Profit Taking Strategies: How to Wisely Take Profits In Trading

Profit Taking Strategies: How to Wisely Take Profits In Trading
Profit Taking Strategies: How to Wisely Take Profits In Trading

Deciding when and how you will exit or sell a position to gain a profit is a challenging part of trading. It is easier to determine when to enter a transaction than when to exit it. This is why you should have an appropriate profit taking strategy. In this post, we will go over the most important aspects of profit taking and the strategies for taking profits wisely.

What is a Profit Taking Strategy?

A profit taking strategy refers to a planned approach for closing your open positions to gain maximum profit from your trades. To have an appropriate exit strategy, you must first understand your overall trading strategy and the type of trader you are. You need to have a well-defined trading plan that specifies your entry point, stop loss, and take-profit levels.

There are two main types of profit taking strategies:

  • Sector-specific: This strategy focuses on taking profits in individual sectors or industries that have outperformed.
  • Marketwide: This approach takes a broader view of the overall stock market rather than individual sectors. You sell your investments when you believe the entire stock market has already reached a peak and prices may begin to decline.
Applying a profit taking strategy helps you close your open positions to lock in gains
Applying a profit taking strategy helps you close your open positions to lock in gains

Pros and Cons of Profit Taking

Here we look at some pros and cons of profit taking:


  • Lock in gains: By taking some profits off the table, you secure actual gains rather than risking them potentially disappearing if the market turns against your position.
  • Rebalance positions: Profit taking allows you to maintain your desired risk exposure and position sizes after a big gain.
  • Generate income: Taking frequent small profits provides ongoing income from trading or investing rather than waiting for a big payday.
  • Improve psychology: Taking some profits helps satisfy the “need to be right” and can prevent being overly attached to a position.
  • Redeploy capital: Profits can be reinvested into new opportunities rather than riding all gains or losses in a single position.


  • Missing further gains: The position may continue rising after taking profits, leaving money on the table.
  • Increased transaction costs: Frequent small profits incur more brokerage/ trading fees than holding for larger gains.
  • Tax implications: Every sale triggers a tax liability on realized capital gains, even if profits are reinvested.
  • Difficult to time correctly: It is hard to predict market tops and bottoms to take optimal profits. May sell too early.

Profit Taking Strategies

There is a range of profit taking strategies to gain profits from your trades. Here are some of the most effective profit taking approaches:

Time-based exit

This is one of the easiest ways to exit a trading position in a structured manner. You leave the position once a predetermined timeframe has elapsed, whether it be minutes, days, months, etc. As it is not overly complicated, a time-based exit is considered an effective exit you can use. 

Time-based exit is one of the easiest methods to exit a position
Time-based exit is one of the easiest methods to exit a position

Using a time-based exit approach has several benefits:

  • Reduce drawdown: An exit based on time ensures you are only in the market for a short, defined period. It lets you exit early if market conditions deteriorate, thus limiting potential drawdown.
  • Simplicity: Time-based exits eliminate the need for curve-fitting or fine-tuning indicators. Backtesting broad timeframes like 10-25 days clearly shows if the exits are reliable or erratic over the long run.

Use the opposite signal

You may quit a position by using the opposite signal to the signal you used to join it. For instance, if you make a long transaction based on bullish divergence in stochastics, you can exit when the opposite signal (bearish divergence) appears. Divergence signals, whether bullish or bearish, are one of the most dependable indicators for trading any form of instrument. 

Utilize trailing stops

This is a popular strategy for locking in profits among trend followers when the market changes in their favor. A trailing stop is a flexible stop-loss order that follows the price as it shifts in your favor. If the price begins to reverse, the stop order remains at the last highest price level. This way, you may gain a profit while minimizing potential losses.

Use a fixed profit target

Another effective exit approach is building a profit target. You may set a specific percentage gain or price level you want to achieve on your trade. When the price reaches this level, you may sell the position to protect your profits. For instance, if you set a 15% profit target and your trade grows by 15%, then it is time for you to secure your gains.

You may exit an open position using a fixed profit target
You may exit an open position using a fixed profit target

Fundamental exits

When there is critical news in the financial markets that might trigger an economic shock, it may be advisable to leave your position. Numerous key news incidents might be crucial. When a significant announcement or news affects the financial market and you believe it will trigger a drop in stock values, you must quit the market.


This scale-out strategy means that you gradually sell portions of your stock as it grows. This way, you may secure your profits while still having an opportunity to generate further gains with the remaining stocks. For example, if you own 100 shares of a stock, you may sell 30 when it hits a certain profit level, then sell more when the price rises.

Key Strategy for Maximizing Profits

There are multiple trading opportunities in the financial market and it is critical to know when to enter or exit a trade as well as maximize your investing profits. Below are a few tips to help you enhance your gains when trading:

Set clear profit targets

When it comes to maximizing investment profits, setting an achievable profit target is essential. By developing specific goals, you will have a clear direction to reach your desired profits.

Set clear profit targets
Set clear profit targets

Here are a few helpful tips to help you build a clear profit target:

  • Consider the risk-reward ratio: You need to ensure that your profit target is achievable and suitable with your risk tolerance. A favorable risk-reward ratio will boost your chances of gaining consistent profits.
  • Adjust targets based on market conditions: It is crucial to adapt your target to constantly changing market conditions. If the market becomes highly volatile, setting more conservative profit targets may be wise to secure your gains.
  • Take partial profits: Consider withdrawing partial profits at a certain level rather than closing your entire position at once. This way, you will be able to secure some gains while still having the potential to get more profits if the market changes.

Utilize technical analysis to know when to exit

Technical analysis helps you determine the right moment to close a position. By analysing price charts, you may find significant support and resistance levels, trendlines, and signs that indicate a potential reversal or persistence of a trend. Thereby, you may make more educated decisions about when to sell your positions and lock in gains.

Final Words

To sum up, it is critical to apply structured profit taking strategies with predefined rules and clear price targets. Choosing an appropriate profit taking strategy helps you protect open profits and maximize returns over many traders. This also helps reduce emotional decision-making for better long-term results. For further helpful trading tips, please visit