Trading Education

The Definitive Guide to Understanding R and R-Multiple

One of the most common reasons traders fail is due to poor risk management. By using the power of the R, you can focus on minimizing tragic losses. Heres a guide on understanding R and R-Multiple.

November 30, 2022
8 minutes

Do you know how beneficial it can be to track the performance of your trades?

Of course you do!

But a new trader like you may be scratching your head when it comes to understanding R and R-Multiple.

Well, don’t you worry. We’ve got your back with our definitive guide to understanding these two essential metrics.

R and R-Multiple are important tools used by traders to measure the success of their trades, calculate risk/reward ratios and evaluate overall performance.

By understanding these concepts, it will help you become a better trader and keep track of your successes and failures.

So, let’s break it down!

What are R and R-Multiple?

R (or Reward) refers to the amount of money earned from a trade.

It’s calculated by subtracting the entry price from the exit price and then dividing it by the risk taken.

For example, if you buy at $10 and sell at $15, your R would be ($15 - $10) / $10 = 0.5 or 50%.

R-Multiple stands for “Return Multiple” and it’s a measurement of risk vs reward.

It’s calculated by dividing the Reward (R) by the Risk (R).

For example, if you buy at $10 with a stop loss at $9, your R-Multiple would be ($15 - $10) / ($10 - $9) = 5.

The difference between R and R-Multiple is that R measures the absolute gain or loss, while R-Multiple measures the relative gain or loss.

Both of these metrics are important tools to help you keep track of your trades, so it’s good to have a solid understanding of them both.

Don't let the math give you the heebie jeebies, getting good all comes with practice!

Now that you understand what R and R-Multiple are, let’s look at how you can use them to become a better trader.

Knowing Your Risk Profile

Before we get down to the good part, it is important that you as a beginner understand your risk profile.

This means you need to know how much risk you are willing to take before entering a trade and what kind of rewards you expect from it.

A good exercise to do is to draw up a risk/reward matrix that outlines the amount of money you are willing to risk, your acceptable win rate and what kind of return you expect from each trade.

This will help you establish a strategy for trading and determine when it’s worth entering a position.

Another useful tool is a Trade Journal, which can help you stay organized and motivated when planning your trades.

Benefits of Using R and R-Multiple for Traders

Using R and R-Multiple can help traders better assess their trading strategies, determine risk/reward ratios, and increase profitability while also reducing risk. Here's how:

📈 Calculating Risk

Calculating your risk before entering a trade is important, so you can understand the maximum amount of money you are willing to lose in a given trade.

By understanding your risk, you can then adjust your position size accordingly.

🔎 Determining Your Trading Goals with R and R-Multiple

You can use R and R-Multiple to set clear trading goals by setting a target reward (R) or return multiple (R-Multiple).

This way, you’ll have a clear understanding of whether your trades are working out as expected or not.

🧐 Setting Up Your Risk Profile

By understanding your risk profile, you can determine which strategies are appropriate for your trading style and objectives.

For example, if you prefer to take on more risk, then you should look for trades with higher R-Multiple ratios.

On the other hand, if you prefer to take on less risk, then you should look for trades with lower R-Multiple ratios.

🏆 Adjusting Your Trading Strategy

You can also use R and R-Multiple to adjust your trading strategy based on past results.

If you find that your trades are not working out as expected, you can adjust your strategy accordingly and try to achieve better returns.

You may be asking right now... is all of this really necessary for me to be able to hit the ground running?

And the answer is yes, but don’t think of it as extra work. Think of it as an investment in yourself and your future trading career.

Now that you understand what R and R-Multiple are, how to calculate them, and the benefits they offer to traders, it's time to start putting these concepts into practice.

Applying R and R-Multiple to Trading Strategies 

Getting started with R and R-Multiple is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

💡 Step 1: Calculate the risk of your trade.

💡 Step 2: Set a target return (R) or return multiple (R-Multiple).

💡 Step 3: Adjust your strategy accordingly, as needed.

By taking these steps and measuring your progress, you’ll be able to track the success of your trades and make the necessary adjustments to your strategy in order to improve.

So let's dive in deeper!

Calculating the Risk of Your Trade

To get a better sense of what the risk of a particular trade is, you’ll need to understand your entry and exit points.

In order to do this, you’ll need to identify the support and resistance levels for your asset.

The Support level is the lowest price that a given asset has reached in the past, while Resistance is the highest price it has reached.

These can be used as reference points when looking at potential trades.

Calculating trade risk - TradeZella

Once you have identified these points, you can then calculate your risk by subtracting your entry point from your stop loss (the maximum amount of money you are willing to lose).

This will give you an indication of how much capital is at risk with each trade.

Additionally, if you want to calculate your risks more accurately, you can also consider factors such as volatility and the time frame of your trade.

Setting a Target Return (R) or Return Multiple (R-Multiple)

Once you have a firm understanding of the risk involved in any given trade, you can then turn to setting up a target return or return multiple.

Your target return is simply the expected return of your position.

It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself when it comes to trading so that you don’t get too optimistic.

On the other hand, the return multiple takes into account both risk and reward.

It’s calculated by dividing your expected profit by the total amount at risk for each trade. This will give you a better idea of how much upside potential your trade has.

Adjusting Your Strategy According to Results

Finally, once you have calculated both your risk and reward, it’s important to track the performance of your trades.

This way, you’ll be able to identify what is working and what isn’t, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

For example, if your trades are consistently falling short of their expected returns then it may be time to reevaluate the strategies being used or the market conditions surrounding them.

On the other hand, if you’re regularly hitting or exceeding your target returns then it may be time to take on more risk in order to maximize profits.

Another example of when it may be wise to adjust your strategy is if the market conditions change drastically.

