How to deal with trading loss

One of the fundamental principals of trading stocks, or anything for that matter, is; you never play with money you cannot afford to lose. You should not be trading money needed daily expenses. The reason for this is, no matter how sound a system or piece of advice may sound, trades often go against you. Trading money you can afford to lose means that you have money to live, some money saved for a rainy day, and some for trading.


Now, by trading money you can afford to, or are willing to lose means just that. Even a successful trader’s account may experience dips or losses at many points. In fact, being willing to lose, or admit loss is essential to trading.

What does this mean? Willing to lose in order to win? Think of it this way.SBI has been going up every day so you think let me also enter the stock and make money like my friends are making.

You’ve bought 500 SBI  stock that’s worth 100,000 You’ve decided that this should and will go straight up, all the way to the moon. You’re so sure of this. In a few days the stock worth falls to 95000 . It hasn’t moved the way you expected, but you don’t sell it because you want to at least get your money back. You don’t want to live with 5000 loss, because you don’t take losses. You’re a winner damn it! You check the trade a few days later and it has now slipped to 87000. If you get out now you will have lost 13000. Your friend says, “Hey, better ride it out.” So you ride that 87000 trade down to 60000. It should bounce back any minute now, right? 3 days later, we’re at 65000. The downward journey continues 63 K , 60 K , 55 K  and 40K . You’ve had enough! You’re out at 38000.

I don’t think this scenario is reaching too far, or reflecting on events that could never happen. The point of this story is to point out how avoiding losses actually leads to more loss. Now let’s look at this scenario another way.

You’ve bought  500 SBI stock worth  100000. You’ve decided that you’re only willing to lose 1000  on this trade BEFORE you made the purchase. Meaning, you still expect the stock to go to the moon, but if it doesn’t, you want to get out so that you have 99000 as your trading capital (and not 38000) to make the next trade. You buy the stock for  and It starts to fall. It hit’s your stop loss , and you’re out. You’ve lost! You’ve accepted it. You’ve moved on, with 99000 in your pocket.

Risk cannot be controlled without admitting and accepting losses. This is the only way to stay in the game to make other trades, giving you the opportunity to get some winners in the future. This of course is a simplified scenario, but the principal can be applied to many situations.

Do you have an exit strategy? How do you know when it’s time to get out of a trade? Share your thoughts with us.


  1. Preet said:

    Always Remember Dont act smart with market as markets are always smarter than us.Before trading always check historical data for last 5 years then test it in real markets by doing paper trades and develop a strategy with proper risk management.When done the hard work act smarter by booking timely profits. Dont try to become astrolger to forecast the next big move as we are in the business of trading the chart patterns consistently to get the winning trades.

    June 23, 2015
  2. Richard said:

    Well said

    June 23, 2015
  3. Bramesh said:


    June 22, 2015
  4. Bramesh said:

    this is not right way of trading

    June 22, 2015
  5. krish said:

    Bramesh sir, what I follow if I have to buy for 1 rs I will buy for 10 paisa and around every downside I will add more 10 paisa. But if it will go up I will exit. Is this a good approach.

    June 22, 2015
  6. Kunal gosar said:

    Well said sir

    June 22, 2015
  7. lincon said:

    Hello Bramesh sir , i do trades only long mostly on oversold stocks , (criteria is SLow stoc below 30 , Bollinger band bottom , green candle ) keeping the low of green canlde or previous red candle low as stoploss . looks good but in my practical unable to exit at pointed SL , reasons (1) that just a small dip will go up again becuase support here , (2) sometimes already seen comes below SL and shoot up , (3) need patience (4)if 2 trades goes right 3 rd trade automatically it comes ,think im right and ends in the last 2 trades profits eroded and resulted in loss , tried maytimes but again and again doing same mistake , PLEASE tell me a way to overcome this , thnak you.

    June 22, 2015

    June 22, 2015
  9. Preet said:

    My take on exit strategy (For short term trading)
    When we iam trading I always have 5 things in my mind
    1.At what level to buy
    2.What is tgt.
    3.What is my Stop loss
    4.Any major event nearby which can tell me to get out early
    5.Total number of days in which my tgt should get achieved.
    I can get out if there is event throwaway or my tgt not achieved in stipulated number of days.

    June 22, 2015

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