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When working on the financial markets, traders can utilize dozens of different strategies.
It is worth saying that there is no ultimate one-fit-all strategy that works for all traders, all instruments and all timeframes. Each trader has to develop a trading strategy of his own. What trading strategy is the best? There is no clear answer to this question, as some strategies that have demonstrated decent results in the past do not work today. Put shortly, an optimal strategy is the one that works. Or, in other words, the one that consistently provides positive returns. If the strategy consistently provides negative results (the trader is losing more than he is earning), this strategy should obviously not be used.
As already mentioned, as there is no single «best strategy», traders may want to look at several factors when developing a strategy of their own. First is the instrument they want to trade. It is no secret that that Stocks behave differently than Forex, and ETF trading is quite different from cryptocurrency trading. Hence, the first rule. Decide on the financial instrument before developing a strategy. Secondly, choose the time frame you want to trade. Intraday trading is radically different from value investing. Choose the time frame first and decide on the strategy second. We have covered the time frame and chart types in our previous article. Thirdly, adjust your trading strategy to your trading style. As in life, we are much more likely to be successful in something that we like. The same applies to trading. If you don’t like how a particular strategy works, find another one. It is as simple as that.
Now, to the strategies themselves. As already mentioned, trading strategies are numerous. This article is not enough to list all of them. Nevertheless, we can provide a list of the most notable ones.
Day trading is a strategy that implies that all positions are being opened and closed within the same day. This strategy is common among Forex traders. Currency pairs can demonstrate decent movements over the course of one day. Moreover, the use of leverage can turn miniscule price swings into tangible gains. Forex, however, is not the only asset class to be traded like that. Cryptocurrencies, for example, can also be traded on a daily basis. One thing that is absolutely required for day trading is high volatility, as it is impossible to trade when the market is flat.
A strategy that is commonly used with stocks, value investing implies that the trader first has to find the discrepancy between the market and the intrinsic (real) value of a particular stock. In order to do this, he will go through earnings reports and key financial metrics. If the intrinsic value is higher than the market one, it is wise to buy the stock. Conversely, if the company is traded at a price that is higher than its intrinsic value, it can be expected to go down (the time when this will happen, however, is not set).
Swing Trading Strategy
When using this strategy, traders try to capitalize on the sudden price swings, hence the name. In a lot of markets, and for a lot of assets, sudden price movements are quite common. One way to apply the swing strategy is to find a strong trend and wait for a retracement. A retracement is a short-term move in the opposite direction that doesn’t change the direction of the bigger trend. When the retracement happens, the asset price will depreciate, but since it is only a retracement and not the trend reversal, the price can be expected to go up again. All in all, this is a practical application of the ‘buy low, sell high’ technique.
Scalping is a subtype of the day trading strategy. As in day trading, all deals are being opened and closed within the same day. Yet, the number of deals and their duration will vary significantly. When applying the classic day trading strategy, you can open as little as one deal and it will still classify as day trading. In scalping, things are a little bit different. Traders open a big number of deals, stacking up small gains over time. In scalping deals can be as short as a few seconds. All in all, it is an interesting strategy that a lot of traders, especially on the Forex market, find useful.
Political and economic news have the potential to affect the asset prices and move the entire markets. Here are two examples to illustrate how powerful news trading can be. On the Forex market, traders buy and sell national currencies in pairs. Their exchange rate is a good proxy for the well-being of the respective national economy. When the American economy flourishes, so does the USD, and vice versa. When the US economy is in crisis, the USD will also depreciate. Of course, it is more complicated than that, but the general idea is roughly like this.
Forex is not the only market that is affected by the news. The equity market, where corporate stocks are traded, is another example. Corporate news, like an appointment of a new CEO or a new sales milestone, can make the company move up or down. People, interested in stocks trading, have to follow corporate news and evaluate the overall business climate in order to make well-rounded decisions.
These are the 5 common trading strategies. Of course, they are not limited to these, as there are endless opportunities on the market. Yet, for those willing to start somewhere, this list can provide an idea or two. Choose the one that suits your trading style and you are good to go.
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