Statistics of setting break even vs letting run

Hi all,

I was wondering if the community can point me to any studies or articles where backtesting has shown the results of setting breakeven after a certain breathing period vs not moving stop loss and letting it run till completion, or simply getting stopped out.

From what little I’ve read so far, it is statically favourable to let it run without moving stop loss. But I’d like to read more studies or tests on this topic. Any help, personal insights/experience would be appreciated.


I know that all our education and previous experiences tell us to look for this sort of evidence, but this is trading. Finding these answers won’t find you the money.

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I think kthere are far too many variables in teh question to be able to even FIND an answer with any meaning :slight_smile:

[Edit - in my real life, I do NOT move SL’s to breakeven, though I experiment on Demo. I understand that @tommor does, but we do not trade the same way. ]

the study you talking about is mostly depend on momentum behind price , you cant expect this to happen much at ranging market , the higher the MOM the higher the win rate and you lesser need of certain breathing period likely so , you might find moving average helpful to finding when MOM slows down ,and atr indicator , i dont use it myself

I do move stops to b/e but only as I open a pyramid trade to double my position. I definitely stand against moving a stop to b/e on a single stand-alone trade and also closing a portion of any winning trade - a winning trade needs to be doubled, not halved, its losing trades that need to be halved.


This is almost “the big secret of successful trade management” (except that it’s not really very secret).

I do something similar to Tommor: when the price moves as I hope, I adjust the stop-loss to break-even or a bit better than break-even and add another unit to increase my profit without increasing my original risk. Very occasionally I’ll manage to do this three or four times and catch a big winner.

I want to have as much potential profit as I can from the trades that move well in the direction I’d hoped for, and get out of the ones that don’t as quickly and cheaply as possible.

If your winners are big and your losers small, you don’t mind having quite a lot of losers.

And you have to have a style of trading that allows for plenty of losers, because everyone has plenty of losers - they’re normal.

If you try to do the opposite, you end up fearing losers, chasing losses, and not making overall profits at all.


Having committed to pyramiding winners, I am now using the converse process on losers - so as soon as a trade is losing and reaches half-way to its stop, I’m going to close at least 50% up to 80% of the position. So winners should get progressively bigger and losers should get progressively smaller. All looking good for 2018!

What do you mean by letting them run? Its’ a very powerful question. When to get out is another. If you understand market structure you can manipulate this to your advantage. Also. you want to move stops as you make money.

I mean taking at winning trade at any point is still profit. If you are only taking trades that are doubling then you will lose more than you win from false breakouts and true breakouts.

if you look at this chart and then draw a fibo on it as well as apply a bollinger band you may see at what points the market slows and then consolidates I usually get out at the curve and have seen it happen a few times when I was able to see the next jump pretty close to top. Use a rsi and momentum indicator too.