How To Set Break Even On A Trade?

When managing a trade in Forex there is a number of ways a trader can protect capital. One of those ways is using Break Even when a trade comes into a management point on the chart and in this post I will highlight what it is and a few ways in which you too can do it as well in your trading as a good option for protecting capital.

Firstly, What Is Break Even?

The term defined to mean when a trader takes the stop loss on one position and pulls it past the entry price making the trade risk free. It is referred to with what happens after a trade has been modified in this way and the market comes back on you and hits the stop loss near or on entry price, a trader then does not make any money but at the same time does not lose money and therefore break even.

Another way of looking at it is that it can be used as the first management adjustment on a trade that is in profit.

Then after that it is locking in more pips or taking some potential profits off along the way.  I am getting ahead of myself with that one, but a good point on long term trend trading in general and having that long term plan as a trader. 1st management aspect being break even which is optional and then so forth locking in more pips as the market moves your way and hits potential future management points on a particular trade.

how to set breakeven

Why Use Break Even?

Easy answer this one, to protect your hard earned cash on a position. It is also a great way of defining a trade profit point where you have decided that if the market comes back on you you do not want to be in that trade. Another aspect of trend evidence trading here as well.

So overall while using break even is optional to a trader and some traders just prefer to take partials as there trade moves more into profit, it is a nice option to have for those remaining positions.

How To Set Break Even On A trade?

Manual Setting

First option is the easy one, setting alarms for a specific price on your trade after setting up stop loss and potential long term targets. Then when alarm goes off on phone or on your trading platform adjusting it manually.

As An Example: Say you buy a pair at 1.30 and you know a good starting management point is 1.3060 on a pair, then set your alarms at 1.3060 and when that alert goes off you pull your stop loss up to 1.3003. Now if you are wondering why a few pips above, that is because I like to lock in a few pips into the profit when setting. Personal preference this one and for all those that are wondering I do not always use it in all my trades, but when I do, I like to do this. Locking in at 1.30 is also break even for those wondering in this example.


  • Buy @ 1.30
  • Price moves to 1.3062
  • Pull Stop Loss to 1.30 to 1.3003 ( Locked in, now risk free )

Second Option of setting break even is with the Platform used itself. Two options I will give with this one, how you can have a EA ( expert advisor ) do it with MT4 and also how to do within CTrader, a platform from Spotware that is also a great Forex Trading Platform.

In first example, let me highlight how to do in MT4.

How to Set Break Even in MT4?

To have a EA do it in MT4 then a great option is using a EA called FTP=Breakeven. This EA is available here.
Tested on MT4 however make sure to test on your own version as well.

Once set up on a chart pair like other EAs each trade taken on that chart will then follow the set parameters you set in the EA. Example of this below.

 breakeven EA 1

Above – Settings in Common Tab to give EA Permission on your platform.

breakeven EA 2

Above – Example settings of using a trigger of 48 pips in profit on a particular pair. This is where the EA will do its magic and will pull the stop loss to 3 pips in profit as set up above as well. This can be set differently in each pair for personal preference.

How to Set Break Even in CTrader?

To do in the CTrader platform is very easy to do and can be done by clicking on the defence ( shield ) symbol on a trade within that platform itself.
Then once in that part, you have many options like the image below shows, plus as a bonus a partial position closing option to left for even more management aspects.

defense symbol ctrader

In trade management you can select the armour symbol as like above.

breakeven advanced 2

To the right you can see the advanced stop loss section and a section called move stop loss to Break Even.  Trigger when gaining, as an example I set 20 pips here in this example however any number could be set.

breakeven advanced ctrader

In the above example I just wanted to illustrate the advanced take profit to left on a 5K position, this is for example purposes only and would be different in a real trade however you can see how each level of profit can take a certain amount off. A very handy element of Ctrader and to use at certain predefined management points on a particular trade.

* Baring in mind these advanced actions of setting or moving the stop loss can only work by leaving CTrader or MT4 running, so if using make sure your computer does not have a sleeping function and that your internet is good. In some instances some traders have two internet connections with two different providers in case one fails computer will automatically connect to the one that is working.

For those wondering Ctrader is the main platform I use in trading, one of those reasons being that it has these in built features which I find extremely valuable to me as a trader and to save me time. For more information on this, the broker I use CTrader with is called ICMarkets.

