Stop Limit Orders

Stop Limit Orders Explained

Stop limit orders are conditional trades over a set time frame that combine the features of a stop with those of a limit order and are used to mitigate risk. In other words, stop limit orders allow you to place an order where you choose the purchase or sale price with a stop loss in place. You need to have two price points before placing the order. The first price point is your stop loss price. The second price point is the amount you want the trade to fill.

There are many ways to make yourself a better trader, and stopping limit orders is one of those ways. There are different methods to placing a trade and types of trades to place. As a result, you want to choose the best possible order to make your trades more profitable. It’s one of those small details that can make a difference.

Stop limit orders are a tool for good risk management. The goal of any trader is to make money. If it weren’t, no one would be trading the stock market. Practicing proper risk management is imperative to protect yourself. It doesn’t matter how good of a trader you are; you could lose everything in one trade if you don’t practice risk management.

This means that we can get emotional when it comes to trading. With emotion clouding our judgment, we don’t always make the best decisions.

However, when we put good trading boundaries in place, we protect ourselves. That way, we’re not taking a bigger loss than needed.

One of the reasons people use limit orders is that you have full control over how your trade is executed. Meanwhile, with market orders, you get whatever the market gives you.

The drawback to stopping limit orders is that there is no guarantee that your limit order will be filled. If the price doesn’t reach the stop price in the allotted time, it’s more probable than not that your order isn’t getting filled.

Hence, some traders prefer the market orders. Their trade is getting filled no matter what. However, that can mean you’re getting a bad position depending on what the market is doing when you place the market order.

Stop Limit Order Example

StocksToTrade Website

Why Use a Stop Loss?

Is the stop part of the stop limit order important? Yes, it is. When you set a stop loss, you’re drawing a line in the sand at how much you’re willing to lose.

That’s essential to protecting your brokerage account. All new traders should map out their risk-to-reward ratio. What are you risking versus how much you can make?

If your risk is more than your reward, that’s a trade you shouldn’t be taking. If you’re willing to risk 10 cents to make 20 cents, then stop-limit orders would be placed with those two price points.

It’s important to remember that stop limit orders can have market makers trigger the stop loss. That can cause your trade to stop and then rip.

As a new trader, that can be extremely frustrating. However, getting a bad entry on a pattern or candle can also protect you.

We recommend opening a paper trading account with Thinkorswim so you can practice making stop-limit order trades. It’s important to place a few hundred practice trades before going live.

That way, you can get a good feel for the overall process and work out the kinks. That way, when you go live, you’re not trying to figure things out on the fly.

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Trailing Stop Limit Order

A trailing stop is a type of order that triggers the limit order when the price is triggered to buy or sell at the trailing price you choose below the peak price for selling or above the lowest price for buying.

The Mental Stop

As a new trader, you should practice placing your stop loss order in the system in a virtual account. However, once you get more comfortable, practice using mental stops.

You have to be incredibly disciplined to use a mental stop. You may have heard the saying, “Plan your trade and trade your plan.” Those are words to live by.

Many times, as traders, when we break from our trading plan, our biggest losses occur. Stop-limit orders can alleviate the loss because a stop is in place.

However, mental stops don’t let other traders know your risk limit. Then, they can’t try to trigger your stop. A highly volatile stock often triggers a stop within seconds before ripping.

That is very frustrating to traders. Those levels are often hit because other traders see the stop losses through different tools like Level 2.

With a mental stop, they can’t see that and cannot know what price target to hit. However, if you don’t close out the trade when your mental stop is hit, you could take more of a loss than you intended.

Final Thoughts: Stop Limit Orders

Support and resistance as part of your stop limit orders can help you get the most profit potential. These are levels that all traders pay close attention to.

Setting your stop loss below support with your profit target at resistance is usually a good plan. That way, you have the room for a stock to move.

You can use candlesticks, patterns, and technical indicators to help find support and resistance. Technical tools like VWAP are a big part of day trading. Using the tools given to you can help make stop-limit orders a successful trading tool.

Stop limit orders allow you to control when your order fills fully. However, it’s important to remember that the risk is not getting your order filled. Although the reward for this type of order usually outweighs the risk. 

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