Stop Loss Order

Stop loss orders are one of the order types that traders can execute on the financial markets. The name “stop loss” is self-explanatory: stop the losses before they get out of hand.

What is a stop loss? A stop loss order is an order or instruction given to the broker/dealer to automatically close a trade that has gone contrary to the trader’s position at a particular price level with the aim of preventing further losses if the adverse trade conditions persist. 

Brokers With Stop Loss Orders

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    AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for trading, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

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    Established in 1989, CMC Markets is a respected broker listed on the London Stock Exchange and authorized by several tier-one regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CIRO. More than 1 million traders from around the world have signed up with the multi-award winning brokerage.

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    FXCC is an established broker that’s been offering low-cost online trading since 2010. Registered in Nevis and regulated by the CySEC, it stands out for its ECN trading conditions, no minimum deposit and smooth account opening that takes less than 5 minutes.

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    Established in Australia in 2010, Pepperstone is a top-rated forex and CFD broker with over 400,000 clients worldwide. It offers access to 1,300+ instruments on leading platforms MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView, maintaining low, transparent fees. Pepperstone is also regulated by trusted authorities like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC, ensuring a secure environment for traders at all levels.

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    IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

  6. XM

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    XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.

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    City Index is an established and award-winning forex, CFD and spread betting broker with top-tier global regulation, including in the UK (FCA) and Australia (ASIC). With 30+ years in the industry, 13,500+ instruments and 24/5 customer support, City Index is a solid pick for aspiring traders.

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    DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 250+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.

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    Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.

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    RoboForex is an online broker, established in 2009 and registered with the IFSC in Belize. Traders can choose from five accounts (Prime, ECN, R StocksTrader, ProCent, Pro) catering to different needs with trades from 0.01 lots and spreads from 0 pips. RoboForex has also enhanced its offering over the years, adding CFD instruments and launching its stock trading platform, plus the CopyFX system.

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    InstaForex is a forex and CFD broker founded in 2007. The broker offers diverse market coverage to over 7 million clients, spanning traditional assets like currencies and shares, as well as other interesting opportunities such as IPOs. Traders can also access copy trading services, PAMM accounts and investment opportunities. InstaForex is regulated by the BVI FSC.

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    OANDA is an award-winning global broker, established in 1996. The hugely respected brand offers competitive trading accounts and serves clients from 196 countries. It remains a popular option with both beginners and experienced traders thanks to its user-friendly and sophisticated web platform, no minimum deposit and premium currency products and services. The company is also overseen by reputable regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CIRO.

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    LQDFX is a straight-through processing (STP) broker based in the Marshall Islands. The offshore trading firm offers competitive spreads from 0.0 pips, free deposits, 24/5 support and access to the hugely popular MetaTrader 4 platform. LQDFX also runs a competitive bonus program for short-term traders.

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    Trade Nation is a top FX and CFD broker regulated in multiple jurisdictions including the UK and Australia. The firm offers low-cost fixed and variable spreads on 1000+ assets with robust trading platforms and training materials. The Signal Centre can also be used for trade ideas.

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    BlackBull is a New Zealand-based CFD broker with trading opportunities on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptos. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms as well as TradingView, cTrader and a proprietary mobile app. Clients can trade with high leverage and tight spreads from 0 pips on the broker's ECN accounts.

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    Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

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    Founded in 2006, FxPro is an established forex, CFD and spread betting broker offering 2100+ assets to over 2 million clients worldwide. The broker is regulated in 4 jurisdictions and offers reliable 24/5 customer support, earning it a high trust and safety score. FxPro has also picked up more than 100 industry accolades for its competitive trading conditions, including fast execution and deep liquidity.

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    Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

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    Fusion Markets is an online broker established in 2017 and regulated by the ASIC, VFSC and FSA. It is best known for its low-cost forex and CFD trading, although its multiple account types and copy trading solutions cater to a range of traders. New clients can sign up and start trading in 3 easy steps.

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    Founded in 2001, easyMarkets is a multi-regulated forex broker offering leveraged trading opportunities on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and crypto. With fixed spreads, an affordable initial deposit, regulation from several reputable bodies and a diverse selection of account currencies, this broker provides simple and straightforward trading solutions to a diverse range of traders.

