Swing trading vs. day trading

Discussion in 'Trading' started by gunslinger, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. I would like to hear from traders who started DT and went to ST, or vice-versa. After being marginally profitable in 2000 daytrading, I stopped with a net profit. I started up again Jan. 1 of this year, daytrading with 60k risk capital. I trade 40-50k shares per day, and my account is 62k, however factoring out a one time Aapl trade, my account would be 55k.

    I am wondering of those who have made the switch one way or the other, which you find more profitable. I'd appreciate feedback from those who have traded both styles, for I am contemplating making a switch. If it is 6 of one, half dozen of the other, I will continue to focus on DT, and try to refine my strategy. Thanks for the input.
  2. swing trading over here, ..even longer considering that i sometimes keep my positions as much as 6 months.
    less stress, less costs, little overhead.
    day trading is only good if you have near perfect access to info (read : wall street insider) otherwise always chasing the curve.
    account 80k,
  3. Both can be profitable *if* you have or can somehow identify your "edge".

    The difference between now and 2000, as many here have stated, is that the "dumb" money is gone and the environment resembles more of a "Halloween" trick-or-treat event with tricks to take your money at every corner.

    So, in short both styles can be profitable, just much harder than 2000. Back then for example, you could make mistakes in the morning and still end up profitable EOD. Not now. There are NO room for mistakes. They cost you and are hard to make up for.
  4. i pretty much do both. most of my trades are intended do be intraday.. but if they close out strong, i'll scale out of a portion, bank the gain, and keep a small swing position open overnight.

    the next day, i'll tape read the position and try to maximize any profit if it continues running. if it retraces, i'll usually re-buy the initial entry.

    i also keep $60K in my intraday account, then sweep the monthly profits into my long-term swing & holdings account.
  5. I prefer day trading because I don't like to hold positions overnights.

    Too many times, I've seen important news announcements occur after hours. Suddenly a long position can drop drastically in value overnight with no chance to sell.

    When I do hold overnight, it's almost always index stocks & options that aren't as vulnerable to the sudden moves of individual stocks.

  6. Schaefer


    Hello, I'm a newbie here. I started out with swing only because I did not have enough funds for PDT. Actually, I'm glad I started out that way because that gave me a chance to learn the market and the trade at a slower pace and I was able to absorb the knowledge a little at a time without having to pay dearly.

    I stuck to securities with low volatility and trading range. Not much chance to make money with those kind of securities but great way to learn however. I eventually made consistent profits and slowly brought the account up enough to meet the PDT rule.

    As excited as I was with my new PDT status, I immediately started to day trade with a swinger's mentality (big mistake) :mad: . The real day traders had me for lunch and handed my rear end back to me :D . I lost almost 5% of my capital in a week.

    Never the less, valuable lessons were learned and I'm not ready to give up day trading and go back to swing trading just yet. I relized there were significant differences between the two trading methods, with proper mentality and strategy both can be profitable.
  7. Another reason I prefer day trading is because the markets appear to have settled into a trading range. Since Jan 2004, the Nasdaq has only traded between 2191-1750

    Quick turnarounds have become the norm instead of more sustained trends.

    Too many times, I have watched swing trading profits disappear after the market whipsawed or became unpredictable on a daily basis.

    My day trading approach is to get in and out quickly before whipsaws can occur, taking small profits repeatedly.

    In short, I'm trying to hit a lot of singles and doubles instead of concentrating on home runs.
  8. I started out swing trading, switched to day trading, now do both. I daytrade 50,000 shares in the first 20 minutes of the day, then enter swing positions on the close. In between I will do any kind of stock trade that pops up, from a 2 second cross-market arbitrage, to researching and working into a long term trade.

    Both types of trading are profitable for me, but the swing trading is much more capital intensive and makes for a choppier equity curve. I could probably make 75% of my income working 45 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at the close. But I like trading too much to be away all day.
  9. I really appreciate the feedback, please keep the posts coming.
  10. I make a lot of money day trading...and make a lot of money swing trading. I really believe that you get rewarded for taking risk....as such I tend about 1.5 million in overnight positions every day. My game plan...I use the profits from day trading to provide a steady source of financing to fund the carrying costs of my swing trading. This also helps to "smooth" out my equity curve.

    Good trading to all!

    #10     Feb 12, 2005