Swing Trading For A Living

Last updated on June 16th, 2015



How To Become A Professional Swing Trader

A huge part of all trading is being able to take enough trades over time so that you’re able to 1) figure out what is likely to make money and what is not and 2) have any edge that your swing trading strategy might have play out statistically. Swing trading can make this more difficult because the frequency of setups is much lower than it is for day trading. So learning to swing trade has the potential to take much longer than learning to day trade. However, it is of course possible to mitigate this issue by trading a number of different products in order to find more setups. But the simple fact of the markets are that each stock or forex pair has a trading profile ranging from slightly, to wildly different – therefore the question is how do you go about trading lots of different products? You trade a robust system and you normalize risk.


Learning costs time and money

Understanding and exercising these principles however, is not necessarily as straight forward as it sounds. When you’re learning to trade, a robust system might seem like an overly simple system. But a simple robust system is often arrived at via a vastly complex process of observation, experience and revelation. By having a great understanding of a subject it is more likely an individual is able to come up with a simple and elegant solution to a problem.

Recognition of the fact that trading is more about making money over the course of many trades rather hitting a few home runs will help a trader to see how crucial money management is in order to protect capital so those many trades may be taken. But understanding a principle and knowing it to your very core because of the experience you have amassed over time are two different things. With the former, a trader is unlikely to stick religiously to their risk plan. The latter however urges a trader to be mindful in their approach to risk at all times. And so a large part of the challenge is to last out the learning curve in order to gain the requisite experience to swing trade in a robust and risk disciplined way.

Here’s a recording of using trends for favorable swing trading results:

Deliberate practice

But this is just one aspect a swing trader faces in order to become a professional and earn a living from trading. In my experience of trading and life, the way we act is a function of acceptance, repetition and time. What I mean by this is that we are more likely to act in a certain way in the future if certain conditions are met. If we accept that an observation means something and therefore we should act in a certain way, we are more likely to act based off this acceptance. If we act in this way and repeat these actions, it is easier to continue acting in this manner when similar situations arise again. If we do this over time, strong habits are formed and we are compelled to repeat these responses to an even greater extent. So deliberate practice of trading in a certain way helps a trader to cement their methods and techniques into their very fiber of existence and over time it becomes easier to trade in this way. But there is a flip side to this coin.

The flip side to the coin

Deliberate practice leads to habits that are good or habits that are bad. Unfortunately, habits do not discriminate between responses that are productive and those that are harmful to our trading accounts. So a new trader who reasons in a particular way may decide that a particular strategy is a good one given a set of conditions. They may not fully understand that trading is about making many profitable trades over time and so the few huge winners that they take that are by far outweighed by the losing trades generated by their strategy, act to reinforce the belief that the response – or trading strategy, is an appropriate one. The longer the period and level of acceptance (particularly important for many swing traders) coupled with the level of repetition of the strategy, determines the strength of the habit. So practicing good methods and forming good habits is essential in order to see progress in a reasonable amount of time.

How to go about learning swing trading

In much the same way as learning any other skill, you can approach learning how to swing trade in a variety of different ways. You can simply practice. But this as already mentioned, could lead to not especially desirable habits being formed. You could find a buddy to learn from. But the chances are that you’ll struggle to find one who is not only willing to help, but also a skillful enough trader and a solid enough teacher to be of much benefit to your learning process at all. You could also read books, magazines, forums and so on. There are two drawbacks here though. The first is that unfortunately, none of the mentioned actually requires the author to be good at trading or even provide useful steps to help the reader improve their own skills. What these media require is something that provides intrigue and therefore readership. The second problem is the same as what you may have experienced at school. If you read a book you might think you get it, but it often takes a great teacher to illuminate meaning. The Premier Trader University is just such a place where experienced traders who have the gift of teaching are able to help traders on their way to becoming adept in this profession.

However you decide to go about learning to swing trade, you must understand that time is of the essence, particularly with this style of trading – time well spent that is.

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