Distinguish between Trend Trader and Swing Trader

The 80-20 trading principle - The trend of the market forms 20% of the time and the remaining 80% is moving up and down within a given trading range (price is sideways), price retraces, and Other Trend counter actions to test certain price ranges. Price volatility increases as the price follow Trends to attract Trend Traders and decreases in range to attract Swing Traders.

The big picture - Trend Traders keep an eye out for economic, political, and environmental issues that can affect order entry or risk management. Swing Traders, on the other hand, choose to more safely ignore these macro effects and focus on short-term price action.

Trading frequency - Swing Traders execute more orders but keep them in short-term timeframes while Trend Traders execute fewer orders but keep them for longer timeframes.

Position size - Swing Traders keep larger orders for short timeframes while Trend Traders keep smaller orders for longer timeframes. Swing Traders use to leverage more often than Trend Traders.

Position timing - Swing Traders have to wait and choose the perfect timing because Swing Trader's average of profit or loss will be smaller than Trend Traders who may miss the starting or final point of a trend but still make a significant profit.

Entry strategy - Trend Traders enter orders when the momentum is strong, or wait for a counter-trend to reduce risk. Trader swings enter orders when the price fails to penetrate support or resistance and place the order in the opposite direction from the moving price (if the price is falling, then place buy/sell) and place a stop loss at a point where they think their strategy is wrong (for example, break support/resistance, stop loss)

Exit strategy - Swing Traders exit when the stop loss is triggered or the profit target is reached. Trend Traders keep the order until the trend changes, regardless of the time frame. They place stop losses at levels that signal a change in trend.


Swing Trader and Trend Trader have strategies for trading in markets that require different skills. While professional traders are likely to successfully combine these two strategies, new and mid-tier traders should focus on one approach and stick with it until they fully master it.

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