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The Pros and Cons of Swing Trading and What You Should Know

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The Pros and Cons of Swing Trading
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If you start researching different investment strategies, you may come across the term ‘swing trading’. Often recommended as a strategy that’s suitable for beginners, swing trading involves holding a position for several days or weeks in order to take advantage of short-term price movements. This approach can help traders avoid the volatility of day trading, but it has the advantage of letting them still generate returns in the short term.

While there are many benefits to swing trading, there are also some drawbacks to consider before jumping in.

What is Swing Trading?

Swing traders look to profit from medium-term price fluctuations. This differs from day trading, also known as momentum trading, where a momentum trader tries to profit from price movements that happen on the same day. A swing trader hopes to make money from individual price swings. They use technical analysis to predict where a price swing will end, so they can jump in at the high point or low point, although it is usually better to capitalize on an upswing, as this has better potential.

Before you try swing trading, make sure you understand the pros and cons.

The Pros of Swing Trading

Swing trading has a lot of advantages. 

Lower Stress

Trading can sometimes be stressful, especially if you feel as if you can’t leave your screens behind for a minute, because if you do, you might miss a great trade. Unlike day traders, who need to be glued to the screen all day, swing traders have more flexibility in their trading schedule. This can reduce stress and help traders avoid burnout.

A Smaller Time Commitment 

There isn’t as much of a time commitment when swing trading. Most swing traders spend a small amount of time each day doing technical analysis, so they can identify price fluctuations worth taking advantage of, but thereafter, they are free to do other things. This suits traders with other responsibilities, such as another job or a family. 

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More Capital Liquidity

Investing in stocks and shares means tying up capital for a long time, potentially years, as this type of investment doesn’t offer instant returns. If you want access to your capital, swing trading may suit you better. Instead of waiting for a bad stock to recover, you can accept a loss and look for a different stock that may experience a price upswing. This level of flexibility may be preferable to you.

Higher Profits 

Because swing traders hold positions for longer than day traders, there is a potential to earn higher profits – although there is also a risk that you may not make a profit. Swing traders can take advantage of larger price moves that may occur over several days or weeks. With the right strategy and a good understanding of the technical analysis tools available to you, there is a possibility of good returns with less stress. It all depends on your skill set. 

Lower Commission Costs 

Swing traders don’t make as many trades as day traders, so they pay out less in commission costs. 

More Opportunities

Swing traders have the ability to take advantage of multiple market conditions, including both bullish and bearish trends. This provides more opportunities to enter and exit positions at favorable prices.

The Cons of Swing Trading

Trading is inherently risky, so it is essential that you factor this into your plan. Here are the cons associated with swing trading.

Higher Risk 

Swing traders stick with their positions for longer, so there is a higher risk of unexpected market developments, such as major news events, as happened when Russia invaded Ukraine or sudden changes in trend. These can all negatively impact a swing trader’s position.

Longer Holding Times

Swing trading requires patience and discipline. Swing traders may need to hold a position for several days or even weeks in order to achieve the desired profitability. If you are the kind of trader that thrives on adrenaline and instant gratification, swing trading might not suit your personality. 

More Technical Analysis Is Needed

To be successful at swing trading, traders need to conduct thorough technical and fundamental analyses to identify potential entry and exit points. This requires more knowledge and experience than simply making quick trades based on market trends.

Limited Flexibility

Swing traders don’t enjoy the same flexibility as day traders, as they must hold their positions for longer. This means you can’t respond to sudden changes in market conditions as quickly.

Swing trading is a popular strategy that can be profitable for experienced traders who are willing to put in the time and effort to conduct thorough technical analysis and have plenty of patience and discipline. However, before you give it a try, you must understand the various risks involved, including unexpected market developments and longer holding times, before deciding to pursue this approach. 

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Emenike Emmanuel is a multiple award-winning blogger, CEO of Entrepreneur Business Blog, Chief Evangelist of Ebusinessroom Ventures, and the Lead Coach of an online community of over 12,000 business owners called, The Excellent Entrepreneurs' Network. He’s here to help you start, manage and grow a profitable and sustainable business using digital marketing strategies. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Pinterest with this handle, @emenikeng. Telegram group - t.me/yourfirst1000 | Email: [email protected]

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