Okay, so now that I have covered three options of use, I thought I would take a quick moment to highlight why you should do it partly manually and also use the platform as well. The reason being is it gives an extra layer of defence. This does not mean eyeing the charts like a hawk mind you, instead just means that you can set an alarm as an extra measure of protection at the same level you would for the break even or management point. That way you can monitor without lack of sleep and then you can check that management point got filled properly. Just a tip of course with this one, how you do it is up to you, but it does give an extra defence other than the stop loss that is set on entry.

About Timon Weller

Timon Weller is the professional Writer and Trader behind the blog Forex Reviews. Timon Weller is also a professional Teacher of Price Action Trading and creator of the popular Training Series teaching people how to trade Price Action effectively called The Engulfing Trader. For other Forex Training available here at Forex Reviews click here.

For more on Timon Weller Click Here. To Learn more about How to Trade the Market and get updates Click Here.


  1. Hi Timon,
    This is very important tool in money management perspective. Thanks for that! I am using this tool.

  2. Hey Timon, how are you?

    I’m using Visual Order Editor. It’s much better because we can close partially, Set BE anywhere you like, and put TP with partial close with any value you like. All in all can be set by just moving lines in the chart. 🙂

    • Hey Sandy,
      I am good thanks, hope are you? That EA sounds similar to the built in features like the Ctrader platform except on MT4 ( image above ), can close partially up to 5 targets and different amounts ( 5k example above in image ) or set break even anywhere on a trade or even set a predetermined trailing stop area as well. Good to have all those options on a position.

  3. Chaplainrick says:

    Hi Timon! Been following you for some time and really appreciate your reviews. I downloaded the FPA=BreakEven EA from Forex Factory about 1 month ago and I am using it in all my trades. This may be a question better suited in the Forex Factory Forum but thought I’d get your reaction first. Anyway, I am having problems with the EA moving to BE when there is a long wick “spike.” I have had probably 10 trades that went the wrong way right after the spike and I got stopped out. It seems that the EA only moves my Stop Loss on closed candles and not open candles. So, if there is a large spike, it hits my BE setting but since the candle has not closed my Stop Loss is not moved. Most of the time the result is a Pinbar Reversal and a losing trade. Are you or any of your followers experiencing the same thing?


    • Hey Chaplainrick,
      Thanks for the comment and feedback.
      Yeah, not sure about this one, I mainly use Ctrader for my trading now as a way of using management.
      It may also be your build version of MT4 as well that is causing the issue as well.
      Let me know what the owners of the EA say, any updates would be appreciated.


  4. Hello Timon
    This really is a great weapon to minimize losses , l like it and would be using for some positions

  5. Hello Timon

    Which difference is there between this breakeven tool and a trailing stop?

    B Rgds

    • Hey Julian,
      Both are methods of locking in a trade and making it risk free. With break even however one is locking in that trade just a few pips into the the profit zone so allowing more room for the market to move on that position. With trailing stops on the other hand they adjust to market moves in a trades favor which is okay if you allow lots of room for the trailing stop.
      Not a big fan of a trailing stops early in a trades management phase as most of the time it does not allow much room for market to move on position ( thus causing some early exits ) and so I recommend more so for traders to lock in manually based on trend evidence aspects or take partials when needed.
      One of the benefits of a trailing stop however can be using on a trade when it is near a long term target or major management point.

  6. Hello Timon

    Thks for your explanation.
    On the other hand, I wonder whether the EA FTP Breakeven tool works in demo account. I have installed it in my MT4 demo account without success. Face up in the right corner of the chart is not smilling 🙁

    B Rgds

    • Hey Julian,
      You’re welcome. Yeah it works in demo in most MT4 platforms, I always test in demo with any tool before using on a live account.
      There being a frown sounds like you have experts off on your MT4 platform, make sure this is on ( Autotrading button in toolbar ).
      Also go into options ( Ctrl + O ) and make sure under Expert Advisors tab that the top tick box is checked ( top three being checked is fine ).
      If not, tick it and click okay.
      Hopefully that helps get it working for you.

  7. Dear Timon

    I have managed to connect this EA by following your intructions!!
    Thks & B Rgds

  8. Timon, in ctrader the break even capability is great. But I only see where to set it once the order has filled. But what if the order is filled and passes break even and then pulls back into a loss…. while I’m sleeping. Is my only options to set an alarm when my order is filled, wake up and set my break even?

    Thanks, Craig.

    • Hey Craig,
      Yes I agree, I am hoping they will change this in the future, would be nice to set before a order opens.
      In the meantime, set alarms ( just before filling level ) at the entry area on your platform and on your phone, then once filling go and edit advanced management aspects such as break-even or partial profit closing levels.

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