How to place a stop loss?

One of the questions that I often come across is, “How to place a stop loss? What should be the maximum loss that I should take before closing the position in a losing trade?

Money management is one of the most important skills that a trader should possess in order to become successful in the stock market. Stop loss is what helps us in managing our capital in an efficient way. Proper money management ensures that one can take multiple Trades without wiping of our entire capital.

You should always make sure that the maximum loss you should take in a single trade should not be more than five per cent of your capital. So if you are starting with a capital of 10000 Rupees, you should not lose more than 500 rupees in a single trade. Similarly, if your capital is 100000 rupees, you should make sure that you do not lose more than 5000 rupees in a single trade.

The initial capital will vary from person to person so would the maximum loss that a person can take. If you follow proper money management, you can take 20 trades at a time. I do not suggest you take 20 trades at a time, I am just pointing out that you should be wrong 20 times to lose your entire capital.

What if you did not follow money management with a maximum 5 % stop loss? You let your losses run huge and maybe after 4-5 wrong trades, your entire capital will be wiped out. Let us learn to place a proper stop loss and preserve our capital.

Once you have decided how much maximum loss you as a trader can take in a single trade, now you have to decide the quantity that you can buy or sell. How can you decide the quantity? Quantity would be nothing but the maximum loss you can take divided by the maximum loss per share that you have decided based on your analysis of support, resistance, EMA, 200 EMA, trend lines etc.

Suppose ITC is trading at 200 rupees and has strong support at 198 rupees. You are hopeful that ITC would not breach 198 rupees level on the downside. This can act as good support and your stop loss could be placed below 198. That would be a stop loss of 2 Rupees per share.

A person with an initial capital of 10000 can lose a maximum of 500 if 5% rule of money management is kept in mind. The trader has also noted that he can place a stop loss of 2 rupees on a buy trade in ITC. So the trader can go into the buy trade with 250 quantity.

Similarly, if a trader has an initial capital of 100000 rupees, he can go into the buy trade in ITC with 2500 quantity.

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