For example, if a major news event takes place that affects the value of an asset then you may need to reassess your position and make adjustments accordingly.

R and R-Multiple in Action

Let’s take a look at a few practical examples of how R and R-Multiple can be used in trading.

Example 1:

You enter into a long position on EUR/USD with a stop loss of 1.10 and an expected return of 3.00 pips. Your risk is calculated as 1.10 - 3 = 2 pips, giving you an R-Multiple of 1.5 (3 / 2).

Example 2:

You enter into a short position on USD/JPY with a stop loss of 105.00 and an expected return of 300 points. Your risk is calculated as 105 – 300 = 195 points, giving you an R-Multiple of 1.54 (300 / 195).

Example 3:

You enter into a long position on GBP/AUD with a stop loss of 1.75 and an expected return of 500 points. Your risk is calculated as 1.75 - 500 = -324 points, giving you an R-Multiple of 1.54 (500 / -324).

Don't worry, it all sounds a lot more confusing than it actually is! 😅

Let's break the above examples down into a few simple rules that you can use when calculating your R and R-Multiple for any given trade.

  1. Always calculate your risk first before setting your target return or return multiple.
  2. Use both the stop loss and expected return to determine your risk/reward ratio.
  3. Adjust your strategy according to the results of your trades.

By following these simple rules, you can ensure that you’re always trading with a sound risk/reward ratio and maximizing the potential of each trade.

Examining the Results and Learning from Your Performance

After you have used R and R-Multiple to adjust your strategy according to the results, it’s important to take a step back and assess how well you did.

This is an important part of the trading process as it will allow you to identify areas of improvement and make changes where necessary.

By taking the time to review your performance, you can gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to trading.

This knowledge can then be used in order to improve your trading strategy going forward.

It’s also a great way to track the progress that you have made over time so that you can continue improving.

Want to get a better sense of what we are talking about? Here are a few scenarios to help visualize the concepts of risk and reward:

Scenario 1: You make a trade with an entry point of $10 and a stop loss of $9.

This means that your risk amount is $1. If you set a target return of 10%, then this would mean that your expected profit is $0.10 per share, giving you an R-multiple of 10 (profit/risk).

Scenario 2: You make another trade with the same parameters as the first one but with a higher entry point at $15.

Your stop loss remains the same at $9, so your risk has now increased to $6.

Now if you set the same target return at 10% as before, then this would give you an expected profit of $0.60 per share and an R-multiple of 6 (profit/risk).

As you can see, the higher entry point in Scenario 2 not only requires a larger capital investment but also leads to a lower R-multiple. This highlights how important it is to get an accurate assessment of risk and reward when trading.

Using a Trading Journal to Evaluate Performance

Finally, it’s also important to keep a trading journal for evaluation purposes.

This will help you keep track of your trades and performance over time so that you can identify patterns and make adjustments where necessary.

It’s also a great way to review your past performance in order to learn from mistakes and improve your strategy going forward.

Here are a few ways you can use a trade journal in sync with R and R-Multiple:

Tracking Your Risk and Reward

So as you have learned from our little deep dive into the world of risk and reward, it’s quite clear that having a thorough understanding of these concepts is essential for success in trading.

By using R and R-Multiple in combination with a trade journal, you can easily track and evaluate your trades to ensure that you are making the most informed decisions possible.

Think about it this way — in real life when you start a business, you wouldn’t just jump in without assessing the risks and rewards associated with it.

The same goes for trading — make sure to use the tools of R and R-Multiple in order to get an accurate assessment of risk and reward so that you can make well-informed decisions.

By taking the time to review your performance using R and R-Multiple as well as keeping track of all your trades in a journal, you can be sure that you have developed a strategy that is tailored to your individual needs.

This way, you can rest assured knowing that your trades are based on data-driven decisions rather than gut feelings or guesswork.

Setting Targets

With a trading journal in combination with R and R-Multiple, you can also easily set up targets for yourself.

This could include setting a certain level of profit or return that you would like to reach within a certain period of time.

By keeping track of your performance data, you’ll be able to identify any areas that need improvement and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you reach your goals.

Overall, using R and R-Multiple with a trading journal is an invaluable tool when it comes to evaluating your performance as a trader.

By taking the time to assess risk, rewards, patterns and trends, you can gain a better understanding of the markets and develop strategies based on this data-driven information.

Identifying Patterns

Trading journals can also be a great way to identify patterns in your trading.

By regularly reviewing your data and performance, you can start to recognize certain trends that may be affecting your trades.

This information can then be used to inform the decisions you make when it comes to entering and exiting positions.

For example, if you notice that certain types of stocks or sectors tend to perform better during particular times of the day, then this could help inform your decision-making process going forward.

Furthermore, by keeping track of how different risk/reward ratios affect your returns, you can also use this information as a guide for future trades.

Using a trading journal in combination with R and R-Multiple can provide a comprehensive evaluation of your trading performance, allowing you to make informed decisions and maximize your profits.

So don’t forget to take the time to assess risk, rewards, patterns and trends — it could be the difference between success and failure!

Putting It All Together to Reach Your Goals

Are you sleepy yet?

Hang on because this is the best part!

Now that you have all the info you need on risk/reward, performance tracking, setting targets and recognizing patterns – it’s time to put it all together so you can reach your goals.

Remember that by keeping a detailed trading journal and utilizing R and R-Multiple as tools for assessing the market, you can make decisions that are informed by data rather than by guesswork.

This way, you can increase your chances of success while also removing some of the risks associated with trading.

Start taking notes on your trades today and use R & R-Multiple to get an accurate evaluation of risk/reward – you won’t be sorry!

Good luck! (And don't forget to take breaks for coffee!)

Start Journaling with TradeZella Today!

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