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    Established in 2017, Pocket Option is a binary options broker offering high/low contracts on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. With over 100,000 active users and a global reach, the platform continues to prove popular with budding traders.

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    GO Markets is an established forex and CFD broker with multiple industry awards and accolades. The ECN/STP broker is popular with budding traders, offering competitive accounts in multiple base currencies and a range of flexible payment methods. With top-tier regulation from CySEC and ASIC, GO Markets is a trusted broker.

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    Founded in 2008, NordFX is an offshore CFD broker offering forex, stock, commodities, indices and crypto trading to over 1.7 million clients in 190 countries. Traders access markets through the MetaTrader 4 platform and benefit from low commissions, spreads from zero and decent extra features. Minimum deposits start from just $10 and very high leverage is available up to 1:1000.

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    Markets.com is a respected broker, offering multi-asset trading opportunities through CFDs or spread betting (UK only). Established in 2008, the brand has an impressive 4.3 million registered customers and is overseen by trusted regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CySEC. 79.1% of retail accounts lose money.

  25. Axi

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    Axi is a global forex and CFD trading firm, founded in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Highly leveraged trading opportunities plus a $0 minimum deposit make it a popular choice among 60,000+ traders worldwide. Axi also stands out for its resources, including copy trading and Autochartist.

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    EagleFX is a forex and CFD broker, established in 2019. The broker uses STP execution on the MT4 platform, offering tight spreads and low commissions. With leverage up to 1:500 and no restrictions on hedging or scalping, EagleFX is an attractive option for short-term traders.

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    Founded in 2015, VT Markets maintains its position as a top Australian multi-asset CFD broker. With 1000+ tradeable instruments and support for the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, this broker delivers a wide range of trading opportunities to over 200,000 clients worldwide. VT Markets is regulated by the ASIC, FSCA, and SVGFSA.

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    Tradeview is an offshore forex and CFD broker based in the Cayman Islands and regulated by CIMA. Traders can access over 5000 instruments with a minimum deposit of $100. There are several third-party platforms on offer, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and cTrader.

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    FXDD is an established forex and CFD broker founded in 2002. Regulated in Malta, Mauritius, Peru and Malaysia, the broker provides secure trading platforms, competitive ECN spreads and reliable 24/7 customer support. Competitive pricing and ultra-low latency is also offered via the broker's Direct Market Access execution model and tier 1 aggregated liquidity.

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    FXTrading.com is global broker offering highly leveraged CFDs on 10,000+ assets, including forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Competitive prices with raw spreads and low to zero commissions are available. Traders can use the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and will have access to a suite of additional analytical tools and other resources. The multi-regulated brokerage is authorized by the ASIC and VFSC.

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    Founded in 2010, ThinkMarkets is a reputable CFD and forex broker with regulation from several top-tier bodies including the FCA and ASIC. The broker provides services to over 450,000 accounts from 11 global offices. Traders can use a bespoke platform, MT4 or MT5 to access a wide variety of assets including 3500+ stocks and ETFs, 46 forex pairs and over 20 cryptocurrencies.

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    M4Markets is an award-winning broker regulated by the CySEC, FSA and DFSA. Although relatively new, the broker continues to improve its offering with a range of innovative tools, platforms and accounts. Beginners can start with just $5, whilst experienced investors can access leverage up to 1:5000.

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    Established in 2013, SuperForex is an offshore CFD and forex broker offering highly leveraged trades on 400+ instruments via the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. The broker has gained clients in over 150 countries and is regulated by the Belize IFSC. With a range of STP/ECN account types, including swap-free, micro and zero spread, this broker continues to suit traders with different styles and setups. SuperForex also offers a range of welcome bonuses and trading contests.

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    Trade.com is a trustworthy online broker with a global presence. The broker offers 2,100+ CFDs in major markets, as well as futures, options and more. The broker offers best-in-class platforms and superior analysis tools for experienced traders. The broker is also regulated by top-tier authorities including the FCA and CySEC.

