How Viable is Forex Trading Without Stop-Loss Strategy?

Basically, a Stop-Loss is an order, which a trader places on a given currency pair, which is triggered when the security reaches a specific price, then the system automatically executes buy or sell trader and consequently closes the positions.
Despite all of its uses, there are still some successful professional Forex traders who do not use stop-loss orders. So how is this possible?
There are several ways to make no stop-loss Forex strategy viable. Firstly, before moving on specific techniques it must be mentioned that traders need to conduct a thorough fundamental and technical analysis of currency pairs, using several indicators. This might help to improve the percentage of winning trades in the long term. Also, traders have to monitor market developments regularly in case they need to respond to the latest price movements and close their positions.
As for the exact methods, one approach would be to use hedging strategies. For example, traders can choose currency pairs that have a high correlation and open an equal amount of positions on opposite sides of the trade.
Traders can also make use of options, with this, a market participant can limit potential losses on one or all of his or her positions.
Finally, if traders have enough capital at their disposal, they could limit the downside by using only 1:1 or 2:1 leverage. This can give them the ability to absorb their losses without risking their entire trading account balance. For example, a 2% loss may wipe out an entire position if a trader is using 1:50 leverage, but if he or she uses no leverage, then this might be a very small loss.

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Forex No Stop-Loss Strategy

There can be several benefits to using Stop-loss orders:
  • Traders are using stop-loss strategies for Forex to limit their losses and consequently protect their trading account, in case the market moves against their positions.
  • Such a method is also helpful in the sense that it takes the emotions of an individual out of equations.
  • Also, stop-loss orders can protect traders from potential losses if they can not access their trading accounts due to losing connection to the internet, personal problems, or for any other reason.

Therefore, stop losses can play an important role in your trading strategy.
On the other hand, a trader might have several reasons for not using Stop-Loss orders. Firstly, when it comes to traditionally more volatile pairs, it might happen that those fluctuations can trigger the stop-loss order prematurely, inflicting some losses on the trader’s account, only to reverse to its initial level. So essentially, the stop-loss order kicks in and closes the trade before it has a chance to become profitable and let traders earn their payout.
To illustrate an example of such a scenario, let us take a look at this hourly USD/JPY chart:
Trading Forex without stop-loss strategy

Let us suppose that an individual has gone through some technical and fundamental analysis and decided to open a long USD/JPY position at 107.50 level, on April 2nd, 2020, where our chart begins. As we can see, after some hours the pair fell to 107.20. So if a trader placed a stop-loss order for example at 107.20 or higher level, then it would have triggered, positions would be closed.
The exact amount of losses would depend on the level of leverage an individual was using. For example, with 1:50 leverage it would amount to 15% of the sum invested in this particular trade. On the other hand, if a trader used no leverage, the losses would be the equivalent of 0.3% of invested funds.
In any case, what followed was surely disappointing to those traders whose long USD/JPY positions have been closed. After going through a short live bottom, the pair appreciated steadily and in 4 days have reached 109.20 mark. So in such a short space of time, the US dollar has risen by 1.6% against the Japanese Yen. Consequently, those traders who opened a long position 4 days before and patiently waited for USD appreciation, could have earned some nice payouts.

As we can see from the chart above, traders have faced such scenarios several times. Even after reversal and USD/JPY downtrend began, there were at least 6 false bounces, before the pair settled for 107 to 108 range.

Besides those potential problems mentioned above, there are several other reasons why traders might prefer trading Forex without a stop-loss strategy.

For example, there are several market participants who are using hedging strategies and therefore see no need to use stop-loss orders. Alternatively, some traders use no or very small leverage, therefore, using stop-loss orders might not make much sense to them.

Another potential problem with using stop-loss orders is simply a psychological one. By using those orders, some traders might have a sense of false security because their losses are limited, consequently, they might be more lax in their analysis of currency pairs and bit more careless in their decision making.

Finally, it might be helpful to point out that placing a stop-loss order does not always guarantee that the trade will be close to that specified price. If there is very high volatility in the market, or liquidity has dried up, then the broker might have to execute the trade at some distance away from the order and as a consequence the trader might face higher losses then he or she expected.

Forex No Stop-Loss Guides and Strategies

After discussing the possible arguments about whether or not to use a stop-loss strategy, the next obvious question is how is it possible to trade Forex without using those types of orders?
Before moving on to specific methods, there are two important essential components of any viable no stop-loss strategy for Forex. Firstly, a trader must regularly monitor the latest developments on the Foreign Exchange market, otherwise, he or she might miss some important price movements, which can easily lead to severe losses and ignored opportunities.
Obviously this does not imply that an individual has to be in front of a trading platform for 24 hours a day, however, it might be very helpful if a trader makes a commitment to devout some specified hours to Forex trading on a daily basis.
The second important component to mention here is the importance of conducting a proper and thorough fundamental and technical analysis of several currency pairs. This does not necessarily require studying dozens of currencies at once. In fact for many beginners, it might be easier to get comfortable with trading 3 to 5 currencies, before moving on to others. However, the important point here is to use several indicators, instead of relying only on 1 or 2 measures.
Those measures can potentially increase the percentage of winning trades and consequently help traders to earn larger payouts.
One popular method to limit the potential downside without using a stop-loss order is utilizing hedging strategies. As it is well known, some currency pairs are highly correlated with each other, meaning that they mostly move in the same direction.
In order to illustrate this phenomenon, let us take a look at those two images below. The first one is a daily EUR/USD chart:
Forex no stop-loss strategy

