Actively trading markets like forex can create unique opportunities while also posing enhanced risks. Learn how to use stop-loss orders to help manage those risks.
It’s impossible to monitor positions for every minute that you have a trade open but stop-loss orders can help to mitigate risk the next time you leave for vacation, lunch, or even just the bathroom. Learn what stop-loss orders are, how they work, and how to use them.
What is a stop-loss order?
Stop-loss orders aim to limit risk by exiting positions at predetermined distances from your entry price – often measured in tick increments like pips or notional amounts of losses. Traders can attach stop-loss orders to long or short positions at order entry with the goal of closing the position if a certain level is breached.
Stop-loss orders trigger a closing market order – sell at the best available price for long positions or buy at the best available price for short positions – when the market has moved a set distance against you.
Stop-loss order example
For example, entering a limit order to buy EUR/USD at 1.1025 with a stop-loss order attached 100 pips away would attempt to close the position if the market broke below 1.0925 with a market order triggered at that level. If the closing market order were executed exactly 100 pips away, which is not guaranteed by stop orders, then a 1 lot position would be closed for a $1,000 loss with no further risk of the market falling below 1.0925.
Stop-loss risk/reward example
It should be noted, however, that stop-loss orders do not guarantee execution at the predetermined level as they simply trigger a market order to close the position that does not account for slippage.
How to use a stop-loss order
Stop-loss orders can be entered at the same time as order entry often in the form of a percentage, notional amount, or tick increment difference from where the position is entered. For example, a $100 stop-loss order can be attached to a new long or short position that will attempt to close the position if its profit/loss falls to -$100.
The individual trader should consider what risk amount fits their account and appetite before entering into a position and choose a stop-loss order distance that makes sense for them. This can help to take surprise and emotion out of day-to-day trade making more time for analysis and new opportunity.
Can this new position withstand:
* a - $500 loss?
* a -3% loss?
* a -200 pip loss?
Stop-loss order benefits
Risk management tools like stop-loss orders seek to measure and reduce large potential losses before they occur. Stop-loss orders attempt to close positions at predetermined levels without a trader having to monitor the market and manually enter the closing order, which can help to reduce potential human errors while creating a more mechanical, strategic process.
Benefits of stop-loss orders:
Reduced emotions like stubbornness that can lead to large losses the trader did not intend from the position’s start
More time spent on new trading, or non-trading, opportunities and strategies
Set mechanics and strategy based on consistent, predetermined profit and loss amounts from trade to trade
What is a trailing stop order?
Trailing stop-loss orders incorporate a dynamic aspect to the normal stop-loss order whereby the distance set at order entry moves with the position as it becomes more profitable. Trailing stop orders on long positions, for instance, bring the stop-loss order attached to the position higher if the market moves higher and thus in the trader’s direction.
Trailing stop order example
For example, entering a market order to buy EUR/USD at 1.1020 with a stop-loss order attached 100 pips away and a trailing step of 10 pips would attempt to close the position if the market broke below 1.0920 if the market moved lower immediately; however, the stop-loss level would rise by 10 pips every 10 pips that the position gained in profits. If the market moved to 1.1030, then the stop-loss level would effectively move to 1.0930, and so on.
How to trade forex with stop-loss orders
- Choose the forex market you’d like to trade
- Open an account to get started, or practice on a demo account
- Choose your forex trading platform
- Open positions with stop-loss orders
Trading forex markets using stop-loss orders requires an account with a forex provider like IG and a strategy. Most strategies applicable to trading in other markets can be used to trade forex as well, including technical and fundamental analysis. You can also develop your forex trading strategies using resources like IG’s Trading Academy.
Once your strategy is developed, you can follow the above steps to opening an account and getting started trading forex.
Your profit or loss is calculated according to your full position size. Leverage will magnify both your profits and losses. It’s important to manage your risks carefully as losses can exceed your deposit. Ensure you understand the risks and benefits associated with trading leveraged products before you start trading with them. Trade using money you’re comfortable losing.
Relief emerging from UBS’ acquisition of Credit Suisse has crumbled as investor attention turns to global bond market risks. Meanwhile, the case for a Fed interest rate pause has gained steam while Bitcoin nears a 9-month high.
Renko charts can give you a different, visually cleaner trading experience. Learn what Renko charts are, how to use them and what popular forex trading strategies include them.
What is a Renko chart?
A Renko chart is a type of trading chart that gives you market data in a way that’s different than the more traditional charts like the candlestick, HLOC or Heikin Ashi. Instead, a Renko chart is comprised of boxes, or bricks, which show only significant pricing trends.
