If i understand this correct a trailing stop loss line can be put between the current market price and what you bought it for and your taking an L on the trade ...etc...

but why is the opposite practically non existent on brokers eg : you buy long and your making money £50+ in profit ...but you are unsure whether its gonna go up more or not so instead of closing then and there you say ok ...im fine with making £30 profit so you place a trailing take profit ...and then the market price falls below that line and you close with £30 profit...instead of having to constantly look at your portfolio to check if your still making a profit.

ps you can only put take profit at above what the current market price is at any given time.

1 Answer 1


I think you misunderstand stop orders, if I understand your question right.

Stop Loss order is "I bought for $20, if it goes below $18 sell". That's a "avoid losing too much money" order. It can be set at a point below, or above, the original sale point; if the stock is now $30 you could set it at $27, no problem.

Trailing Stop order is "The current market price is $30, if it loses more than 10%, sell, and adjust this order up if the stock moves up." It locks in profits on a stock, basically. It adjusts with that current market price; it's used to do what you say in the question, attempts to lock in profits on a profitable long position that is relatively constantly growing.

Both can do what you're describing to some extent; the difference is in whether it automatically adjusts up or not. Don't be confused by the word "loss" here; it's a loss relative to the current moment, not a loss relative to your original purchase price.

If that's not what you're asking for, then please clarify the question. This Investopedia page explains limit sell orders.

  • You known sometimes i over think stuff and don't realise the answer is right under my nose. Jul 22, 2020 at 19:00
  • i just lost around €100 euros and alot of sleep because of this. Jul 22, 2020 at 19:02
  • 1
    A stop order only "locks in profits on a stock" if there is an orderly retracement in price. If the stock gaps down, the fill could be anywhere. Only a put option locks in a hard stop, assuming the stock has options. Jul 22, 2020 at 19:05
  • @BobBaerker Right, it doesn't truly "lock it in", I'm being loose with the words here. Added "Attempts to" to make that clear.
    – Joe
    Jul 22, 2020 at 19:06

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