Ask Colin

Do you use automated stop alerts?

The detailed question was:

I was hoping you could clear up something for me regarding stop loss exits. When you purchase some stock then put in place a stop loss exit point what happens next? Lets assume the price falls touching the stop loss price, do you run a program that alerts your online broker to sell? Or do you just receive a warning that alerts you to the situation when you next get back to your computer screen, which you then have to act upon manually?

I am an end of day trader. When I download the day's data, I review the charts of the stocks I am holding. If any have hit a stop, I call up the broker and place a sell order. I may do this on the phone, or on the Internet. The Internet is cheaper, but if it is a difficult one (thin market), I may do it by phone. It is years since I last had somethings so difficult I had to phone a broker to do the execution.