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What are Pads

Near the top of the Quick tab you will see a grey box with two settings for pads:

These are optional but are provided for traders who like to bracket a consolidation band and trade from its breakout, or for those who believe a price target is actually a zone rather than an exact number.

When to Use

Let’s say you see a price level you want to trade, but you often mentally say “I’m going to give it a few extra pips above (or below) the price I see so I don’t get pulled in by a false breakout”.

If you have a number in mind, you can just put that amount into the PAD entry box on the Quick tab and let the Advanced Calculator do the work for you, rather than mentally adding or subtracting that in yourself.

An example trade

This trader used a pad of 10 pips for the entry and the stop loss, both for the pending short and the pending long. Her long was not picked up, and so she averted a loss. Her short was picked up and took full profit, even having gone in below the pad.

Pad the Entry

The Quick tab makes it easy to add a pad on the entry side of your trade, by using the dropdown menu for “Pad between entry and key level”. If you don’t want a pad just leave this menu at 0.

Let’s look at this in detail. In the example below we see a trade being planned on the GBPUSD with a spread of 2 pips. The pad for the entry side of the trade is dialed in at 4 pips.

Let’s compare buying and selling. Note that the entry price has been chosen as YOU SEE, not Actual.

Both the buy and the sell have an entry price of 1.300, just for simplicity in this example. Now look at the orange line What you set: Set entry price.

If we’ve asked for a pad of 4, why are we not just seeing recommended a buy price of 1.3004 and a sell price of 1.2996? A simple 4 pip plus / minus ?

Because of bid and ask!

The spread is 2 and the buy goes in on the ask. If you had just mentally added your 4 pip pad to your 1.300, you’d actually be going in at 1.302 – in effect only a 2 pip pad – because you’d forgotten to account for the spread when you’re buying.

Let the Calculator do the work for you, and you’ll be able to avoid these kind of mistakes.

Pad the Stop

The Quick tab also makes it easy to add a pad on the stop loss side of your trade, by using the dropdown menu for “Stop loss pad”. If you don’t want a pad just leave this menu at 0.

In the example below we see a trade being planned on the GBPUSD with a spread of 2 pips. The pad for the stop loss side of the trade is dialed in at 4 pips.

Let’s compare buying and selling. Note that the stop price has been chosen as YOU SEE, not fixed number – though for the stop calculations the bid and ask are accounted for you for either selection.

Both the buy and the sell have a stop price of 1.200, just for simplicity in this example. Now look at the blue line What you set: Set stop loss.

If we’ve asked for a pad of 4, why are we not just seeing recommended a SL price of 1.1996 on the buy side and a SL price of 1.2004 on the sell side? A simple 4 pip plus / minus ?

Because of bid and ask!

The buy that went in on the ask will go out on the bid, matching what your charts actually show you. So no compensation is needed for the buy side.

But the sell that goes in on the bid goes out on the ask – so those prices will NOT match what you see on your charts. If you had just mentally added 4 to your 1.200, you’d actually be going out at 1.302 – in effect only a 2 pip pad – because you’d forgotten to account for the spread when you’re exiting your short. Countless mistakes are made in trading by not using this.

If all this is confusing, don’t worry. Use ‘You See’ whenever you can and let the Advanced Calculator do the work for you. Then use the values shown at the bottom of the Quick Tab as your entry and exit prices.

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