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Stops is our software tool for calculating the changing volatility-adjusted stop-loss settings of a rising stock. One problem traders and investors face is how much to let a stock decline before selling. Most investors, if they use stop losses at all, lose too much when their stops are triggered. The stops are set too close or too far away. The excess losses could easily add up to a huge amount over a year. Our Stops tool addresses this issue.

The ideal stop-loss setting will minimize the loss if the stock plummets but still give the stock room for normal fluctuations while it continues to climb. Stops includes a “Stop-Lab” where you can experiment with different settings and see the effect of those settings on stock-charts covering over 5½ years of price activity.  At one time, Stops had charts users could modify, but the end result was that it was too easy for people to damage them. 

The Stop-Lab

The charts in the lab are pre-selected by and cannot be changed.  Stop-placement in the “Lab” is indicated by a red line that changes as settings are changed. When you find the settings that work the best for you (that fit your own investment time-horizon), those settings can be entered for each of 10 different stocks. Or, you can enter different settings for each of 10 stocks.

Stops will then automatically compute stop-loss settings for you as you enter price data. The actual number is generated and displayed for you. Stop-losses can be based on a fixed-percentage decline or on the volatility of the stock. You can also generate stops that combine the fixed-percentage and volatility-adjusted approaches (and you can choose the relative weighting of each). The tool can calculate and use volatility measurements to reduce the chances of unnecessary selling because of random lurches of the stock.

Stops Sample

Stops includes 19 different ways to calculate a stop loss, each of which has an infinite range of adjustment possibilities (so you can adjust them to reflect your own tolerance for risk). For example, it can use average deviations, standard deviations, a “Kaufman/Bulkowski” approach, formulas derived from Kase's definition of “true range,” and so on. Stops does all the math for you. You do not even have to know how to compute a standard deviation or know anything about statistics. You simply enter the numbers 1, 2, or 3 in different boxes (or leave the boxes empty). That’s it! That’s all the math you need to know. The only exception would be if you want stops to include a straight percentage as part of its calculations. Then, of course, you would have to specify what you want that percentage to be. You can experiment in the “Lab” until you find the settings that are just right for you.  Stops does not calculate stop losses for positions that have been sold short.  However, a user can easily deduce such settings.  For example, if Stops calculates a stop loss that is .95 below the close, the user may infer that the stop for a short position is .95 above the close.

For each position, there is a module available for computing Fibonacci retracement levels. For example, a person can enter a recent low and high, and the module will compute Fibonacci retracement levels based on that information.

Fibonacci Levels in Stops

Click here to see why data input is not automated.

You must have Excel 2007 (or later) installed on your computer. To test your system, click on the following link. It will take you to a page where you can download a small .exe file with a macro (Stops has a few macros).  Do not try to open the .exe file in Excel.  With Excel closed, click on the  icon and it will open an Excel spreadsheet.  If you can enter a number and cause the macro to work and the spreadsheet to recalculate, then you should have no trouble using Stops on your system.  Stops has not been tested on Linux or Apple systems, and we cannot guarantee that it will not permanently modify your spreadsheet program (see the note below about Excel 2003 and earlier versions of Excel).  Note: There are compatibility issues with versions of Excel that are older than Excel 2007.  Do not order Stops if you have Excel 2003 or other older versions of Excel.  Stops will not function with those older versions of Excel, and it may also damage them.  There are no such problems if you have Excel 2007 or later.   Test for Excel 2007 & later

The macros in Stops are essential to the proper functioning of the tool, so they must be enabled (a simple setting choice in Excel).  When you click on the Stops icon, Stops automatically opens and makes use of the functionality of your installed spreadsheet program.  It is not necessary to open Excel for it to do this. While Stops is easy to use, there is a lot to it internally. Once it is loaded, data can be entered as quickly as for any simple Excel spreadsheet. That’s because it is configured so that it will not compute anything until you tell it to by pressing the f-9 key. That is to prevent Stops from taking a time-out while it recalculates after ench change you make.  Simply make all your entries, press the f-9 key, and wait a few moments for Stops to complete its computations. 

Stops does have to import data from our Website.  That means Web queries must be enabled.  For example, you may see the following.  Note the red arrow.  Simply click on Options and enable the connection.

Web Queries For Stops

The f-9 key will not recalculate if Stops cannot connect with our Website.  If that message does not appear and Stops does not recalculate, press the "Ctrl" key, the "Alt" key, and the f-5 key (all three simultaneously).  Then try the f-9 key again.  The program should recalculate, unless you have not entered the correct date in cell a-5 or unless there is an error in your computer's calendar setting.

The amount saved by better stop placement (even once) could pay for the small license fee many times over. You can get additional information by clicking on "Stops" on the navigation bar (left side of your screen).

Ordering and The License Agreement

Read the License Agreement for details before ordering. To read the License Agreement, click on Agreement. An order cannot be transmitted to us unless you acknowledge that you have read the License Agreement.


When you place an order, we will send you the address on our Website where you can download Stops (and the password that will enable you to gain access).  When you try to open Stops, you will see a message indicating you need an Registration Key before you can open Stops.  Send the automated request to us, and we will send the Registration Key.  When we post those Operational Codes, they are good for about 3 months.  When you get access, those codes may last a day or 3 months, depending on when you order.  If they last only a few days, you may simply return to that page when the codes expire and get the new codes.  The fee is $20/month.  If you cancel your license, your access to new codes will be terminated immediately, and there will be no refund for any unused portion of the month.  However, the codes you have installed will enable you to continue using Stops until they expire.  Therefore, if you get new codes and then cancel, you will be able to use Stops for about 3 months after your cancellation.  If you have cancelled, and you decide you want to use Stops again, you cannot simply reactivate your previous account.  Instead, you will have to place a new order.

When you download Stops, you will probably get a message as follows.  "The publisher could not be verified.  Are you sure you want to run this?"  There are companies that charge a fee for guaranteeing that a company is who they say they are.  Such guarantees do not guarantee freedom from malware.  StockDisciplines is the creator or Stops and you are downloading Stops from StockDisciplines.  That should be sufficient.  No other Website is authorized to make Stops available.  It is our product and we want to be the ones who service those who use Stops.  If you are concerned about viruses, scan the program.  There are no viruses.  We do not think it should be necessary to pay some other company to testify to our honesty.

If you have Excel 2003 (or any earlier version of Excel) on your computer, do not take the following test and do not order ATR Stops.   Doing so can result in permanent problems with your excel installation.  For more information on this contact us.  There are no such problems with later versions of Excel.  If you have Excel 2007 or later, take the following test Test for Excel 2007 & Later   If your system failed the test, you may get some help by going to Macro Help 

Please read the License Agreement before ordering. Also read our Terms of Use. The order form will ask you if you have read both of these and if you agree to their terms.

Below, you have seven selection possibilities, according to the version of Excel you have and according to whether it is a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Excel.  Be sure to order the correct version of Stops.  Even if you have a 64-bit Windows operating system, you may have a 32-bit version of Excel.  The appropriate version of Stops depends on what version of Excel you have installed on your computer (NOT on the version of Windows).  A 32-bit version of Excel cannot work with a 64-bit version of Stops.  Excel 2007 is 32-bit.  Later versions could be either.  If you are not sure, click on    Excel Version   .  Please indicate the version of Excel that you are using.  if you are a Mac user and you have verified that you can open and use Stops, indicate the version that is closest to the one you are using.  Do not order if you have Excel 2003 or an earlier version.