Renko charts work by grouping smaller price movements into consolidated blocks. You’ll determine the price size you want counted as a single box or brick, and your Renko chart will only show you an uptrend or downtrend that’s continued for that unit of value. For example, if you set your Renko chart’s brick size to $5, your chart will only create a new one, going up or down, once that market has risen or fallen by $5.
This can be very different from the way most charts operate, displaying market movements as per different units of time (for example, a candlestick for every minute).
Learn more about trading indicators
Why use a Renko chart?
As you can see from the above image, the reason traders use Renko charts is that they can offer a more simplified view, which makes it easier to spot real trends.
This is because chart styles that include time come with the ‘noise’ of constant fluctuations, which can make market trends the forest that’s hard to see for the trees.
This can help traders see a strong uptrend or downtrend when they occur. It also makes Renko charts good for recognising support and resistance levels.
Learn more about technical analysis and fundamental analysis
However, Renko charts also come with their own downsides. For example, because Renko charts ignore the time dimension, they come with a lot less of the information that candlestick charts offer, like the market’s opening, closing, and high and low prices. This can also often make them unhelpful for short-term trading styles, such as scalping and day trading.
What is a Renko box size?
A Renko box size is the unit of measurement on the chart. While most of the best-known charts use candlesticks as markers, Renko charts use boxes or ‘bricks’ to indicate a trend.
Your Renko box size will be determined by you, depending on what parameters you want your chart to consider in a trend. For example, you might set your box size to 10 percentage points of that market. This means that every time the market goes up or down by 10%, a box will appear on your chart – and not before. It also means that Renko boxes will never appear side by side, but only at 45 degree angles above or below the previous box.
Let’s look at an example. Say you want to trade EUR/USD. You set your box size to 20 pips, which means that another box or brick will appear every time the EUR/USD moves up or down by 20 pips, regardless of how much time has passed.
It also means that these blocks will never appear in a straight line, but only ever at 45 degrees above or below the previous one. So, if EUR/USD moves down by 20 pips, your Renko chart will create a box 45 degrees lower than the previous one displayed.
What types of Renko chart boxes can be used?
Just as there are different applications for Renko charts in trading, there are different ways to use Renko chart bricks to display the type of information you want to see. This’ll depend on the market you’re trading and your strategy. Here are some of the types of blocks that can be used:
Price movement boxes tracking the underlying market set in pips, if trading forex
The market’s price movement set in percentage points – in other words, by what percentage of its own value the market has moved
Period close boxes, which track how much the market’s price has moved based on the closing price of whatever length of time you’ve set your box size to, eg daily
Average true range (ATR), which takes into account the range of that market over a certain time period, noting any gaps in the market’s movement – there can be many with Renko charts
Trading strategies for Renko charts
According to our senior analyst Shaun Murison, these charts lend themselves well to many popular trading strategies – especially forex trading strategies. "Renko charts as a form of price analysis lends itself to a number of common practices used in conventional price charting," he says.
While Renko charts can help to strategize around a given market's price action, risk of losing money is present in all forex trading strategies.
1) Brick size as strategy
One of the most widely used techniques is the trend trading strategy, to identify market momentum. Here, your main weapon in your Renko trading strategy arsenal is your brick size. The bigger the brick size that you set for your Renko chart, the more your underlying market has to move in price for a brick to form.
For example, if your brick size is five points, the market must move by at least five points to show up on your chart at all. And, if the market’s direction changes (for example, a downturn when the price had been trending upward), then the price would need to go down by at least 10 points to show the new direction of the market.
This means that your first and most basic Renko strategy would be to use a bigger brick size. Many traders, particularly those using Renko charts for forex trading, use a brick size of 10 to 20 points. This’ll eliminate smaller fluctuations in price while still giving you information on any significant upsides or downsides.
While Renko charts work well for identifying trends, one downside of them when used in isolation is that there’s no real way to calculate the robustness of a trend other than looking at how long it lasts – which can be too retroactive for some traders.
2) Range trading strategy
According to Murison, Renko charts can be particularly helpful with a range trading strategy. ’If a range is present, then then traders might use Renko charts to highlight breakout opportunities. So, Renko charts can be incorporated into range trading strategies,’ he says.
As your brick size determines the market movements that appear on your chart, you can use Renko charts with a range trading strategy. This is because, in range trading, the market moves between two ‘support and resistance’ price levels.
