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Day trading vs. swing trading
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Day trading vs. swing trading

  #1 (permalink)
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Day trading vs. swing trading

Got banned from the CL analysis thread for to trying to pose a question. I will try to use softer language so as not to offend anyone and stay on the positive side of thing's.

I am only trying to find a basic trading philosophy.

Is there a swing trader out there that thinks that he is more successful than a day trader.

Obviously, you need to have a little capital behind you to consider as such.

I think the word might be myopic I have been informed that this board is mostly composed of day traders.

I think that the word, myopic, is soft enough to encourage a little discussion. A not get anyone's feather's ruffled.

And there are obviously arguments out there as to a larger trading perspective.

I think that any really, really serious money made in the market, obviously has not been made day trading.

Is anyone out there on the board, either with or without capital that is looking at the larger picture, I don't care if you are even just paper - trading.

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
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I think you had a valid question and except me, nobody answered it in the CL thread. So if you missed it, you can read my response there.

Generally, the more money one has, one should do more swing trading instead of daytrading. Why? Well 2 reasons:

1. A good swingtrader should earn just as much as a daytrader, if not more. So if one can make X amount by spending 15 minutes with charts and strategizing, why would one spend 6-8-10 hours by doing the same? Also, with bigger money, one needs to make smaller returns to profit the same amount...

2. A generally rich/well to do person should spend his time on something else than looking at charts all day long. Otherwise what's the point of having enough money? If that is his hobby, so be it, but life is more than just looking at monitors...

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  #4 (permalink)
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e-mini S & P


Pedro40 View Post
I think you had a valid question and except me, nobody answered it in the CL thread. So if you missed it, you can read my response there.

Generally, the more money one has, one should do more swing trading instead of daytrading. Why? Well 2 reasons:

1. A good swingtrader should earn just as much as a daytrader, if not more. So if one can make X amount by spending 15 minutes with charts and strategizing, why would one spend 6-8-10 hours by doing the same? Also, with bigger money, one needs to make smaller returns to profit the same amount...

2. A generally rich/well to do person should spend his time on something else than looking at charts all day long. Otherwise what's the point of having enough money? If that is his hobby, so be it, but life is more than just looking at monitors...

Thank you Pedro for your response, I know I took quite a bit of flak for what I said on the CL board.
I am trying to develop a trading philosophy. I don't mind spending 8 - 10 hours a day swing trading.

In trying to develop a trading philosophy. And I think a very basic question is. To put to the board is, are you able to grab more points day trading vs. swing trading a trend whether it last 5 days or 4 months?

Let the trade ride with the trend or take intraday ticks Has anyone personally examined this with their trading ability

Let's say your are of decent enough proficiency to call good entry/ exit points on a swing trade. Has anyone done any cross analysis as to which strategy is more effective., personally this would be upon one's abilities

For example, let's take a look at a very, very short term trend right now on the e-mini S & P. I would have a swing trade entry on last Friday with an expectation of a downtrend for 5 days. Are you able to grab more points on this with a swing trade or by grabbing intraday ticks.

I am favoring the more conservative approach and I am not convinced that you can grab more points on this trade (just to get down to the straight numbers) than with intraday trading. If you were to 5 day swing trade the e-mini right now rather than daily grabbing ticks, considering whipsaw action, etc. how the e-mini runs the course of the day.

I am just not convinced that you are not just playing around as day traders. But go by the numbers.

I am not here to play around.

The trend is your friend.
The market is always smarter than you.

I think that this is a very, very good question to put out there to the board.


Last edited by e4williams; March 9th, 2015 at 04:22 AM. Reason: additon
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  #5 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if it's just me, but it sounds to me that you are not ready to embrace the advantages/disadvantages of both swing trading and day trading but wish to convince others swing trading is the superior method because you had already developed such strong belief yourself. Personally I think this can be dangerous. I believe keeping an open mind is very important in trading.


You can trade successfully with different product, different markets, different strategies and of course different time-frame too. What's important is to find the right package that suits ones' internal personalities and external circumstances.
Claiming swing trading is more superior than day trading sounds just like claiming trading S&P will be more profitable than trading 10 yr notes or trading the Canadian Market will be more profitable than trading in Australian Market (maybe US market is the most popular market for traders, but chances are profitable opportunities exists in any market).

Let's say somehow we could collect data from all traders in this world and found that indeed swing trading traders do have better performance compared to day traders over all matrix including return,risk, psychological state, partner appearance and whatever measurements, it does not mean the future will remain the same. (If anything this study would create more opportunities for day trading.) Unless you can prove not a single person can be profitable day trading and this is clearly not the case.

