Stop Loss to make money and win

The Stock Market is unique and full of uncertainty. In real-time the markets are complex, but after the fact everything looks simple. It’s this dichotomy that tricks many into thinking that there is easy money in the stock market. But it’s not.

As an investor or a trader you can hope that a stock to go up or down, but you can’t control it. Stock market is a collective reflection of thousands and millions of participants and no single entity has any control over it.

You are dealing with geopolitical, environmental, financial, technical, human and many other uncontrollable factors every single day. Controlling the downside (loss) is the only control you have to address numerous challenges everyday.

Why use Stop Loss?

Here are basic steps that you have control over in the stock market:

  1. Which stock to buy?
  2. When to buy and quantity?
  3. What price?
  4. When to sell?

Mostly people can answer the first questions with some confidence. It’s the “when to sell” that’s hardest in the stock market. If the stock has moved in your desired direction then selling is somewhat easy.

So, lets focus on when the stock has moved in the opposite direction and there is a loss. Many of us are reluctant to sell and close the position when there is a loss. Even if it’s is a small loss, it’s against the human nature to accept defeat.

Often times a small loss turns into a major setback – both emotionally and financially.

A stop loss strategy addresses this problem. When you buy a stock knowing how much you want to risk, you have accepted the consequences. You can place a stop loss order and take control of your stock position.

Winners use Stop Loss.

Risk Management with Stop Loss

The deeper the losses the longer it takes recover to get back to break-even.

Let’s say you have a $100 stock and you sell it at 5% loss ($5). Now you are left with $95 capital.

If you recover just 5% on your next trade you are at an overall loss i.e. $95*5% = $99.75.

Therefore, you will need to recover 5.26% to break-even i.e. $95*5.26% = $100.

Loss Recover to break-even
5% 5.26%
10% 11.11%
15% 17.64%
20% 25%
40% 66.67%
50% 100%
70% 233.33%
80% 400%

The table above highlights the effort required to break-even. To stop the situation from getting out of control, it’s important that you enter stop order as soon as the stock position is filled. Think of this stop order as an insurance to protect you in case the trade goes against you.

If your stop loss order is triggered:

  1. You are protected from deeper losses
  2. You now have the capital available for other trades.

Types of Stop Loss orders

Examples of Stop Loss Charts

Charts showing how a stop loss order prevented larger losses.

Small Stop Loss Prevents larger losses chart example1
Small Stop Loss Prevents larger losses chart example2


  • Cut your losses sooner rather than later. The deeper the losses, the longer and harder it gets to recover.
  • Select stop price within the range provided in the stock pick alert.
  • Always enter stop loss order immediately after the position is filled.
  • Honor the stop loss. Only then you’ll find the next trading opportunity.
  • Watch your trade and narrow the stop loss as the trade starts moving in your direction.