Trading the Pin and Managing Risk

Trading the Pin and Managing Risk

This section discusses what to do once the trade has been entered and how to manage the risk during the trade.

 So, you’re in the trade - congratulations! Unfortunately entering the trade is simpler than exiting it correctly. Very often several traders in a forum will enter a trade based on pin bars yet one trader will make twice as much profit as another trader because of the differences in the way they exited the trade. The recommendations in this section are based on the following four premises:

  1. Very few good pin bars (swing high/low or bouncing off confluence) will move directly to hit the initial conservative stops that trader has placed, without first giving the trader the chance to take some profits (this may happen roughly 10% of the time or less), 
  2. Traders should take the profits as they are offered by the market,
  3. Traders should NOT let a winner turn into a looser (this point has been reiterated by several experienced traders at the forums). Hell, you’ve earned this profit; do not let the market take it back, and, 
  4. There are PLENTY of opportunities to trade pin bars, be patient and take only the best pin bar setups! 
In essence is it important to close out part of the position early and learn to shift the stop loss to the break even point quite quickly. The first thing that a trader should try to do when playing a pin bar is close out the trade incrementally. This means that the trader closes part of their position early, at small profit. The benefits of doing this stem from the fact that it banks some profit (consistent winners are those that bank profit); the corollary of this is it reduces the number of lots that can then hit the stop loss (so it has reduced the remaining risk for the trade).

The trader can achieve this objective by splitting the total position into several distinct trades or lots. (Remember that no matter how it is split the total value at risk should not exceed your threshold.) The preferences of how the trade is split up and where the targeted profits are depend on the individual trader. It is best to take some profit initially at 20-30 pips profit (depending on the expected range of prices on the currency pair you’re trading and the time-frame you’re trading), then take more profit a little further on.

It is always uncertain how far a trade will run. Trades resulting from pin bars might run from one bar before the prices turns back, or they may run for many bars. Lock some profit in and leave a portion (1/2, 1/3 or 1/4) of your trade to run until completion. When you lock in your profit by closing out a portion of your trade early you have banked profit (realised profit as opposed to unrealised profit through having the position un-closed) and your total open position size has decreased, meaning that if there is a sharp reversal to your initial stops then the loss has been reduced by a reduced position size and already having banked some profit.
(If you do not understand this concept then please take a pen and paper and fiddle with some numbers and prove it to yourself.) After a trader has initially banked some of their profit they will want to consider shifting the position of the stop loss. Exactly how this is performed is up to the trader and will depend upon their own trading style. It is an important part of playing the pins, however, as successful traders do not want their winning trades to turn into losers!

“So when I get up [into a reasonably profitable position] on a trade the "golden rule" comes into play: never ever let a winner become a loser, for any reason, no matter the scenario …”


Once a trader has taken some profit and shifted the stop loss to the break even point they are in a “free trade”. All pressure is now off the trader, no matter what happens they have banked some profit on this trade and made some money. The trade can now run for large profits without the trader worrying about making a loss on the trade.

“Trading is about "free trades". Those of you who don't understand this concept need to stop trading until you do. It doesn't matter what method you use.”


Because we cannot know what will happen to the price in the future it is necessary that some profit be taken early. Selecting the BEST pin bars and exercising patience will mean that a trader can cherry-pick the pin bars with the highest chance of success. Around 70% of these will be quite profitable. If 10% just reverse to hit the initial stops, then these losses are more than made up for by the profits taken early on many other trades. Around 20% of good pin bar trades will good winners where the price runs and the final portion of the trade will be chasing big pips and bigger profits.

Can a trader prevent losses that may occur while you trade the pins? No. This is why it is wise to use the initial stops at the start of the trade. This means that the trader has defined the circumstances under which they know their trade setup has failed and they do not want to lose more money. Doing this indicates that the trader has accepted that there is some risk of the trade failing. These losses are the cost of doing business in the forex market – traders need to accept them.

By : Lincoln (a.k.a. lwoo034 at forums)  

Next....Finding the pin bars

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