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    Grand Capital is a MetaTrader broker with welcome bonuses, trading competitions and an intuitive copy trading service. Several account types and 400+ assets provide trading opportunities for various types of investors and strategies. New users can also open an account and start trading in a matter of minutes.

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    IronFX is a multi-regulated forex and CFD broker founded in 2010. This award-winning firm offers 500+ markets to over 1.5 million clients across 180 countries. Traders can access various account types with competitive pricing on the MT4 platform, as well as 24/5 customer support in 30 languages.

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    Ingot Brokers is a multi-regulated brokerage established in 2006. The broker offers CFD trading opportunities on 1000+ instruments including forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and offers both raw spreads and commission-free account options.

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    FXCM is a respected forex and CFD broker, established since 1999. The British-headquartered broker has won multiple awards and operates in various jurisdictions, including the UK and Australia. With zero commissions, over 400 assets, and a range of analysis tools, FXCM remains a popular choice for traders. The broker is also regulated by top-tier authorities including the FCA and ASIC.

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    Scope Markets offers trading and investing in multiple spot and CFD instruments. The group of brokers is regulated in several locations, including Belize, Kenya and South Africa. Users get competitive trading conditions, a range of payment methods, strong support and can get started in a few straightforward steps.

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    Dukascopy is an online broker operated by a Swiss-regulated banking group. It offers a good selection of 500+ markets, with forex, stocks, gold, ETFs, indices, bonds and cryptocurrencies available. It also offers flexible trading opportunities through the choice of CFDs or binary options. Traders will use MetaTrader 4 or a proprietary platform that is well-suited to automated trading.

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    4xCube is an online forex and CFD broker registered and licensed in the Cook Islands. Clients can trade on popular financial markets and choose between three accounts based on their capital and trading strategy.

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    RockGlobal is a New Zealand based and regulated CFD broker. They offer competitive spreads from 0.1 pips and a large range of trading assets, trading platforms and educational services, with up to 1:500 leverage. Operating in a Tier 1 regulated environment, RockGlobal offers peace of mind and excellent customer support.

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    FXTM is a top-rated forex and CFD broker established in 2011 and operating across 4 continents. The company is secure and regulated by leading authorities, including the FCA and CySEC. Offering 1000+ trading markets and three account types, they cater to all levels of trader.

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    ForexChief is a foreign exchange and CFD broker, established in 2014. The company is based offshore and registered with the VFSC and FMA. Users can choose between a wide selection of accounts and base currencies, making ForexChief accessible to global traders. The brand also stands out for its no deposit bonus and fee rebates for high-volume traders.

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    Kwakol Markets is a Nigerian headquartered broker with strong regulatory oversight in Australia and Canada. A great selection of trading assets are available, including synthetic products that simulate realistic market activity. Clients can trade on the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms, as well as a copy trading solution whereby a fee is only paid on profitable trades.

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    GoFX is an unregulated CFD and forex broker that covers instruments from currency, stock, index, commodity and crypto markets. Traders can sign up to a variety of account types with deposits as low as $1 and will trade using the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. Exceptionally high leverage up to 1:3000 is offered on the standard account, while traders with the low-spread account can access leverage up to 1:1000.

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    MultiBank FX is an established broker offering forex and CFD products since 2005. With 20,000+ instruments, plenty of local payment methods and 24/7 multilingual customer support, the broker is a popular choice among traders globally. New clients can also access a variety of bonus offers and access the hugely popular MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.

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    Pacific Union Prime is an FSCA and offshore-regulated multi-asset broker offering competitive fees and direct market access on forex, commodities, stocks, bonds and indices. The broker supports the popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and a proprietary mobile app. Fees vary by account type with no commission and spreads from 1.9 pips on the Standard account and $7 commission per lot and spreads from 0.4 pips on the Prime account.

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    SimpleFX is an online broker specializing in CFD and cryptocurrency trading, with multi-currency accounts, STP execution, low pricing and no minimum deposit. Bringing innovation and gaining recognition at numerous industry events since 2014, SimpleFX now caters to retail traders from over 190 countries, boasting a client base exceeding 200,000 active users.

