Trailing stop losses are a valuable tool when short term trading using technical analysis. Once a breakeven stop is reached, the trailing stop helps lock in profits as the trade progresses. The trailing stop removes angst and decision making during the trade as it provides a definitive answer as to when to close a position. They can be part of a computerised trading system to trigger exits or as part of a discretionary trader’s arsenal.
As with profit targets, the exit criteria is known and planned for before the trade is initiated. The exact level at which the trailing stop triggers is not known, but the conditions which are to trigger an exit certainly are. Such stops can be left in the market so they are triggered on an intraday basis for the end of day trader, negating the need to constantly watch the market, and allow the user to let profits run and cut losses short.