A stop and reverse (often known as SAR) is a type of stop loss order that exits the current trade, and either simultaneously or immediately afterwards, enters a new trade in the opposite direction. Stop and reverse orders combine elements of trade management and risk management, and are used in place of regular stop loss orders.
When Are Stop And Reverse Orders Used?
Stop and reverse orders are used when a trader wants to reverse their position (hence the name stop and reverse). For example, if a trader is in a long trade, and wants to exit the long trade and enter a short trade at the same price, they would use a stop and reverse order. The same task could be accomplished manually (i.e. placing an exit order, followed by an entry order), but stop and reverse orders are more efficient as they can combine the entry and exit into a single order.
How Do Stop And Reverse Orders Work?
Stop and reverse orders not a standard order type, and are not offered by many brokerages or any exchanges (that I am aware of). Therefore, stop and reverse orders are usually implemented by the trader's trading software (order entry software), and therefore their implmentation can vary significantly, but with the same end result (a new trade in the opposite direction).
If a trader's trading software does not offer stop and reverse orders (many do not), the trader can create a stop and reverse order by doubling the number of contracts (or shares, or lots, etc.) in their stop loss orders. For example, if a trader is in a long trade with one contract, a stop loss order that is placed for two contracts will function exactly like a stop and reverse order.
Note that stop and reverse orders are not related to the Parabolic SAR indicator, however, a trader that is trading using the Parabolic SAR indicator may use stop and reverse orders in their trading.