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    Errante is a Cyprus-based and regulated forex and CFD broker with leveraged trading on multiple assets, tiered accounts including a zero-spread option, and copy trading support. The broker offers leveraged trading up to 1:30 under its CySEC-regulated branch and 1:500 from an offshore branch, and supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. Errante's asset list is relatively limited but it does offer fast execution and low latency, and it is a trustworthy brand.

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    ActivTrades is a UK-headquartered CFD and forex broker established in 2001. The brokerage is heavily regulated with licenses from the FCA, SCB, CSSF, BACEN & CVM and CMVM. Over 1000 CFDs are available spanning 7 asset classes. Over 93.60% of orders are executed at the requested price. ActivTraders also offers a selection of leading trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, TradingView and ActivTrader platforms.

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    Swissquote is a Switzerland-based bank and broker that offers online trading and investing. The company has a high safety score and is listed on the Swiss stock exchange. The firm offers a huge range of products, from stocks, ETFs, bonds and futures to 400+ forex and CFD assets. Hundreds of thousands of traders have opened an account with the multi-regulated brokerage. Clients can get started in three easy steps while 24/7 customer support is available to assist new users.

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    FXPrimus is an award-winning CySEC-regulated brokerage offering CFD trading on 200+ instruments via the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms. The choice between a competitive commission-free account and two affordable raw spread options make this an accessible broker for anyone seeking forex, stocks, indices and commodities with high leverage.

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    FP Markets is an ASIC- and CySEC-regulated broker that offers forex and CFD trading on a broad range of assets through the MT4, MT5 and IRESS platforms. With trading available through standard and raw spread accounts on thousands of international stocks, forex, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds and ETFs, this broker has some of the most comprehensive market coverage available. FP Markets also offers a full range of additional features, including educational resources and access to powerful software such as Autochartist.

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    Core Spreads is an FCA-licensed broker offering CFD and spread betting opportunities on a proprietary platform or MetaTrader 4. Traders can access more than 1000 instruments, including company shares, commodities, indices and forex. Spread bets have fixed spreads that start from 0.4 with no commission, while CFDs start from 1 pip plus a $1.50 charge per lot.

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    Anzo Capital is an offshore broker that offers leveraged CFDs on 100+ instruments including forex, stocks, indices and metals. The MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are supported, and traders can choose between an STP account with spreads starting from 1.4 pips and zero commission, or an ECN account with a $4 round-turn commission and spreads from zero. A decent range of payment methods are accepted, including crypto deposits.

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    Bitfinex is a crypto trading firm with a powerful proprietary platform and a good range of digital assets. With 180+ cryptocurrencies and 430+ market pairs traded via spot or perpetual swap derivatives, this is a flexible exchange with plenty of opportunities for serious crypto traders. Bitfinex also offers decent leverage up to 1:10.

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    HYCM is an online broker with authorization from four international bodies including the FCA and CySEC. The broker offers short-term CFD trading on forex, shares, commodities, indices, ETFs and Bitcoin, and supports the MT4 and MT5 platforms, as well as Trading Central analysis.

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    Global Prime is a multi-regulated trading broker offering 150+ markets. Traders can get started with a $200 minimum deposit and trade with leverage up to 1:100. The firm also has a high trust score and a good reputation with a license from the ASIC.

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    Fortrade is a multi-asset, multi-regulated broker with branches regulated by the FCA, CySEC and ASIC among others. The brand offers trading opportunities on a wide range of instruments including stocks, bonds, commodities, forex, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs, with competitive fees and support for MetaTrader 4 and a proprietary platform.

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    Hantec Markets was established in Hong Kong in 1990. Initially, the company concentrated solely on the Chinese and Taiwanese markets. In 2008, the broker rebranded and expanded its presence in the UK, Australia, Japan, and various other countries, before enhancing its footprint in Latin America in 2022. Hantec now stands as a multinational brokerage with 18 offices across Europe and Asia.

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    FXOpen is a multi-asset broker with regulation from several trustworthy bodies including the UK's FCA. The broker offers CFD trading on forex, stocks, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs via the MetaTrader 4 & 5 and TradingView platforms.

