Does it Hold True Let your Winners run and Cut your losses

Today we will start discussion on widespread misconception that are floating around the trading community and gets lodged into traders minds. I have been talking to many traders every week, during our talks these misconception will finally come up. A lot of these are inaccurate and ineffective ideas,which lead traders into a cycle of bad trading habit and causes them to lose hard earned money in the markets to professional traders.

Lets discuses the one of  most erroneous trading belief many trader posses and hopefully after reading the lesson will be able to think differently.

1. Let your Winners run and Cut your losses.

We hear, read old adage “Ride on Winners and cut down your losses” . The same can be found on any trading book/website you come across. But this is very subjective term and need further analysis on What this means and How a trader can implement the same.

Majority  traders will exit in small profits and run on their losers, If you do not agree share your experience in comment section below.

Very few try to let their winner run as much as possible but the end results is that they actually make less money over the time. What could be the reason?

Answer lies in our trading mindset and trading psychology. Let me elaborate on it ?

When a trader get into the mindset of setting up huge profit target for every trade he takes, trader will end up in never taking profit forget about taking small profit. Well it might sound absurd but its true psychologically its harder to close a trade when its moving in your favor than when it comes crashing down against you.Majority of traders are trading emotionally and with very bad money management and no trading plan, contingency plan end up waiting to take profits until trades moves against them and back to entry level.

Remember last time you took trade in Nifty at 7000 hoping of selling it at 7300 only and when trade went to 7100 you felt elated but your mindset was 7300 only and ultimately gave up all your profits and ended up in loss. Typically majority of trades are unable to cash on profits when they are up with lot of money,2016 crash in Jan and Feb most of traders were up 100-200% still they did not took profits as the feeling of warn and fussiness will wipe off.Only when market starts retracing they will end of exit at small profit or losses in most of cases losses. Many Traders who were short from 7200 for a target of 6600 are running for cover now.

Why a profitable trade end up being a loss as described above, reasons can be:

  • Very High expectation
  • Psychologically when a trade is in profit a trader is on top of the world and their is a feeling of elation, You are on Top of the world and its very difficult for most of people to make conscious decision to take their profit and cut off the feeling of elation.

This is why I am a big fan of simply taking a 1:2 or 1:3 risk reward profit on most of my trades; it often allows me to exit when the market is in my favor rather than when it’s crashing back against me. I always have a plan of action on how I will manage my exit before I enter the trade.

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18 thoughts on “Does it Hold True Let your Winners run and Cut your losses”

  1. What should be the ideal SL for Nifty and Banknifty options – At the money or ITM . I am asking for intraday purposes leaving the positional strategies, can somebody suggest an ideal SL for this

  2. Sir,one thing is 100% sure its harder to close a trade when its moving in your favor than when it comes crashing down against you…and finally close in losssssssss……
    But sir now I improve only reading ur blog really thank u very much sirji

  3. Sir all this develops with trading maturity and experience..A trader has to be very ruthless in following his system trading rules with no room for emotions or subjective judgments..This i have learnt from my past mistakes

  4. Its like, you SELL 1 lot of NIFTY MAR FUTURES and SELL 2 lots of NIFTY APRIL FUTURES WHEN YOU EXPECT NIFTY TO FALL. IF NIFTY FALLS AS YOU ANTICIPATED, FOR EVERY 2 Rupees, there is 1 Rupee loss. In effect, you made a profit of Rupee 1..

  5. ” Very few try to let their winner run as much as possible but the end results is that they actually make less money over the time. ” —> sahi pakade (as Angoori bhabhi says in Bhabhiji gharpe hai serial )

    December 7900 nifty put i had at bought at 150 it went uptill something like 275 but never booked it bcas i had 350 ka target and guess what nifty rallied 300 point from there ended up making loss of 120 i.e exited at 30

  6. Dear bramesh,
    pls clarify do you use the same stratezy during day trading 1:3 and not let your profits run

  7. Trader must be booking part profit at every key resistance/support level. Strategy of having 1: or 1:3 winning ratio is also good but trader’s mentality does not allow him to leave something on the table. For this money management is key. One can also allocate number of lots for different timeframes -15-min, 30-min, hourly, daily and weekly. This allows trader to have short term trade as well as swing trade. In short once you achieve your target of desired timeframe get out out the position.

  8. Dear bramesh, do you suggest to book profits at 1:3 for daytrade as well and not letting profits run until higher low is broken

  9. Sir, I am a swing trader in nifty. Noramly i maintain sl of .75% and i book 50% quantity @ 1.5% profit. I carry rest with tsl. Bt sometimes my tsl become very far from curent price like 200-300 points. In that situation whenever i book i see market moved with trend. And if i dont book my tsl hits so i miss 200-300 extra points per lot. What suld i do??

  10. I today experience same in tata motor short. I was in 3 rs profit but ended with 0 as not moved trailing sl.

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