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Trading Strategies: Meaning, Types, How to Develop One

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Navigating the dynamic world of financial markets requires a well-defined approach, and that’s where trading strategies play a pivotal role. These strategies serve as roadmaps for traders, guiding their decisions in buying or selling financial instruments. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the meaning of trading strategies, delve into various types that cater to different market conditions, and discuss the essential aspects of developing your own effective strategy. Whether you’re a novice trader looking to understand the fundamentals or an experienced one seeking to refine your approach, this exploration will provide valuable insights into the art and science of successful trading.

Defining a Trading Strategy

A trading strategy is a well-thought-out plan for making trading decisions. A good trading strategy includes rules for you to follow when you trade, such as:

  • Entry Evaluation: Defining what factors to assess before initiating a trade.
  • Exit Points: Establishing when and where to exit a position, along with determining the acceptable level of risk.
  • Stop-Loss Placement: Strategically placing stop-loss orders to safeguard against unforeseen market movements.

Trading strategies exhibit diversity, varying in simplicity and complexity. Some are straightforward, and suitable for even a novice, while others delve into intricate details, necessitating advanced computing and expert teams. The choice of a trading strategy is a personalised decision, allowing traders to opt for or develop strategies that align best with their individual preferences and objectives.

Need for Building a Trading Strategy

A trading plan is crucial in providing clear criteria for making trading decisions, and guiding you in the right direction amid distractions.

  • Good decisions in trading lead to profits, while bad ones can incur losses. A trading plan ensures objective decision-making, preventing emotionally-driven choices that may put trades and capital at risk.
  • Trading is a marathon, emphasising the importance of a solid and disciplined trading plan for long-term, consistent profitability despite daily market fluctuations.
  • Sticking to your trading plan takes precedence over daily news and technical indicators, ensuring consistency in your approach.
  • A trading journal, a core component of a trading plan, serves as a record of your activity, aiding in the assessment of strategy performance, risk management, and trading psychology.

Tips to Develop a Successful Trading Strategy

Embarking on the journey of developing a successful trading strategy is a crucial step for anyone navigating the dynamic world of financial markets.

  • Ensure you are ready to trade and that you are able to follow your signals without hesitation and bias-induced interruption. In time you’ll be able to figure out what your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations are while trading.
  • Start by writing out your trading objectives and setting realistic goals. Look at, and assess your financial goals and timeframes for reaching each trading goal and ensure that when you have made a successful trade you will close the position and not get greedy.
  • Determine if you have the correct strategies, identify relevant technical analysis (for the short term) and fundamental analysis (for the long term) identify and take advantage of trading opportunities in the market. It is even wise to test the strategy in a demo account to ascertain its performance before you can roll it out in a live account where real money can be made or lost.
  • You must do your homework before you enter an active trading session. This involves being aware of the target market segments and assets to trade, their most important price levels, and their fundamental outlook at the time. Doing thorough research simply means ‘not gambling’ in the trading arena. The research will also boost your trading confidence and make you stay objective throughout your trading activities.
  • Select your market according to your knowledge and expertise. The best market for you is the one that you are familiar with. There is no sense in entering a trade in a foreign market that you have no knowledge about and assuming it will be profitable. In addition, ensuring that you are aware of each market’s trading session hours is necessary, there is a good amount of attention that these trades need at the important trading times.
  • Every time you open a position or fund your trading account be sure to enter an amount that will be the maximum amount that you will be willing to risk. Again, do not get emotionally wrapped up in the trades, fund the account and stick to the initial balance. Then decide when to open a position and in which direction (buy or short), basis your analysis and trading strategy signals. Also, always be prepared with risk management strategies for unexpected events.
  • You must set your stop losses and profit targets while providing room for adjustments but not getting emotionally absorbed by your trading.
  • If you want to emulate successful investors and accelerate your learning, try to keep a detailed (or even brief but personal) journal of all your trading activities. This is before you enter a trade, during the trade, and even after the trade is closed. Record your reasons for entering and exiting any trade, as well as the targets and underlying emotions or psychological feelings during every stage of your trading activity. If you want to succeed in your trading business, be an excellent accountant—record everything!
  • Make conclusions of all your trades and determine what needs to be enhanced, and what areas you will need to improve or adjust.

Six Popular Trading Strategies

Volatility Trading

In volatility trading, successful traders keenly observe instruments with high volatility and favourable liquidity. The essence lies in timely decision-making, requiring traders to swiftly close losing trades to effectively manage risk. This strategy acknowledges that waiting for the market is not an option, and prompt actions are necessary to navigate the dynamic market conditions.


Pyramiding stands as a conservative trading strategy designed to minimise risk and decrease the likelihood of long-term losses. It involves adding to existing holdings or positions as the asset price aligns with the desired trend. However, caution is crucial, and pyramiding should be executed according to predetermined levels and accompanied by an effective stop-loss mechanism. Traders should be mindful of the risk-reward trade-offs, especially when the price trend undergoes a rapid reversal.

Averaging Down

Averaging down occurs when traders buy more of a stock after its price has declined. This strategy aims to reduce the average purchase price, potentially leading to greater profits if the market value recovers. By strategically purchasing additional shares at a reduced price, investors can alter the average cost basis, optimising their position for potential market upswings.

Breakout Trading

Timing is paramount in the breakout trading strategy, particularly for intraday traders. The focus is on identifying threshold points where stock prices break above or below specified levels. If the trend continues beyond these thresholds, traders consider long positions. Conversely, if prices fall below the threshold, short positions or selling current holdings become a consideration. The underlying principle is that prices crossing these points are likely to be more volatile and continue in the direction of the trend.

Reversal Intraday Strategy

In his strategy traders actively seek stocks at contextual extremes, anticipating a reversal in their movements. As soon as a security’s movement reverses, traders mark a stop and patiently wait for the securities to reach maximum fluctuation. The execution of a profitable square-off occurs when the reversal value hits the trader’s estimated limit.

Swing Trading

Swing trading revolves around the strategy of taking smaller gains by identifying short-term trends and promptly cutting losses. Although the gains may be modest, consistent application over time can lead to excellent annual returns. Typically, swing trading positions are held for a few days to a couple of weeks, allowing traders to capitalise on short-term market movements.

Trading Strategy Vs Trading Plan

Both trading strategy and trading plan may sound the same but some differences between them exist. These differences are elaborated in the below table:

AspectTrading StrategyTrading Plan
PurposeDeveloped for buying or selling financial assetsEssential before entering into a trade
FocusEmphasises enter and exit points of tradeIdentifies securities and outlines a comprehensive plan
ApplicabilityGeneral financial assetsCan be used in complex trades, such as futures and options
Analysis RequiredInvolves technical and fundamental analysisRequires evaluation of technical and fundamental analysis
Time HorizonGenerally long-term tradeMostly focuses on short or medium-term trade
ConsiderationsEvaluates risk and reward ratios, indicators, and trading scenariosTraders consider risk and reward ratios, different indicators, and trading scenarios


There are several strategies for intraday traders, but these are some of the best and most used. The key to successful intraday trading is to invest quickly and watch the market trend, and the final step is to decide at the right time. One can simply pinpoint the right timing by using a share market app. In short, formulating a trading strategy is necessary for success, but no trading strategy can guarantee success, being profitable in the markets requires consistency, discipline and knowledge—and some good luck.

Choose your trading strategy based on your goals, risk appetite, capital availability and time availability. Keep experimenting, evolving and optimising your trading strategies that suit your specific requirements. With your Share India account you can build and deploy trading strategies on live markets. Leveraging the right technology, tools and platform can make you way more efficient than any other single step that you can take.

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