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Why automated trading stop losses are not always ideal (especially now)

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Below is a guest post from Cynthia Siantar who is the co-founder of Call Levels, a Singapore fintech that provides free real time financial monitoring and notification service.

I’m sure we all agree that last night and this morning was a total bloodbath in the markets. But one group of people got it worse than others and who are they?
Those that had their automated trading stop losses triggered prematurely (see below), crystalised their losses, only to see the markets rebounded sharply soon after (ouch!). Not to mention there will always be that group that slept through the turmoil and wake up massively poorer. Don’t laugh, they might be someone you know.
And this is the reason why institutional investors and traders still choose to leave Call Levels: Call me when the price reaches this level with salespeople despite having the ability to set their own stop losses. They want peace of mind. When the markets go into panic mode, and none of your technical indicators make sense anymore, they want to be aware when certain price points are HIT but they don’t necessary want to execute that trade.

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As my co-founder, Daniel not-so-fondly recalls that one night many years back, he had at least 20 salespeople calling to update him because almost all his Call Levels were triggered. He didn’t sleep much that night, but was at least made aware of the situation and was able to react appropriately, mitigating the losses.
Now friend A, a retail trader who didn’t have the luxury of salespeople covering him, but set trading stop losses got the biggest shock of his life when he woke up the next morning. Financial institutions are not going to extend premium services such as Call Levels to all their clients, because it is tedious and expensive for them to do so.
We make Call Levels available on mobile for everyone, so you don’t need to be that friend A anymore. We sent out at least 1,300 push messages (stopped counting at 1 AM) to our users informing them their price alerts have been triggered.
Before I forget, an established e-trade platform suffered system failures last night. So now whenever someone ask why do I need Call Levels, when I have XXX or YYY? I’ll send this screenshot and answer: Its always good to have reliable backup my friend.
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Stay calm. Be aware.

 

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Updated: August 25, 2015 — 1:59 pm

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