7 Expert Risk Management Techniques for Trading

BINANCE:BTCUSDT   Bitcoin / TetherUS
Risk management refers to the techniques used to identify, evaluate, and mitigate the potential risks associated with trading and investing. Whether you are a day trader, swing trader, or scalper, effective risk management can help you minimize losses and protect your hard-earned money all while maximizing potential profits.

Let's take a look at the top 7 risk management techniques for trading! 👌

Have a Trading Plan

⦿ Many traders jump into the market without a thorough understanding of how it works and what it takes to be successful. You should have a detailed trading plan in place before making any trades. A well-designed trading plan is an essential tool for effective risk management.

⦿ A trading plan acts as a roadmap, laying out a set of guidelines/rules that can help traders avoid impulsive decisions. It is crucial because it requires you to think deeply about your approach before you begin risking real money. Having a plan can help you stay calm under stress as your plan will have specific steps to take for anything the market throws at you.

⦿ It is essential to clearly define your trading goals and objectives. Are you aiming for short-term gains or long-term wealth generation? Are you focused on a specific asset class or trading strategy? Setting specific and measurable goals helps you stay focused and evaluate your progress.

⦿ Another important part is to describe the trading strategy you will employ to enter and exit trades. This includes the types of analysis you will employ (technical, fundamental, or a combination), indicators or patterns you will rely on, and any specific rules for trade execution. Determine your risk tolerance, set appropriate position sizing rules, and establish stop-loss levels to limit potential losses.

The Risk/reward ratio

⦿ When you are planning to open a trade, you should analyze beforehand how much money you are risking in that particular trade and what the expected positive outcome is. Here is a useful chart with some examples to understand this concept:

⦿ As you can see from the data above, a trader with a higher RR (risk-reward ratio) and a low win rate can still be profitable.

⦿ Let’s examine this a little more by looking at a profitable example with a 20% success rate, a RR ratio of 1:5, and a capital of $500. In this example, you would have 1 winning trade with a profit of $500. The losses on the other 4 trades would be a total of $400. So the profit would be $100.

⦿ An unprofitable RR ratio would be to risk, for example, $500 with a success rate of 20% and a risk/reward ratio of 1:1. That is, only 1 out of 5 trades would be successful. So you would make $100 in 1 winning trade but in the other 4, you would have lost a total of -$400.

⦿ As a trader, you need to find the perfect balance between how much money you’re willing to risk, the profits you’ll attempt to make, and the losses you’ll accept. This is not an easy task, but it is the foundation of risk management and the Long & Short Position Tools are essential.

You can use our 'Long Position' and 'Short Position' drawing tools in the Forecasting and measurement tools to determine this ratio.

Stop Loss/Take Profit orders

⦿ Stop Loss and Take Profit work differently depending on whether you are a day trader, swing trader, or long-term trader and the type of asset.

⦿ The most important thing is not to deviate from your strategy as long as you have a good trading strategy. For example, one of the biggest mistakes here is to change your stop loss thinking that the losses will recover... and often they never do.

⦿ The same thing happens with take profits, you may see that the asset is "going to the moon" and you decide to modify your take profit, but the thing about markets is that there are moments of overvaluation and then the price moves sharply against the last trend.

⦿ There is an alternative strategy to this, which is to use exit partials, that is closing half of your position in order to reduce the risk of your losses, or to take some profits during an outstanding run. Also remember that each asset has a different volatility, so while a stop loss of -3% is normal for a swing trading move in one asset, in other more volatile assets the stop loss would be -10%. You do not want to get caught in the middle of a regular price movement.

⦿ Finally, you can use a trailing stop, which essentially secures some profits while still having the potential to capture better performance.

Trade with TP, SL, and Trailing Stop

Selection of Assets and Time intervals

⦿ Choosing the right assets involves careful consideration of various factors such as accessibility, liquidity, volatility, correlation, and your preference in terms of time zones and expertise. Each asset possesses distinct characteristics and behaviors, and understanding these nuances is vital. It is essential to conduct thorough research and analysis to identify assets that align with your trading strategy and risk appetite.

