Great Advice on Taking Partial Exits

MSTR is a good example of the “Partial Profit” or “Let it Ride” exit strategy. I entered the breakout-pullback setup at $84, with a target under the old high a limit order set at $89.85 (I always set the target a little below the round number). From there I move my stop up to the $84 entry level to lock in the profit.

The stock continued higher today, and closed with a new breakout bar (though on relatively low volume). This provided me with an opportunity to move my stop up again and lock in more profit. I moved my new stop up to $87 to lock in a $3 gain on the remaining shares. $87 is a good level since a failure of the breakout bar would be a negative signal.

Remember not to randomly pick new stops when “stair-stepping” your stops. You don’t want to be stopped out by a random movement/natural volatility. Always look for support/resistance areas when picking the new higher stops.

The partial profit exit strategy will sometimes decrease the potential gain when the second half of the trade gets stopped out. It’s easy to think to yourself, “I could have made more by just taking the full profit at my original target”. However, it keeps you in the huge moves. These huge moves are well worth the cost of not taking the full profit at the intital target.

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