What is the Risk and Reward Ratio in trade?

Introduction of risk-reward ratio

The risk/reward ratio represents the potential reward an investor can achieve for each dollar they put at risk in an investment. Numerous investors utilize risk/reward ratios to evaluate and compare the anticipated returns of an investment against the level of risk they need to assume to attain these returns. A lower risk/return ratio is often more desirable because it indicates reduced risk for an equivalent potential gain. Consider the given illustration: An investment with a risk-reward ratio of 1:7 indicates that an investor is prepared to put $1 at stake in the hopes of gaining $7. On the other hand, a risk/reward ratio of 1:3 indicates that an investor can anticipate investing $1, with the possibility of earning $3 on their investment.

Traders frequently employ this method to strategize their trades, and the ratio is determined by dividing the potential loss a trader may incur if the asset’s price moves unexpectedly (the risk) by the anticipated profit the trader expects to earn upon closing the position (the reward).

How does the Risk and Reward Ratio Work?

Risk and Reward Ratio

The risk/reward ratio is a concept that explains the relationship between the potential risks and rewards associated with a particular decision or investment. It helps individuals assess the benefits they may gain compared to the losses they may incur. By evaluating this ratio, individuals can
In numerous instances, market strategists discover that the optimal risk/reward ratio for their investments is roughly 1:3. For every unit of additional risk, they expect to gain three units of return. Investors can directly manage risk and reward by utilizing stop-loss orders and derivatives like put options.

The risk/reward ratio is frequently employed as a metric when trading individual stocks. The risk/reward ratio that is considered optimal can vary significantly across different trading strategies. Typically, it is necessary to employ trial-and-error techniques to ascertain the optimal ratio for a specific trading strategy. Additionally, numerous investors have a predetermined risk/reward ratio for their investments.

Please be aware that the risk/return ratio can be determined by considering an individual’s personal risk tolerance towards an investment or by objectively calculating an investment’s risk/return profile. In the second scenario, the denominator typically involves expected return, while the numerator involves potential loss. Expected returns can be calculated using different methods. These methods include projecting past returns into the future, estimating the weighted probabilities of future outcomes, or utilizing a model such as the capital asset pricing model (CAPM).

Investors have different methods to estimate potential loss. These methods include analyzing historical price data using technical analysis, considering the historical standard deviation of price action, evaluating company financial statements using fundamental analysis, and utilizing models like value-at-risk (VaR). These techniques can assist investors in recognizing elements that may influence the value of their investment and gauging the possible negative outcomes.

Risk/Reward Ratio in use

Consider this illustration: A person who trades stocks bought 100 shares of XYZ Company for $20 each and set a stop-loss order at $15. This was done to ensure that potential losses would be at most $500. Additionally, suppose that this trader believes that the price of XYZ will reach $30 within the upcoming months. In this situation, the trader is prepared to gamble $5 per share to achieve a projected profit of $10 per share upon closing the position. Given that the trader has the potential to earn twice the amount they have put at stake, it can be stated that their risk/reward ratio for that specific trade is 1:2. Contracts known as derivatives, like put contracts, grant their owners the ability to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price. These contracts can be employed comparably.

In the trading example mentioned earlier, let’s imagine an investor placed a stop-loss order at $18 instead of $15. They still aimed to exit the trade with a profit of $30. By taking this action, they would decrease the potential loss amount (assuming the number of shares remains unchanged). However, they will also raise the chances of the stop loss order being triggered by the price movement. That is because the stop order is closer to the entry point than the target price. Therefore, even though the investor has the potential for a greater gain relative to the potential loss, their chances of actually experiencing this outcome are reduced.

What is the Risk-Reward Calculation in Trade?

Risk-Reward Calculation in Trade

Do you consider yourself someone who takes risks? As an individual trader in the stock market, the risk-reward calculation is one of the few safety measures available. The precise calculation to assess risk versus reward is quite straightforward. You just need to divide your net profit (the reward) by the price of your maximum risk.

Regrettably, individual investors may face significant financial losses when attempting to invest their funds. Numerous factors contribute to this, but one of them stems from the challenge individual investors face in effectively managing risk. Risk reward is a widely used phrase in finance, but what exactly does it signify?

Limiting risk and Stopping loss

Reducing potential harm and implementing protective measures to minimize losses.
If you are not a novice in stock investing, you would never allow that $500 to diminish completely. The total amount at risk is not $500.

We can now slightly adjust our figures since we have minimized our potential losses. Your profit remains unchanged at $80, while your risk is reduced to $100. This risk reduction is because you can only lose a maximum of $5 per share and own 20 shares. Therefore, the risk-to-profit ratio is 1:0.8, or 100/80. This is not yet perfect.

What if we increased our stop-loss price to $23? And Moreover, taking a risk of $2 per share or a total loss of $40? Remember that the ratio of 40 to 80 is 1:2, which is considered acceptable. Certain investors have a requirement that any investment they consider must have a minimum return ratio of 1:4. However, most investors typically consider a minimum return ratio of 1:2. Certainly, it is up to you to determine what ratio you find acceptable.


All knowledgeable investors understand that depending on hope is an unsuccessful strategy. It is advisable to exercise caution and prioritize risk management rather than pursuing aggressive rewards. Risk-reward is consistently evaluated in a practical and cautious manner.

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