Trailing stop losses with an OSO order

introd-order-types-fig-8Seems I make a new mistake every day.

Today was a goody. I went long a currency pair for a single contract using the OSO function of Tradestation using the Buy Mkt control with 2L/1S selected (2 limit orders and 1 stop loss). I wanted to have a trailing stop but when I’ve used the Buy Trl Stp and Sell Trl Stp controls the orders opened weren’t market orders but a limit order. This is not what I want, which was a market order with 2 limit sell orders and a single trailing stop order. No doubt I have something set up wrong somewhere.

Having entered the OSO order with a static stop loss, on the Matrix I cancelled the stop loss and using the order bar I manually set up a trailing stop loss.

The currency sank, hit the trailing stop loss and I got out OK. Later on I suddenly found myself shorting the same currency pair without me having entered the trade. Huh!  This happened again later on for a different currency. If anything is going to mess with your confidence in Tradestation, that kind of stuff will.

I found the problem which was when I manually entered the trailing stop, for both currency pairs, using the order bar the quantity populated, from a previous trade, was for 10 contracts. So when the trailing stop loss did its stuff it correctly sold a contract (1) but there were still 9 others lying around minding their own business, which I wasn’t aware of.

Later in the day both currency pairs hit the trailing stop losses (what the heck were they actually trailing bearing in mind the original trade they were trailing had been closed?) and in both cases the currencies were sold. I noticed them soon enough and put them out of their misery.

So what have I learnt after today’s shenanigans?

  1. Triple check quantities ordered
  2. Until I get better at Tradestation, check to see I have no orders lying around ready to ambush me
  3. Figure out how to get trailing stops to work with an OSO market order so that I don’t have to manually set up trailing stop losses and therefore have to triple check quantities.

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