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Use Sell Stop Orders to Help Protect Gains or Limit Losses

29 July 2015 in Inside Motif

We’re excited to announce that sell stop orders are now available for stocks you own individually or within a motif. Stop orders can be used to help protect gains or limit losses on your existing investments.

Rather than continuously monitor the price of stocks you own, you can now place a sell stop order to execute a trade when the price of your stock drops below a specific price you determine.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to create a stop order for a stock you own.

To get started, navigate to your positions overview page from the dropdown menu.

By default, your positions are grouped by motifs and single stocks. Click on “Show Stock View” to see all the underlying stocks you own in a single list.


Find the stock that you want to trade. In this example we’ve chosen AGL Resources Inc. as the stock we want to place a sell stop order.

If you own the stock in multiple places – in more than one motif or individually – you will be asked to select which one you are selling. In this example, AGL Resources Inc. is held as a single stock as well as in the All American motif. Let’s trade AGL Resources Inc., the single stock.


After you click on Trade from the screen above, you’ll be taken to our new trading interface for stocks. Notice the number of shares you own is conveniently displayed.


To create the sell stop order, select Sell, enter the quantity you wish to sell (or click on Sell All) and select Stop as the order type.

Enter a stop price at which point your sell order will trigger and execute at the current market price. If the current stock price does not fall below the stop price, the sell stop order will not trigger. The stop price must be lower than the current stock price to be valid.

Finally, select the duration that the sell stop order will remain in effect. If you select Day, your sell stop order will remain open through the end of the trading day before expiring. If you place a sell stop order after market close the order will carry over to the next trading day.

You can also select Good ‘Til Canceled and your sell stop order will remain open until your order is filled, you cancel it, or 60 calendar days have passed since you created it.


On the next screen, you can preview your selections before placing your trade. Your estimated total is computed based on the stop price and not the current stock price.


Note that if you place a sell stop order for a stock held within a professional motif, your motif will become a custom motif once the order executes. In this example, we sold a single stock owned outside of a motif so there was no such effect.

If you have any questions about this new feature, contact us at 1-855-586-6843, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm ET, Mon-Fri.

  1. yusef yagbes
    30 Jul at 1:23 pm

    Are you going to have trailing stops in the future?

  2. Arman Sahakyan
    30 Jul at 2:25 pm

    A useful feature, I guess. How about a similar feature for “Buy” operation? We’d want to setup an automatic “Buy” trigger for a given stock (or a Motif, in principle) if market price drops below a set threshold.

  3. Zach
    30 Jul at 2:28 pm

    No trailing stop loss which is probably more commonly used? omg do we have to wait 6 months now for percentage based trailing stop losses?

  4. jamie vittek
    30 Jul at 5:15 pm

    Can you place stop price on an entire motif once it fall to a certain price point? If so…How? thanks jamie vittek

  5. Charles King
    19 Aug at 12:51 pm

    You have shown how to place a conditional sell (stop) order for a security either held within a motif or held alone. My question: Can you do another set up for us to use in selling an entire motif if the total holding drops below a specified total value?

  6. Lino
    23 Feb at 11:27 am

    I would also like to know if you will be offering trailing stop loss in the future? Thanks.

    • Motif
      24 Mar at 9:46 am

      Unfortunately, we have no current or future plans to offer trailing stop loss orders.