WHEN TO USE WIDER STOPS
The planned duration of your trade will influence how far from the entry to place your stop. As a rule, a shorter time horizon calls for tighter stops, while a longer timeframe requires wider stops.
All timeframes have advantages and disadvantages. One of the key benefits of longer-term trades is that they give you the time to think and make decisions. At the other end, if you are day-trading and stop to think, you’re dead. Longer-term trading gives you more time to think and make decisions, but the cost of this luxury is the greater distance from your entry price to a stop. A stock can meander much more in three months than in three hours. As traders we shoot at a moving target; given more time, the targets will move a great deal more.
A beginning trader is better off staying away from day-trading. This extremely fast game tends to destroy amateurs. Nor would I recommend long-term trend-trading for those who are just starting out. The best way to learn is by making many small trades, keeping a diary, and practicing entries and exits. Long-term trades do not provide enough activity to gain that experience.
Swing trading is a good place to learn trading. Once you have a year under your belt during which your equity curve shows an uptrend with shallow drawdowns, you’ll know that you are becoming good. Then you can decide whether to continue to focus on swing trading or to expand your horizons. If, at that point, you decide to learn long-term trading, ...