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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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How to Exit a Trade? 5 Trading Exit Strategies to Know

This article provides an overview of exit strategies in trading and why they are essential for long-term success.
Charts of financial instruments with various type of indicators for technical analysis on the monitor of a computer

When placing a trade, much attention is given to entry points and finding profitable trades. However, mastering exit strategies is equally crucial for long-term success. They help to capture the best possible profit for a given trade, limit loss-making potential, provide structure to completing every trade and help traders close trades in the best possible way.

Find out why exit strategies matter in trading and which ones are popularly used when trading financial markets.

Key Takeaways:

  • Exit strategies are crucial for protecting capital, maximizing profits, and maintaining trading discipline. Establishing clear exit criteria before entering a trade removes emotion from decision-making.
  • Popular exit strategies include stop-loss orders to limit losses, take-profit orders to lock in gains, trailing stop-losses to capture profits in trending markets, using technical indicators to identify reversal points and time-based exits.
  • When developing an exit strategy, backtest it using historical data to assess effectiveness. Consider the risk-reward ratio of trades. Remain flexible and adapt the strategy as market conditions evolve.
  •  There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Exit strategies should align with individual risk tolerance, trading style, and goals. Successful trading requires continually refining your exit strategy over time.
  • Mastering exit strategies is just as important as identifying profitable trades. They complete every trade in an optimal way and lead to long-term trading success.


Exit Strategies Help You Close Trades in The Best Possible Way


Using exit strategies when trading directly impacts your profitability and risk management as a trader. They help you:

  • Protect your capital: Exit strategies help limit losses and prevent significant drawdowns, safeguarding your trading capital from excessive risk. Without a clear exit plan, traders may find themselves holding onto losing positions for too long, resulting in considerable financial setbacks.
  • Maximise your profits: Knowing when to exit winning trades allows you to lock in profits at optimal levels, ensuring that you capitalise on favourable market movements. Moreover, consistently applying effective exit strategies increases your chances of achieving consistent profitability over time, leading to long-term success in trading.
  • Maintain discipline: Emotions such as fear, greed, and indecision can wreak havoc on a trader’s performance. By establishing clear exit criteria beforehand, traders can remove the emotional component from their decision-making process. This promotes discipline and helps traders stick to their trading plan, thus avoiding impulsive decision-making.


5 Exit Strategies to Know


Here are some popular approaches that beginner traders can incorporate into their trading arsenal:

  1. Stop-loss orders

A stop-loss order is a fundamental risk management tool that allows traders to specify a price level at which their position will be automatically liquidated. By setting a stop-loss, traders can limit their potential losses on trade, ensuring that they exit before a small loss turns into a significant one. Stop-loss orders can be placed at a fixed price level or based on technical indicators such as support and resistance levels.

  1. Take-profit orders

Like stop-loss orders, take-profit orders enable traders to set a target price at which they wish to exit a trade to lock in profits. By predefining their profit target, traders can avoid the temptation to hold onto winning positions for too long in hopes of further gains. Take-profit orders provide a disciplined approach to profit-taking and help traders achieve their financial goals.

  1. Trailing stop-loss

A trailing stop-loss is a dynamic exit strategy that adjusts automatically as the market price moves in the trader’s favour. Instead of specifying a fixed price level, the trailing stop-loss follows the price at a predetermined distance, allowing traders to capture profits while still protecting against potential reversals. Trailing stops are particularly useful in trending markets where prices tend to move in one direction for an extended period.

  1. Using technical indicators

Technical indicators play a vital role in identifying potential entry and exit points in the market. Popular indicators such as moving averages, RSI (Relative Strength Index), and MACD (Moving Average Convergence Divergence) can help traders identify overbought or oversold conditions, trend reversals, and momentum shifts. By incorporating technical analysis into their exit strategies, traders can make more informed decisions based on objective data rather than emotions.

  1. Time-based exits

Time-based exits involve setting a predetermined time limit for a trade, regardless of its profitability. They can help traders avoid getting caught up in short-term market fluctuations and ensure that they adhere to their trading plans. Whether it’s a specific number of days or based on upcoming economic events, having a predefined timeframe provides clarity and discipline in decision-making.


Tips to Help You Develop Your Exit Strategy


The key to finding the best exit strategy is to develop one that aligns with your individual preferences and circumstances.

Here are some tips on how you can do this:

  • Backtesting: Backtesting means applying your strategy to historical data. Before implementing any exit strategy, it’s essential to back-test it thoroughly using historical price movements. This allows you to assess its effectiveness under various market conditions and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Applying a risk-reward ratio: Consider the risk-reward ratio of each trade when determining your exit strategy. Ideally, you want to aim for trades with a favourable risk-reward ratio, where the potential reward outweighs the potential risk.
  • Staying flexible: Markets are dynamic and constantly evolving, so it’s essential to remain flexible and adapt your exit strategy as needed. Be open to modifying your approach based on changing market conditions, new information, or improvements in your trading skills.


Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to anything related to trading. That includes exit strategies. Every trader is unique, with different risk tolerances, trading styles, and financial goals. Understanding the various options available and developing a plan that suits your individual needs is key to long-term success.

Moreover, successful trading is a journey of learning and improvement. Take advantage of our upcoming webinars to expand your knowledge and refine your exit strategy over time.

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