We have also the daily EUR/JPY chart:
Forex no stop-loss strategies

As we can see from the above, EUR/USD and USD/JPY can be quite closely correlated. Obviously here we are not dealing with a perfect 100% correlation, however, they are mostly moving in the same directions.
During November and early December of 2019, both of those pairs were consolidating. Then we can see that from the new year days until the late September EUR/USD and EUR/JPY were engaged in a downtrend.
In the third stage, both of those currency pairs recovered and rallied from the middle of Autumn 2019 until the end of that year.
Finally, from January until the present day, EUR/USD and EUR/JPY are once more taking part in the downward trend. The Euro fell against the Dollar from the January high of 1.12 to 1.08 by the end of April. The exchange rate of the single currency also declined in relation to the Japanese Yen, from 122 level to near 116 mark during the same period.
As we can see from this example, although the exact scale of variation of those two pairs might be slightly different, they are still engaged in similar trends and can be considered as highly correlated with each other.
So essentially, a trader can open a long EUR/USD and short EUR/JPY position at the same time. After observing the market movements for some time an individual can close losing trades and earn a higher return from the winning trade in order to offset losses and earn some payouts on top of that.
Some traders might prefer using options. They do have to pay a premium fee for this kind of insurance, however, for some people, this brings peace of mind, and therefore for them, it’s worthwhile.
So how does this work? Well, basically a currency option represents a contract, which gives its buyer a right to buy or sell a specific currency at the predetermined exchange rate. The data or duration at which the option can be exercised is also written in the agreement. It might be also useful to mention here, that the buyer is not obligated to use the right which was given to him or her by this option, however, he or she must pay a premium to the seller.
Therefore, after opening a position a trader can also purchase an option for that specific currency pair as an insurance policy against potential losses.
Finally, there are some market participants who prefer trading without any leverage. For them, the market volatility may not present such risks as those with higher leverage levels. Consequently, they can afford to be more patient with the market, and if they deem it worthwhile, to wait for reversals as well.

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Forex No Stop-Loss Strategies - Key Takeaways

  • Traders are using the Forex stop loss strategy to cut their potential losses in case the market turns against them, protect their deposit if for whatever reason they can not access their trading account and also to eliminate the emotional factors from their decision making process.
 Trade Forex without stop losses
  • Trading without stop loss orders is quite viable, however, traders still need to put some methods in place to guard against large potential losses. This can include employing hedging strategies, options, or using very low or no leverage.
  • It might be helpful to keep in mind that placing a stop-loss order does not guarantee that the position will be close at exactly that price, which is mentioned in the order. In case of high volatility or low liquidity, the actual price might be several pips away from the intended target and consequently, a trader might face higher losses than originally anticipated.

FAQ: Trade Forex Without Stop-Loss Strategy

Is take profit orders as popular among traders as stop-loss orders?

A profit order specifies the price at which the trade will be automatically closed for a profit. There are many professional full-time traders who place both stop-loss and take profit orders when they open their positions.

However, it might be helpful to mention, that not all market participants are accustomed to using both of those orders simultaneously. Many traders might prefer to only limit their downside with stop-loss order and close winning trades manually. The reasoning behind this is that in some cases acurrency pairs might be engaged in some trend and therefore there is no point in cutting potential winnings prematurely. 

Take profit orders are still common in the marketplace, but because of the reasons mentioned above, they might not be as popular as stop-loss orders.

Why do many traders using scalping strategies avoid using stop-loss orders?

The scalping strategy usually involves very short term trades, typically with 1 to 15-minute timeframes. During all this time a trader is in front of the trading platform, always in control of the situation, therefore there is no need to insure against potential losses during his or her absence.

Another reason for this is time management considerations. A number of seconds, which is needed to prepare a stop-loss order might make very little difference for swing or long term traders, however, for scalpers, this is an important time frame, they do not want to lose on filling out orders. 

It is because of those considerations, that the majority of scalpers might prefer to trade without stop-loss orders.

How useful is trading without a stop-loss strategy for the long term traders?

One of the most important factors when deciding whether to use stop loss orders or go with Forex no stop loss strategies on long term trade is the amount of leverage. This type of trading style can involve keeping positions open for weeks or even months. A Trader can regularly devote several hours to trading, however, he or she can not always be in front of the screen.

In case if an individual uses 1:50 leverage for example, then trading without a stop-loss order can easily lead to massive losses, since it only takes a 2% change against the position, for it to be closed down. 

On the other hand, if a trader does not use leverage, or only uses 2:1 leverage, then he or she does not have to worry so much about daily fluctuations and can afford to be more patient with the market.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make, who trade Forex without stop-losses?

One of the traders in this situation is to trade on emotions, not closing trades even after it becomes obvious that it is a losing position and the market is not changing its direction.

Another common error some traders make is trade with high leverage without a stop-loss order in place. In fact, theoretically speaking, market participants can succeed in trading if they use one of those things in isolation, but doing those two things together is a very dangerous combination and potentially can lead to massive losses. With such blunders, traders can easily lose their entire deposit in a matter of hours.

Can trading forex without stop-loss strategy be justified during the major announcements?

There are several professional traders who do not advise us to trade major economic announcements without having a stop-loss order in place. However, this view is not universal to the entire community. Perhaps, traders with low or no leverage might be more justified in taking that risk.

It might be also helpful to point out that major economic releases are usually accompanied by very high volatility. As mentioned before, in this type of environment it is not guaranteed that a broker will be able to close position on the price specified in the stop-loss order, so as a result traders might face higher losses.

Because of those reasons, some experienced professionals do not keep trades open during the major announcements. They prefer to observe the market reaction for some time, before deciding to open new positions.
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