Swing trading

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Swing trading is a speculative trading strategy in financial markets where a tradable asset is held for one or more days in an effort to profit from price changes or 'swings'. [1] [2] A swing trading position is typically held longer than a day trading position, but shorter than buy and hold investment strategies that can be held for months or years. Profits can be sought by either buying an asset or short selling. [3] [4] Momentum signals (e.g., 52-week high/low) have been shown to be used by financial analysts in their buy and sell recommendations that can be applied in swing trading. [5]

Contents

Swing trading methods

Using a set of mathematically based objective rules for buying and selling is a common method for swing traders to eliminate the subjectivity, emotional aspects, and labor-intensive analysis of swing trading. The trading rules can be used to create a trading algorithm or "trading system" using technical analysis or fundamental analysis to give buy and sell signals.

Simpler rule-based trading approaches include Alexander Elder's strategy, which measures the behavior of an instrument's price trend using three different moving averages of closing prices. The instrument is only traded Long when the three averages are aligned in an upward direction, and only traded Short when the three averages are moving downward. [6] Trading algorithms/systems may lose their profit potential when they obtain enough of a mass following to curtail their effectiveness: "Now it's an arms race. Everyone is building more sophisticated algorithms, and the more competition exists, the smaller the profits," observes Andrew Lo, the Director of the Laboratory For Financial Engineering, for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [7]

Identifying when to enter and when to exit a trade is the primary challenge for all swing trading strategies. However, swing traders do not need perfect timing—to buy at the very bottom and sell at the very top of price oscillations—to make a profit. Small consistent earnings that involve strict money management rules can compound returns over time. [8] It is generally understood[ by whom? ] that mathematical models and algorithms do not work for every instrument or market situation.

Returns

Swing trading, with effective rules, is often considered to generate higher returns than day trading, all things equal, as price movement of instruments can take longer than same-day to unfold.

Risks involved

Risks in swing trading are commensurate with market speculation in general. Risk of loss in swing trading typically increases in a trading range, or sideways price movement, as compared to a bull market or bear market that is clearly moving in a specific direction. Risks are generally higher than day trading as positions are usually held after the market closes.

See also

Related Research Articles

Speculation Engaging in risky financial transactions

In finance, speculation is the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable in the near future.

In finance, technical analysis is an analysis methodology for analysing and forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume. Behavioral economics and quantitative analysis use many of the same tools of technical analysis, which, being an aspect of active management, stands in contradiction to much of modern portfolio theory. The efficacy of both technical and fundamental analysis is disputed by the efficient-market hypothesis, which states that stock market prices are essentially unpredictable, and research on whether technical analysis offers any benefit has produced mixed results.

Day trading Buying and selling financial instruments within the same trading day

Day trading is a form of speculation in securities in which a trader buys and sells a financial instrument within the same trading day, so that all positions are closed before the market closes for the trading day to avoid unmanageable risks and negative price gaps between one day's close and the next day's price at the open. Traders who trade in this capacity are generally classified as speculators. Day trading contrasts with the long-term trades underlying buy-and-hold and value investing strategies. It is made easier using day trading software. Day trading is similar to swing trading, in which positions are held for a few days.

Hedge (finance) Concept in investing

A hedge is an investment position intended to offset potential losses or gains that may be incurred by a companion investment. A hedge can be constructed from many types of financial instruments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, insurance, forward contracts, swaps, options, gambles, many types of over-the-counter and derivative products, and futures contracts.

In stock market technical analysis, support and resistance are certain predetermined levels of the price of a security at which it is thought that the price will tend to stop and reverse. These levels are denoted by multiple touches of price without a breakthrough of the level.

Market timing is the strategy of making buying or selling decisions of financial assets by attempting to predict future market price movements. The prediction may be based on an outlook of market or economic conditions resulting from technical or fundamental analysis. This is an investment strategy based on the outlook for an aggregate market rather than for a particular financial asset.

Proprietary trading occurs when a trader trades stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, their derivatives, or other financial instruments with the firm's own money, aka the nostro account, contrary to depositors' money, in order to make a profit for itself. Proprietary trading can create potential conflicts of interest such as insider trading and front running.

Bollinger Bands Statistical price volatility chart

Bollinger Bands are a type of statistical chart characterizing the prices and volatility over time of a financial instrument or commodity, using a formulaic method propounded by John Bollinger in the 1980s. Financial traders employ these charts as a methodical tool to inform trading decisions, control automated trading systems, or as a component of technical analysis. Bollinger Bands display a graphical band and volatility in one two-dimensional chart.

Algorithmic trading is a method of executing orders using automated pre-programmed trading instructions accounting for variables such as time, price, and volume. This type of trading attempts to leverage the speed and computational resources of computers relative to human traders. In the twenty-first century, algorithmic trading has been gaining traction with both retail and institutional traders. It is widely used by investment banks, pension funds, mutual funds, and hedge funds that may need to spread out the execution of a larger order or perform trades too fast for human traders to react to. A study in 2019 showed that around 92% of trading in the Forex market was performed by trading algorithms rather than humans.