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    Libertex is a well-known broker, established in 2012. The regulated brand has served numerous clients and is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission with license number 164/12. Libertex offers CFD trading on 250+ underlying assets, including through an innovative and user-friendly proprietary web trader platform. Choose between CFDs on forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, stocks, indices and ETFs, which are available with tight spreads and low commissions.

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    Admirals is an FCA- and ASIC-regulated broker with an excellent range of leveraged instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptos and more. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and TradingCentral platforms. With both spread betting and CFDs available and thousands of instruments, this broker provides more flexibility than most rivals.

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    TMGM is an ASIC-regulated forex and CFD broker with a vast range of tradeable assets covering forex, stock, index, crypto and commodity markets. The account types on offer provide a flexible choice between no commission or zero spreads, with competitive pricing all-round.

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    Infinox is a UK-based and FCA-regulated broker that offers diverse trading products thanks to its STP and ECN account types and support for MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and a proprietary platform. Clients can also benefit from a free VPS that can support automated strategies and a social trading platform, catering to both beginner and seasoned traders.

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    Baxia Markets is an offshore CFD broker that offers trading on forex, commodities and indices with tight spreads on a straight-through processing model with ultra-low latency. Trade on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 with leverage up to 1:500 and no restrictions to scalping or hedging strategies. Users also benefit from third-party copy trading services.

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    OspreyFX is an ECN broker headquartered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Established in 2019, the firm offers 120+ forex and CFD assets with high leverage up to 1:500, tight spreads from 0.1 pips and round-the-clock customer support. OspreyFX also stands out for its funded trading accounts where traders can keep up to 70% of profits.

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    LonghornFX is a forex and CFD broker offering over 150 instruments with leverage up to 1:500. The firm is registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and was launched in 2020. Clients can access a strong selection of cryptos, alongside forex, indices, commodities and stocks. With ECN/STP processing, this offshore broker promises tight spreads and fast execution.

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    RoboMarkets is a Cyprus-based forex, CFD and stock broker aimed at traders from Europe. The broker offers thousands of instruments across six asset classes and provides access to four leading platforms, including MetaTrader 4. With ECN pricing, Cent accounts and algorithmic trading tools, RoboMarkets caters to a range of trading strategies and investing styles.

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    AdroFx is an offshore ECN/STP broker that has offered CFD trading since 2018. The firm supports 100+ tradable assets on the popular MetaTrader 4 platform as well as a web trader, Allpips. Eight live accounts are available with no restrictions on trading strategies.

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    Coinexx is an unregulated broker that provides leverage up to 1:500 on forex, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies with deep liquidity, pure ECN spreads and negative balance protection. The broker uses crypto as base currencies and has low minimum deposit requirements of 0.001 BTC.

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    EZ Invest is a CySEC-licensed broker, launched in 2008, that offers trading on popular financial markets through leveraged CFDs. Traders can choose between multiple respected platforms, including MetaTrader software and a user-friendly in-house app. The reliable multilingual customer support team are also on-hand to support new users.

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    Just2Trade is a reliable multi-regulated broker registered with FINRA, NFA and CySEC. The company has 155,000 clients from 130 countries and stands out for its huge suite of instruments and additional features, including a social network, robo advisors and a funded trader programme.

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    World Forex is an offshore broker registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines, offering commission-free trading with a $1 minimum deposit and 1:1000 leverage. Digital contracts are also available, offering beginners a straightforward way to speculate on popular financial markets.

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    Vault Markets is an award-winning brokerage headquartered in Namibia. It is an accessible direct-market-access CFD broker with affordable minimum deposits, flexible funding methods and high leverage. This broker offers a very large range of forex pairs as well as commodities and indices through MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.

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    Exinity provides flexible low-cost trading in FX, commodities, indices and equities alongside unique education and support provided by teams located across the world. Now operating in the Middle East, through regulation from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Abu Dhabi and the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, Exinity provides a range of services to traders and investors looking for new opportunities in the financial markets.

