Partial Close – Scaling Out Forex Profits

Partial close is a type of exit strategy where the forex trader plan his trade exit in several increments as opposed to closing the entire position at once. Partial close method is performed by closing a portion of it’s overall trade size as the trade becomes profitable and continue to their profit target.

This technique allows traders to capture smaller profits faster while leaving the position open as the market moves farther in their favor.

One major drawback about the partial close method is an imbalance in risk versus reward. When a trader employs the partial close strategy, the amount of profit taken is rarely equal to the amount of risk assumed when the trade is opened.

This partial close method is commonly thought to reduce losses and increase profits, following the idea of banking your profits. However it has an unfortunate characteristic that has nasty effects on your profits.

Consider a trader who trades 10 currency lots at a time and a 40 pip stop loss. His total initial risk on the position is 400 pips. If the trader partial closes half of his positions out with a 50 pip profit, he will have covered 250 pips of the initial 400 pips. The remaining position must be closed out at a profit greater than 50 pips to maintain a risk to reward ratio of 1:1.

Traders usually exacerbate the problem by moving their stop loss to break even after partial close with profit. If their remaining position is closed out at break even, they have risked 400 pips to gain 250. If their next trade is stopped out for the full 400 pips, they have a deficit of 150 pips to overcome on their next trade, assuming they are still trading 10 lots per trade.

The imbalance in risk to reward requires the forex trader who partial close his trades to maintain a much higher success ratio than traders who do not, because just one losing trade can erase the profits from multiple winners. This imbalance ratio will force the forex trader employing this partial close strategy to achieve a high win rate otherwise he will have to a re- look at employing this method as part of his trading plan.

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