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5 Best Swing Trading Strategies

Swing trading is a strategy where traders attempt to capitalise on price fluctuations by holding a position open anywhere between a few days and a few weeks or even a couple of months. The key to capturing profits is to be able to identify when to enter and exit a position, just like in any other style of trading. Want to know more about how to swing trade? Here’s a look at some of the most popular trading strategies.

1. Moving Averages (MA)

MA is a line of closing prices, calculated over different timeframes. The line is continuously adjusted on the trading chart whenever new data points are added. It helps traders identify the direction of price movements, with a rising MA line indicating an uptrend in asset price and a downward line denoting a downtrend.

By analysing the MA crossover points, where the short-term MA crosses the long-term MA line, either from above or below, swing traders can predict a reversal in market momentum.

  • Bullish crossover: This is when the short-term MA intersects the long-term MA from below. The short-term momentum is increasing, indicating potential upward pressure on prices. This is seen as an opportunity to enter a long position.
  • Bearish crossover: When the short-term MA intersects the long-term line from above, it is considered an indication of imminent price decline or a signal to enter a short position.

2. Relative Strength Index (RSI)

RSI helps traders make trading decisions by identifying overbought and oversold conditions. The tool takes the past 14 periods into consideration (days, weeks or hours, depending on the trader’s preference).

RSI determines if the closing price was higher or lower than the previous close:

  • If the closing price is higher than the previous close, it’s an up or positive close.
  • If the closing price is lower than the previous close, it’s a down or negative close.

The next step is calculating a ratio to determine the strength of these movements. With the ratio, traders can determine if a market is overbought (a situation of multiple positive closes, i.e., potential reversal) or oversold (a situation of multiple negative closes, i.e., potential bounce-back).

The RSI scale ranges from 0 to 100, where a value of: 

  • Over 70 indicates overbought condition, with a potential for reversal. It is considered a sign to open a short position.
  • Below 30 indicates an oversold market, with a potential for a rebound. This is taken as a signal to go long.

3. Fibonacci Retracement 

Swing traders can identify the support and resistance levels with the Fibonacci Retracement strategy. Before resuming a previous trend, significant price shifts usually follow a pattern of retracement or a temporary reversal. Consider a rubber band, which when pulled, snaps back after reaching an extreme position, not necessarily reaching its original position. Similarly, following a retracement, an asset’s price usually continues its previous trend direction.

A retracement at a support level indicates an upward trending market or a signal to take a long position, while a retracement at the resistance level indicates a downtrend or a signal to go short. To understand how to trade Fibonacci Retracements, traders need to first know the important retracement levels on the trading chart. The most common Fibonacci levels are 23.6%, 38.2%, 50%, 61.8%, and 76.4%.

4. Breakout Strategy

When the price of an asset moves beyond the support or resistance level following a period of range-bound trading or consolidation, it is termed a breakout. To identify potential breakouts, traders need to first master technical analysis. The most common technical indicators used for this strategy include:

  • Trendlines: These help identify the direction of the prevailing trend, along with support and resistance levels. They also indicate price levels where buying or selling pressure is expected to be significant.
  • Candlestick Charts: Traders look for candlestick patterns, such as triangles and flags, which often precede breakouts.
  • Volume: Higher trading volume during a breakout usually indicates an increase in buying or selling pressure. This suggests heightened interest and confidence in the direction of the price movement.

5. Bollinger Bands

Bollinger Bands is a technical indicator that quantifies the volatility of an asset’s price to predict future trends. There are three bands – the upper, lower, and middle band. 

  • The middle band is the MA line.
  • The upper band is plotted at two standard deviations above the MA line.
  • The lower band is plotted at two standard deviations below the MA line.

When the distance between the upper and lower bands increases, it indicates increasing price volatility, while narrowing bands indicate a decrease in volatility. These bands can also indicate overbought and oversold levels to help traders determine entry and exit points.

  • Overbought: If the price trends near the upper band, it is considered a signal to sell. 
  • Oversold: If the price hovers near the lower band, it is considered an indication to buy.

Experienced traders prefer to learn how to trade using different strategies on a demo account before trying them out on the live markets. This can also help them understand which strategy they are most comfortable with.

To Sum Up

  • Swing traders attempt to capitalise on short- to medium-term price movements.
  • Popular swing trading strategies include Moving Averages, Relative Strength Index, Fibonacci Retracement, Breakout, and Bollinger Bands.
  • Moving Averages help identify trend direction and reversals.
  • Relative Strength Index signals overbought and oversold conditions.
  • Fibonacci Retracements predict price reversal areas, based on historical data.
  • Breakout and Bollinger Bands capitalise on market volatility.



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