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Basically just trying to get an idea for how safe/dangerous that would be

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    The potential is all the way to zero. If you have stop at say 20.00 and the stock opens at 10.00 your order will execute and you will loose 50%. This is a most basic answer so posting as comment – Eric Aug 17 '16 at 4:20
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    I echo @Eric's comment above. But having a limit order (or similar) is better than not having one and missing a drop in the stock price. – Marcus D Aug 17 '16 at 10:21
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It depends on how you place your stop order and the type of stop orders available from your broker.

If you place a stop market order and the following day the stock opens below your stop your stock will be stopped out at or around the opening price, meaning you can potentially end up with quite a large gap.

If you place a stop limit order, say you place your stop at $10.00 with a limit price of $9.90, and if the price opens below $9.90, say at $9.50, your limit sell order of $9.90 will be placed onto the market but it will not be executed until the price goes back up to $9.90 or above.

The third option is to place a Guaranteed Stop Loss, and as specified you are guaranteed your stop price even if the price gaps down below your stop price. You will be paying an extra fee for the Guaranteed Stop Loss Order, and they are usually mainly available with CFD Brokers (so if you are in the USA you might be out of luck).

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