gains early out of fear that they will evaporate quickly. You need patience and walk away from short term screen movements.
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Old Jun 14, 2017, 9:20am   #14
Joined Oct 2014
@ phoenix

I am in the same boat emotionally. If i put something on and watch it tick by tick, I can guarantee I would get in the way of a good trade. My way of dealing with it is have stop and limit in place (that make sense given the ATR) and let it be. If you worked out what ratio you need for you strategy to be successful, you're almost there, best of luck.
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Old Jun 14, 2017, 10:17am   #15
Joined Feb 2002
Stops good, limits bad.

Once you can trade, trade like you actually want to make money.
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Old Jun 14, 2017, 10:35am   #16
Joined Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by tomorton View Post
Stops good, limits bad.

Once you can trade, trade like you actually want to make money.
I agree but I just can't do it and believe me i tried. I currently only work one setup and 2:1 works fine, I just wish we had more volatility so I could put it on more often.
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