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I'm wondering if it's possible to set a Trailing trigger price that is different from the sell limit order price.

Say I have a stock worth $100. I want to sell the stock at around -10% trailing ($90 in this case), so in normal circumstances I'd set a trailing stop limit at 10%. However, to reduce the chances of the stock not being able to reach the limit price when trying to sell, I want to trigger the limit order when the stock is down 7% ($93) so it has more time to execute the limit order.

I think regular stop-limit orders do this - they let you specify a trigger price which triggers a different limit order price. I essentially want to do the same thing here except I want to specify a trailing percent for the trigger price instead of a fixed $. Any idea if this is possible?

Thanks!

  • Note that usually, trailing stop triggers are not limit prices. Once the trigger is hit, the order converts to an at-market order, and will be immediately fully executed. What you'd need is some kind of trailing stop-limit order, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of a trailing stop protection, because the limit order may execute only partially. – LordOfThePigs Mar 16 '18 at 12:52
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It will depend largely on your broker what type of stop and trailing stop orders they provide. Saying that, I have not come across any brokers yet that offer limit orders with trailing stop orders.

Unlike a standard stop order where you can either make it a market stop order or a limit stop order, usually most brokers have trailing stop orders as market orders only, where you can either set the trailing stop to be a dollar value or percentage from the most recent high.

Remember also, that trailing stop orders will be based on the intra-day highs and not the highest closing price. That means that if the share price spikes up during the day your trailing stop will move up, and if the price then spikes down you may be stopped out prematurely, after which the price might rally again.

For this reason I try to base my trailing stops on the highest closing price by using standard stop loss orders and moving it up manually after the close of trade if the share price has closed at a new high. This takes a few minutes each evening (depending on how many stocks you have to check and adjust the stops for) but gives you more control. Using this method will also enable you to set limit orders attached to your stop loss triggers, and you won't have to keep your trailing too close to the last high price thus potentially causing you to get stopped out prematurely.

Slightly off track but may be handy if you set profit targets, my broker has recently introduced Trailing Take Profit Orders. The way it works is, say you have a profit target of 50%, so you buy at $2 and want to take profits if the price reaches $3, you could set your Trailing Take Profit Trigger at say $3.10 or above and set a Trail by Amount of say $0.10. So if the price after hitting $3.10 falls to $3.00 you will be stopped out and collect your profits. If the price moves up to $3.30 and then falls to $3.20, you will be stopped out at $3.20 and make some extra profits. If the price continues going up the Trailing Take Profit will continue to move up always $0.10 below the highest price reached.

I think this would be a very useful order if you were range trading where you could set the Trailing Take Profit trigger near recent resistance so you can get out if prices start reversing at or around the resistance, but continue profiting if the price breaks through the resistance.

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