Swing Trading: Meaning, Uses, and Drawbacks

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In the stock market, there are a variety of ways in which you can trade. One of the trades is swing trading. As there are tons of swing trading strategies, with the rise in online trading, the popularity of the swing trade is increasing on a daily basis.   

Swing trading is quick and has predetermined entry and exit positions with trading strategies in place. Successfully engaging in swing trading requires proficiency in technical analysis, critical evaluation, and a comprehensive understanding of security price dynamics. Swing trading is tailored for exploiting smaller price movements within specific assets. Traders aiming to capitalise on these incremental market shifts can acquire and implement swing trading strategies to navigate and benefit from shorter term fluctuations in the market. Let us learn more.

Defining Swing Trading

Swing trading is a trading technique where traders capitalise on short term fluctuations in the price of a financial asset. Decisions are guided by trend analysis, incorporating both fundamental and technical assessments to identify patterns and potential shifts in trends within a brief timeframe. Unlike day traders who promptly exit trades based on immediate trend lines, swing traders hold positions for days or weeks. This method allows for strategic decision-making and potentially more favourable trades within a compressed timeframe.

Understanding Swing Trading Strategy

Traders employ various swing trading strategies to optimise returns, using a combination of technical analyses and staying updated on news and events. Some popular strategies include:

Trend Catching Strategy

  • Traders hold positions until the trend changes, exiting when the target is achieved.
  • Provides good entry and exit points, although traders must monitor the changing trend.

Breakout Strategy

  • Involves placing trades as the market moves beyond a defined price range.
  • Traders enter positions early in an uptrend, monitoring desired volatility for trade entry.
  • Profits can be significant, but the strategy relies heavily on support and resistance levels.

Breakdown Swing Strategy

  • Opposite of the breakout strategy, traders open short positions as the price breaks below a support level.
  • Requires attention to moving averages and oscillators to effectively execute.
  • Profits come from taking advantage of low swings during a downtrend.

Fading Trading Strategy

  • Contrarian strategy where traders buy when the market is selling and vice versa.
  • Capitalises on market corrections and benefits from volatility.

Fibonacci Retracement

  • Identifies potential reversal levels as stocks tend to retrace at different Fibonacci levels.
  • Key retracement levels include 23.6% and 61.8%.

Bollinger Bands

  • Establishes a price band on both sides of a moving average trend line.
  • Traders take positions after a confirmation candle breaks the middle BB line.
  • Stop loss orders are placed above the breakout candle to avoid false signals.

MACD Crossover

  • Uses the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator to signal buy or sell opportunities.
  • A bullish trend is signalled when the MACD line crosses above the signal line, while a bearish trend is indicated by the opposite.
  • A popular technique in swing trading for identifying trends.

Each strategy comes with its pros and cons, and traders should choose the one that aligns with their risk tolerance and market analysis.

Advantages of Swing Trading Strategies

  • Short Term Trader: Similar to a day trader, a swing trader aims for significant returns, but the key difference lies in the time frame. Swing trades take days to unfold, eliminating the need for constant monitoring compared to intraday trading.
  • Avoiding Overtrade: Swing traders, by spending less time in the market, are less prone to the temptation of overtrading, which can lead to substantial losses. Many swing traders implement stop loss orders to safeguard their investments from adverse market movements.
  • Less Trading Charges: Swing trading incurs lower commissions, fees, and taxes compared to frequent intraday trading. The impact of these charges is minimised, contributing to a cost-effective trading approach for swing traders

Disadvantages of Swing Trading Strategies

  • External Events Impacting Trade: Events like a pandemic or financial crisis can adversely affect swing trading, leaving the swing trader uncertain about the impact of overnight risks on their financial portfolio. Limited flexibility to exit trades due to trading hours and overnight market changes is a significant drawback.
  • Missing Long Term Opportunities: Swing trading, focused on short term price swings, may lead to missing out on lucrative long term investment opportunities. Exiting trades at the first signs of a drop or pullback can result in overlooking stocks with the potential for significant long term returns.


Swing trading involves capitalising on short-to-medium-term price changes in financial assets, making profits from significant fluctuations by identifying trends early and holding positions for a few days to weeks. Traders use various strategies, from trend-catching and breakout methods to fading and Fibonacci retracement, to navigate the dynamic market environment. While swing trading offers opportunities for quick gains, it comes with drawbacks such as overnight risks and the potential to miss out on long term investment opportunities. Despite its challenges, swing trading remains popular, especially with the convenience of online trading platforms like Share India. Traders can mitigate risks and enhance their skills through continuous learning and adaptation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)