Let's say you are actually right and no one is day trading any more because its not profitable and they decided to stop "playing around with the numbers", good luck getting your swing trade orders filled.

Be grateful that people trade differently and welcome to the market =)

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  #6 (permalink)
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e4williams View Post
1. I don't mind spending 8 - 10 hours a day swing trading.

2.In trying to develop a trading philosophy.

3. are you able to grab more points day trading vs. swing trading a trend whether it last 5 days or 4 months?

Part of my answer in the original CL thread was, it also depends on the market. In a dull, flat market a daytrader is probably able to extract some profits from the market while the swingtrader is just waiting for his exits to be hit. Also if it is a very volatile market the swingtrader might be able to take advantage of it only once between 2 price level moves while the daytrader maybe 2-5 times. So there can be advantages to daytrading, depending on market conditions. But a daytrader probably spends way more on commissions.

The biggest advantage of swing trading is the less need to monitor the markets because of the wider exits from the original price.

Now to your points that I numbered:

1. You probably don't have to, depending on your definition of swing. It is just going to be a lots of waiting time while you wait either for the set up or for the position to play out. So you will have lots of extra time...

2. Why don't you try both at the same time, so you will get your answer? Have 2 accounts set up and treat them differently? The swing account should have just a few trades with wider stops and targets, and use bigger timeframes on your charts. But as I said above, at different times you might get different results about what is the more efficient/profitable method...

3. In my experience yes, but not everyone is the same, so whatever suits you. And you can actually use both, there is no law against it...

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  #7 (permalink)
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Don't forget you can do both. It's not unusual for me to have a swing trade start as a day trade. If the market appears to be still moving in the same direction, pull some lots and let the rest turn into a swing trade.

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  #8 (permalink)
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I think dbarno hit the nail right on the head, a swing trade should originate as a solid day trade. Once you're in full profit, you can decide if conditions warrant going for a home run swing trade. It's like the classic if you have one bird in hand, do you give it up to get two from the bush.

The real difference between the two in my humble opinion is that if the swing trader manages the size of a trade correctly, the swing trader will ultimately make more money with the same amount of risk.

Let's say for example, in the first leg, CL goes from 50.00-> 50.20.

Day Trader Enters 2 contracts long, exits 20x2=40 ticks up and cashes completely out of the market.

Swing Trader Enters 2contracts long, but does not exit when price hits 50.20. Instead, when price pulls back to 50.10, the swing trader adds 2 more contracts, with all stops moved to 50.05. If the stops are hit, the swing trader is break even minus commissions. If price returns back to 50.20, then the swing trader is up: (20x2) + (10x2) = 60 ticks. And of course if price goes up to 50.40, then the swing trader will completely outrun the day trader.

Of course you could make the argument that a day trader could either A) make the same trade or B) hold profits to 50.40 as well.

My response would be that the range of 50.00 to 50.40 is for illustration purposes to make the math of doubling the original size with existing profits easier to understand. If you apply the same methodology of using table profits to add more size, but on a scale of say 50.00 - 55.00 (where the range is much greater than an average daily range a day trader by definition could take advantage of), then the swing trader might have booked 11,400 ticks in the same period the day trader booked 1,000 ticks. This even gives the day trader the benefit of the doubt that over the course of a week, the day trader end up capturing the entire range of 50.00 to 55.00.

An over simplification of the math might look something like (500*2)+(400*4)+(300*8)+(200*16)+(100*32)=11,400 ticks. Same amount of money, same amount of risk, but the upside is exponentially larger.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Actual trade. Shorted 4 6e thursday on day trade. Liked what I saw and rolled all 4 into friday. Bought 2 to lock in profit on friday. Rolled the other 2 into the weekend. Still short 2 runners.

Also have two accounts. Use one for day trading and another for swing trades. Keep both well funded if you have to flip the accounts between time frames. Lots of ways to use this idea.

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Keeping in mind that I trade stocks not futures. My main source of income is from trading and investing.

Went from day trading to swing trading for the following reasons.

1) Time spent at the computer. I make as much or more money in less time
2) Less stress; I make my plan for the next day while the market is closed.
3) Less noise; Longer time frame makes it easier to determine potential S&R; stops and targets are usually further away from the entry.
4) Iím not tempted to overtrade. My exits are set and Iím doing other things while the trade is in progress.
5) Commission and trading costs are less.
6) Easier to maintain discipline; Trades are set without the emotion of an active market affecting my thinking.
7) Swing trading fits my personality.

It is hard to find the Truth when you start your search with a preconceived notion of what the Truth will be.
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