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Importance of Setting Stop Losses


When it comes to trading and investing in stock market, one of the most important things is risk management. No matter how much you analyse the market trends, there is always a risk that the market will show high volatility. In such situations, using a stop loss can help you sail through. With stop loss, you can control the amount of money you lose on a stock. Stop loss helps to protect your assets.


What Is Stop Loss?

 Stop loss is an order placed with the stockbroker to buy or sell a stock once it reaches a certain price. It is designed to limit a trader’s loss if the price shifts opposite to his expectations. In simple words, the purpose of stop loss is to get you out of the stock position before the price falls further. It indicates maximum loss that a trader is willing to absorb.


It is not wrong to say that, setting stop loss prevents trades from becoming investments and in turn saves investments from becoming headaches.


How does Stop Loss Work?

 You can set the stop loss order at a certain amount yourself if you use an online trading platform. If you trade through a broker, you can ask your broker to set the stop loss order. There is no thumb rule which signifies the level at which you can place a stop loss. It completely depends on your trading strategy. If you are an active trader, you might place a stop loss at 5% below the current market price or the price at which you bought the shares. Similarly, if you are a long-term investor, you might place the stop loss at 15% or more. Now when the stock hits your set price, your shares will automatically be sold at the prevailing market price.

Example of Stop Loss

Let us say, you have bought 100 shares of L&T at Rs. 1700 per share.  You expect a target price of Rs. 2040 per share so as to earn a profit margin of 20%. Right after buying the shares, you also entered a stop loss at 10% below the buying price, which is at Rs. 1530 per share. Now if the market crashes and L&T moves down, you are still saved from incurring heavy losses. As the price will hit Rs. 1530, your shares will be immediately sold at the prevailing market price and you will incur a minimum loss which you had assumed. Stop loss puts a limitation on your downside.

Why is Stop Loss Important?

 The general tendency of any trader is to book the profit quickly. At the same time, traders hold on to the loss making stocks in the hope that they will bounce back in future.  The fear of loss compels them to hold the stocks even if the prices go down. During adverse market conditions, this behaviour can lead to huge losses as there is no cap on the amount you could lose. So it is strongly advisable to have a stop loss which will restrict your losses or limit the downside.


One of the best advantages of placing a stop loss is that you don’t have to monitor the performance of your stocks throughout the day. So next time when you are on a vacation, this can be a smart way to protect your investments.



Protecting your investments is a smart way to invest in stock market. If you are not willing to hold your investments for long, then it is a good idea to set stop loss. Stop loss is a great tool if used properly, yet many investors fail to use it. You should think of stop loss like an insurance policy; it costs you nothing but in situations when your call on the market goes wrong, it can protect you and save a fortune.

At Indira Securities, we conduct training programs for novice traders and investors. Our experts teach you proven and profitable trading strategies which can help you make better trading and investing decisions. We offer regular courses as well as provide on demand courses. You can also open a Demat account with us and enjoy our low brokerage cost along with quality services.

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  • 9 out of 10 individual traders in equity Futures and Options Segment, incurred net losses.
  • On an average, loss makers registered net trading loss close to ₹ 50,000.
  • Over and above the net trading losses incurred, loss makers expended an additional 28% of net trading losses as transaction costs.
  • Those making net trading profits, incurred between 15% to 50% of such profits as transaction cost
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