⦿ Equally important is selecting the appropriate time intervals for your trading. Time intervals refer to the duration of your trades, which can span from short-term intraday trades to long-term investments. Each time interval has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your trading style and objectives.

⦿ Shorter time intervals, such as minutes or hours, are often associated with more frequent trades and higher volatility. Traders who prefer these intervals are typically looking to capitalize on short-term price fluctuations and execute quick trades. Conversely, longer time intervals, such as days, weeks, or months, prove more suitable for investors and swing traders aiming to capture broader market trends and significant price movements.

⦿ Take into account factors such as your time availability for trading, risk tolerance, and preferred analysis methods. Technical traders often utilize shorter time intervals, focusing on charts, indicators, and patterns, while fundamental investors may opt for longer intervals to account for macroeconomic trends and company fundamentals.

For example, If you are a swing trader with a low knack for volatility, then you can trade in assets such as stocks or Gold and ditch highly volatile assets such as crypto.

⦿ Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and your choices should align with your trading style, goals, and risk management strategy.

Here is a chart of Tesla from the perspective of a day trader, a swing trader, and an investor:


⦿ Backtesting plays a crucial role in risk management by enabling traders to assess the effectiveness of their trading strategies using historical market data. It involves the application of predefined rules and indicators to past price data, allowing traders to simulate how their trading strategies would have performed in the past.

⦿ During the backtesting process, traders analyze various performance metrics of their strategies, such as profitability, risk-adjusted returns, drawdowns, and win rates. This analysis helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of the strategies, allowing traders to refine them and make necessary adjustments based on the insights gained from the backtesting results.

⦿ The primary objective of backtesting is to evaluate the profitability and feasibility of a trading strategy before implementing it in live market conditions. By utilizing historical data, traders can gain valuable insights into the potential risks and rewards associated with their strategies, enabling them to manage their risk accordingly.

⦿ However, it's important to note the limitations of backtesting. While historical data provides valuable information, it cannot guarantee future performance, as market conditions are subject to change. Market dynamics, liquidity, and unforeseen events can significantly impact the actual performance of a strategy.

⦿ There are plenty of ways to backtest a strategy. You can run a manual test using Bar Replay to trade historical market events or Paper Trading to trade real examples. Those with coding skills can create a strategy using Pine Script and run automated tests on TradingView.

Here is an example of the Moving Averages Crossover strategy using Pine Script:

Margin allocation

We are not fortune tellers, so we cannot predict how assets will be affected by sudden major events. If the worst happens to us and we have all of our capital in a particular trade, the game is over.

There are classic rules such as the maximum allocation percentage of 1% per trade (e.g. in a $20,000 portfolio this means that it cannot be risked +$200 per trade). This can vary depending on your trading strategy, but it will definitely help you manage the risk in your portfolio.

Diversification and hedging

⦿ It is very important not to put all your eggs in one basket. Something you learn over the years in the financial markets is that the unexpected can always happen. Yes, you can make +1000% in one particular trade, but then you can lose everything in the next trade.

⦿ One way to avoid the cold sweats of panic is to diversify and hedge. Some stock traders buy commodities that are negatively correlated with stocks, others have a portfolio of +30 stocks from different sectors with bonds and hedge their stocks during downtrends, and others buy an ETF of the S&P 500 and the top 10 market cap cryptos.

⦿ There are unlimited possible combinations when diversifying your portfolio. At the end of the day, the most important thing to understand is that you need to protect your capital, and using the assets available to you a trader can hedge and/or diversify to avoid letting one trade ruin an entire portfolio.

Thank you for reading this idea on risk management!

We hope it helps new traders plan and prepare for the long run. If you're an expert trader, we hope this was a reminder about the basics.

Join the conversation and leave your comments below with your favorite risk management technique! 🙌

- TradingView Team

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, YouTube, and Telegram for more valuable content! 💘

Get $15 worth of TradingView Coins for you and a friend:

Read more about the new tools and features we're building for you:

The information and publications are not meant to be, and do not constitute, financial, investment, trading, or other types of advice or recommendations supplied or endorsed by TradingView. Read more in the Terms of Use.