Shares Trading Rules

I’ve added an updated shares section to the Trading Rules drop-down on the menu. Here’s what it says:

Lower Risk: Shares

Shares are considered to be lower risk than options because they can be traded without leverage and are generally have lower volatility.

On the other other hand, options positions can be positioned in a way that limits the possible loss if the price moves against the trader. Shares can drop to zero. I’ve had it happen.

The one tool that shares offer to mitigate that risk is the stop-loss; setting a price at which shares will be sold if the market price reaches that level.

I use a trailing-stop loss. For long shares, if I set a, say, 3% stop-loss, and the price of the shares rises, then the stop-loss will also rise, reamining 3% below the peak price.

I will use 3% occasionally as a very short-term insurance to limit loss, but my normal practice is to give shares room to maneuver. For that purpose, I use a 20% trailing stop. I’ve based based choice on three research papers:

Han, Yufeng and Zhou, Guofu and Zhu, Yingzi, Taming Momentum Crashes: A Simple Stop-Loss Strategy (September 24, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Yusupov, Garib and Shorrason, Bergsveinn, Performance of Stop-Loss Rules vs. Buy-and-Hold Strategy (2009). Available at Lund University:

Kaminski, Kathryn and Lo, Andrew W., When Do Stop-Loss Rules Stop Losses? (January 3, 2007). EFA 2007 Ljubljana Meetings Paper. Available at SSRN: or

By Tim Bovee, August 22, 2021, Portland, Oregon


Tim Bovee, Private Trader tracks the analysis and trades of a private trader for his own accounts. Nothing in this blog constitutes a recommendation to buy or sell stocks, options or any other financial instrument. The only purpose of this blog is to provide education and entertainment.

No trader is ever 100 percent successful in his or her trades. Trading in the stock and option markets is risky and uncertain. Each trader must make trading decisions for his or her own account, and take responsibility for the consequences.

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