By setting your Renko chart brick size accordingly, as well as setting well thought-out stop losses and limit orders, you can identify upward or downward market trends, using the simplicity of Renko charts to your advantage.
While this can be an effective Renko charts trading strategy, remember that its effectiveness is based on how well you manage to identify appropriate support and resistance levels. If your brick size and determined range is not a good fit for your market, range trading probably won’t work as well.
3) Breakout strategy
‘Renko charts can also be incorporated into a breakout strategy,’ says Murison. ‘Breakout strategies with Renko charts are particularly interesting because block sizes use ATR in its measurement, and ATR is a volatility measurer, which is itself often used for breakout trading strategies,’ says Murison.
The breakout trading strategy is similar to range trading in that it also uses levels of support and resistance. However, the aim here is to use your Renko chart’s natural tendency to show market momentum to pinpoint the moment when the price will ‘break out’ of those levels. This strategy aims at opening your position early within a new trend and placing your stop-loss at the point at which the market breaks out.
Again, this strategy can be too hindsight-focused and retrospective for many traders, as it often requires a great deal of market knowledge and foresight to spot the breakout point before it occurs. Also, breakout strategies can be quite dependent on time, which is completely left out of true Renko trading charts.
Renko charts on MT4
With us, you can trade with Renko charts using MetaTrader 4 – the world’s most popular trading platform.
Many prefer MT4 for its simple user interface, which the clean look of Renko charts can streamline even further for a very ‘noiseless’ trading experience.
Just bear in mind that traders who use some indicators for technical analysis, such as Bollinger Bands for example, prefer to not use Renko charts. This is because most indicators rely on time as an important factor in their calculations – which Renko charts don’t take into account.
Renko charts on ProRealTime
With us, you can use Renko charts on the ProRealTime platform – a sophisticated charting software that gives you a completely customisable trading interface and automated dealing experience.
ProRealTime is fully integrated with our platform. However, if you use ProRealTime for algorithmic trading, remember that this can be problematic when using Renko charts. Again, this is because Renko bars don’t take timeframes into account.
If you’d like to use Renko charts on the ProRealTime platform, you can access it via our website. Just follow these steps:
1. Create a live account with us
2. Log into the platform
3. Launch ProRealTime
4. Start trading on ProRealTime
How to access Renko charts with us
You can use Renko charts on two of our platforms: MT4 and ProRealTime. If you’re already an MT4 user, you can access it and keep your existing charting setup when you download MT4 via our website. If you’d like to use Renko charts on the ProRealTime platform, you can access that via our website too.
If you’d like to trade with MT4 on our platform, follow these steps:
1. Create a live account or a demo MT4 account with us
2. Access the platform by logging in
3. Select ‘Add an account’
4. Decide whether you want to trade using spread bets or CFDs
5. Follow the on-screen prompts to create your MT4 profile
6. If you already have an MT4 account, log into your pre-existing MT4 platform with your IG details, ensuring you keep all your chart data and analysis for a seamless transition
If you’d like to trade using Renko charts with us on ProRealTime instead:
1. Create a live account with us
2. Log into the platform
3. Launch ProRealTime
4. Start trading on ProRealTime
What are Renko charts and how do you use them summed up
* Renko charts are a type of trading chart, very different to better-known chart formats such as the candlestick, Heikin Ashi and others
* Instead of using candlesticks to track price movements, Renko charts use bricks or ‘blocks’ of the same size, as set by you
* This means Renko charts completely remove the element of time, focusing only on market trends and momentum
* There are several popular trading strategies that lend themselves well to Renko charts, such as trend trading, range trading and the breakout strategy
* You can trade with Renko charts with us on our ProRealTime platform
We’re committed to giving you the best trading app experience, which is why our apps provide a user friendly and secure platform for you to access a huge range of different spot forex markets.
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* View prices before you log in
Trade spot forex
Our trading apps enable you to go long or short on currencies via derivatives.
With a wide range of markets at your fingertips, you can take advantage of leverage when you trade rolling spot forex.
While new traders tend to think about how much money they can make, those with experience know it’s much more important to focus on what they could potentially lose.
As a trader, you’ll inevitably have some positions that don’t go to plan. But if you prepare for these situations – and respond wisely – they shouldn’t hinder your long-term success.
In this course we’ll run through five simple rules that you can follow to help you manage the risks of trading and maintain your profitability.
Time: 22 mins
* Short, easy-to-digest lessons
* Practical, interactive exercises
* Engaging videos and graphics
* Interesting facts and tips
* Quiz to check your understanding