Pairs trade Trading strategy

A pairs trade or pair trading is a market neutral trading strategy enabling traders to profit from virtually any market conditions: uptrend, downtrend, or sideways movement. This strategy is categorized as a statistical arbitrage and convergence trading strategy. Pair trading was pioneered by Gerry Bamberger and later led by Nunzio Tartaglia's quantitative group at Morgan Stanley in the 1980s.

Momentum investing is a system of buying stocks or other securities that have had high returns over the past three to twelve months, and selling those that have had poor returns over the same period.

The commodity channel index (CCI) is an oscillator originally introduced by Donald Lambert in 1980.

In finance, a trading strategy is a fixed plan that is designed to achieve a profitable return by going long or short in markets. The main reasons that a properly researched trading strategy helps are its verifiability, quantifiability, consistency, and objectivity.

Trend following or trend trading is a trading strategy according to which one should buy an asset when its price trend goes up, and sell when its trend goes down, expecting price movements to continue.

Option strategies are the simultaneous, and often mixed, buying or selling of one or more options that differ in one or more of the options' variables. Call options, simply known as Calls, give the buyer a right to buy a particular stock at that option's strike price. Opposite to that are Put options, simply known as Puts, which give the buyer the right to sell a particular stock at the option's strike price. This is often done to gain exposure to a specific type of opportunity or risk while eliminating other risks as part of a trading strategy. A very straightforward strategy might simply be the buying or selling of a single option; however, option strategies often refer to a combination of simultaneous buying and or selling of options.

Option (finance) Right to buy or sell a certain thing at a later date at an agreed price

In finance, an option is a contract which conveys to its owner, the holder, the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price on or before a specified date, depending on the style of the option. Options are typically acquired by purchase, as a form of compensation, or as part of a complex financial transaction. Thus, they are also a form of asset and have a valuation that may depend on a complex relationship between underlying asset value, time until expiration, market volatility, and other factors. Options may be traded between private parties in over-the-counter (OTC) transactions, or they may be exchange-traded in live, orderly markets in the form of standardized contracts.

An automated trading system (ATS), a subset of algorithmic trading, uses a computer program to create buy and sell orders and automatically submits the orders to a market center or exchange. The computer program will automatically generate orders based on predefined set of rules using a trading strategy which is based on technical analysis, advanced statistical and mathematical computations or input from other electronic sources.

An electronic trading platform is a piece of computer software that allows users to place orders for financial products over a network with a financial intermediary. These products include products such as stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, and derivatives. The first widespread electronic trading platform was Nasdaq. The availability of such trading platforms to the public has encouraged a surge in retail investing.

In trading strategy, news analysis refers to the measurement of the various qualitative and quantitative attributes of textual news stories. Some of these attributes are: sentiment, relevance, and novelty. Expressing news stories as numbers and metadata permits the manipulation of everyday information in a mathematical and statistical way. This data is often used in financial markets as part of a trading strategy or by businesses to judge market sentiment and make better business decisions.

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a type of algorithmic financial trading characterized by high speeds, high turnover rates, and high order-to-trade ratios that leverages high-frequency financial data and electronic trading tools. While there is no single definition of HFT, among its key attributes are highly sophisticated algorithms, co-location, and very short-term investment horizons. HFT can be viewed as a primary form of algorithmic trading in finance. Specifically, it is the use of sophisticated technological tools and computer algorithms to rapidly trade securities. HFT uses proprietary trading strategies carried out by computers to move in and out of positions in seconds or fractions of a second.

References

  1. "Swing Trading - Definitions from Dictionary.com". Archived from the original on 2007-03-05.
  2. "Swing Trading". 2003-11-25.
  3. Ibid.
  4. "Range-Bound Trading Definition". Investopedia. 2005-05-05.
  5. Low, R.K.Y.; Tan, E. (2016). "The Role of Analysts' Forecasts in the Momentum Effect" (PDF). International Review of Financial Analysis. 48: 67–84. doi:10.1016/j.irfa.2016.09.007.
  6. Come Into My Trading Room: A Complete Guide To Trading, Dr. Alexander Elder, (John Wiley & Sons, 2002)
  7. International Herald Tribune , November 23, 2006. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/23/business/worldbusiness/23iht-trading.3647885.html
  8. Gomez, Steve; Lindloff, Andy (2011). Change is the only Constant. IN: Lindzon, Howard; Pearlman, Philip; Ivanhoff, Ivaylo. The StockTwits Edge: 40 Actionable Trade Set-Ups from Real Market Pros. Wiley Trading. ISBN   978-1118029053.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Further reading