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    Capital.com offer CFDs on a range of markets with competitive spreads and zero commissions. The broker also offers the Investmate app, negative balance protection and leveraged trading.

Common Mistakes Traders Make in Setting Stops

When choosing a price level to set a stop loss, are there any special considerations or are stop loss levels just set arbitrarily at the trader’s discretion? It is very unfortunate that many retail traders do not know the principles that guide the setting of a stop loss level, and the so-called forex trainers or seminar resource persons who run all the “intensive” seminars we see being advertised on the street corners and on the internet are not making things easier.

There is hardly a retail trader we come across who has been able to answer this question satisfactorily. Many believe that setting a stop loss is an arbitrary event. Worse still, there are a few who actually advocate not setting a stop loss so as to give the trade room to breathe. The first point of view supposes that all currency pairs and trades act alike and so there is nothing to consider when setting a stop loss level. The second standpoint presupposes that trades are predictable and in so far as the trader is on top of the action, there is no need for a stop loss.

Both standpoints are fundamentally flawed and will present major problems for the trader. The first standpoint is flawed because all currencies do not behave alike. Some have a greater intraday range and have more volatility than other currencies. So assigning the same stop loss or not considering the inherent characteristics of the currencies themselves when deciding to set stops will lead to either stops being so tight that the choke the trade, or to loose that they do not exert the necessary controls on any losses that may occur. The second standpoint assumes that the trader will always be on his computer to monitor open positions (which is impossible), or that the markets can always stay predictable without any sudden adverse market events occurring (which is also not the case). The end result is that adopting both trade standpoints when it comes to setting stop loss levels will eventually lead to catastrophic results.

Principles for Setting a Stop Loss

Setting a stop loss is a careful business which the trader should do with much consideration. There are factors to be considered when setting a stop loss. Some of these are:

1)    Intraday price range of the currency asset.

2)    Volatility index of the asset.

3)    Presence or absence of any points of resistance or support within the immediate price area.

4)    Time frame being traded.

5)    News releases for the day/time period in view.

6)    Trader’s margin.

The intraday price range of an asset is very important when considering where to set a stop loss. For a currency with a 100 pip intraday price range, a stop loss of about 50 pips is ok, depending on when the trade was executed and how close the trade is to key levels of support and resistance. However, you cannot set a 50 pip stop loss for an exotic currency pair with a 1000 pip price range, or for a commodity asset like gold that could sometimes move as much as 5,000 pips in a day. So currencies with lower ranges will require smaller stops, and larger stops must be used for currencies with larger price ranges. Similarly, a trader  who intends to close an open position the same day it was opened would not need large stops when compared with another trader who used a daily chart for his analysis and is looking to keep the position open for weeks at a time.

Another consideration is the trader’s margin. It is foolhardy trying to trade assets with large moves on a small margin. The margin will restrict the trader and force him to use tight stops to choke the trade.

It is good practice to always consider where the key levels of support and resistance are located before opening a position. If a price level is in between a key support and resistance, the trader may be forced to use a larger stop to accommodate any drawdowns without closing the trade. Sometimes it is better to use pending orders that will allow the trade to gravitate towards a key level, and then tighter stops can be used knowing that prices will probably be held back by the key levels before triggering a stop loss.

Another factor to be considered is the volatility index of the currency pair to be traded. For instance, the GBP/JPY currency pair is known to be an extremely volatile currency pair, with a spread of at least 8 pips (or $80 on a standard lot position). It has a tendency of bouncing around before finally deciding where it is going. If a trader is trading this pair on an account margin in the lower range of thousands, then the trader must be very careful when setting stops. Too tight a stop will cause the trade to be closed prematurely. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a trade closed out prematurely, only for the position to eventually end up in the predicted direction of the trade.

Finally, it is always noteworthy considering news trades when setting stop loss levels. This is especially important for traders who are trading medium to long term. A news trade can cause a position that has probably been in profits for a few days to give every dime of profit up in a few short minutes.

Setting a stop loss is serious business, and if traders pay attention to the details that have been discussed above, they will be able to make more informed decisions when giving the stop loss instructions to their broker.