Which is Easier Day Trading or Swing Trading?

The title of this post is misleading because it is not really a fair question. There really isn’t any trading easier than another in our opinion. It all comes down to what does easily mean and more importantly what type of trader you are.

Swing trading is all about holding a trade over several days or even several weeks, not getting into and out of the position on the same day as you would with day trading.

I think that for the individual trader, one could say that one style of trading is easier than the other simply because of overall knowledge, study, the number of trades placed, and general intuition about stock market movement and how a particular stock is setting up.

So rather than which is easier, it is better to ask, which is more preferred day trading or swing trading? You have to ask this yourself, no one can really answer it for you.

So I do mean to be deliberate and dance around the question without really answering the question because I cannot give a blanket answer to every trader. Personally, I prefer day trading over swing trading because I don’t want to care about what happens overnight.

People tend to say swing trading has lower stress and is less time-intensive.  I agree, sitting in front of your PC all day is time-intensive (which is why when I day trade I only do it for 1-2 hours a day anyway), but I don’t feel that swing trading is lower stress because the overnight risk exists.

The company is putting out bad news before I get out of bed, and I have no control. Granted there are ways to hedge your position using options if you are long or even short stock on a swing trade, but you’d have to be a more experienced trader anyway to set that up, and not everyone has that experience.

Capital requirements for day trading are more than for swing trading. You could simply set aside $1000 to swing trade with, but you could only place 3-day trades in a 5-day period with that same $1000.

Worse, you probably would not be able to buy very many shares of a stock that has a wide enough range for you to have any significant profit unless it was the momentum/meme stock of the day, and then you’re really putting yourself at risk.

Again it comes down to whatever style of trading you prefer. It is a personal choice. Regardless of what style of trading, your goal is to make money and minimize risk. I like to believe minimizing risk is an even bigger goal than making money.

The risk/reward can be better with swing trading especially if you capture a long-range on a moving stock over several weeks or months. Throughout 2020 and 2021 there were opportunities like I had not seen in all of the ten years I have been trading full time. Unbelievable range and opportunity.

I still think there are plenty of opportunities even with the markets at/near all-time highs. So whatever style trader you want to be, go for it. You could even be a little of both styles when you have enough experience and confidence under your belt.

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