A stop in trading is one of the most important things you will ever use, not only does it protect your account if a trade goes against you it also defines the risk you are willing to take on a given trade.
Many traders will not give the placement of a stop any thought at all, they see it merely as a last resort, "if all else fails my stop will be hit" attitude. Stop hunting is what you will fall victim to time and time again if you do not think about where you are placing your stops. Try not to place them too tight, think outside the box and place them where you are sure if price goes the trade will no longer be valid at all. False breakouts are one of the most common trades that take out stops, in this case I always try to trade the retrace of the breakout as appose to the first breakout which reduces you stop dramatically and you can be sure that if price falls back inside the support/resistance line that was broken the trade is no longer valid.
To give you an idea of the stop size I use, I trade 3 main systems which use's 5 minute, 4hour and daily charts stops on the 5 min charts are for scalping so they are very small at 5 pips + spread. Stops on the 4 hour charts are generally around 50 pips and on the daily charts stops are around 100 pips. My stops give me room to make a mistake which is very important in the forex market, if I misjudge my entry by 20 pips I am fine because my stop is still way back behind the closest support/resistance.
It is always a good idea to try to keep your stops a good distance away from price and give the trade breathing room this ensures that the swings will not take you out, there is nothing more irritating than being taken out of a position only to have it move hundreds of pips into your favour afterwards.
If you are ever unsure where you stop should be use this little trick that has helped me in the past, choose a place you would normally put your stop. Now move it further back to the next best support/resistance, you see the first place you choose is most likely where 90% of traders have placed there stops, large institutions will be targeting these areas to trigger positions in the market. Stops are not just a last resort for your trade, they are the trade. You should be thinking about the placement of your stop as much as where you take profit.
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