Swing Trading: A High-Risk, Short-Term Investment Strategy.

October 19, 2023

Swing Trading: A High-Risk, Short-Term Investment Strategy.

Swing trading is often seen as a speedy alternative to buy-and-hold investing. Unlike holding onto assets for years, swing traders aim to make quick gains within days or weeks. While it's tempting to view swing trading as a faster route to profitability, it's crucial to recognize that this strategy is fraught with risks. Statistics suggest that a significant majority of swing traders lose money over the course of a year. You might have heard stories of traders who have been successful with swing trading. While these cases do exist, they are outliers and often come with years of experience, rigorous risk management, and a substantial investment of time.

What is Swing Trading?

Swing trading involves buying and selling financial instruments like stocks or commodities with the intention of making a profit in a relatively short period—anywhere from days to weeks. However, before jumping in, it's essential to know that studies indicate fewer than 10% of swing traders are profitable over the long term.

Characteristics of Swing Trading

Quick Turnaround

Swing trading is a high-stakes, high-speed game that requires constant vigilance. The speed at which you'll need to make decisions doesn't give you the luxury of time for thorough research.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is critical, involving intricate charts and graphs that attempt to predict market behavior. Yet, it's worth noting that these predictions are not foolproof.

Emotional Resilience

Swing trading can take you on an emotional rollercoaster. Prices can change rapidly, and you'll need a stable temperament to avoid making rash decisions.

The Pros and Cons

The Unlikely Upsides

  • Potential for Profit: While there is a potential for high rewards, it's vital to understand that only a small percentage of people—around 10%—succeed in making a profit over the course of a year.
  • Mitigated Overnight Risks: Swing trading does not generally involve holding positions overnight, which may reduce certain types of risks. However, this should not be confused with reducing the overall high risk involved in swing trading.

The Likely Downsides

Likelihood of Financial Loss: Statistically speaking, approximately 90% of swing traders lose money within a year. The odds are strongly against long-term profitability.

Time-Intensive: Swing trading demands near-constant monitoring of markets and your positions, making it a poor fit for those who cannot commit the time.

Tax Penalties: Short-term capital gains from swing trading are subject to higher tax rates, which further cuts into any profits you may earn.

Swing Trading vs. Day Trading

Swing trading and day trading are both high-risk strategies. The key difference is the timeframe. Day trading is even faster, requiring buy and sell orders to be completed within the same day.

How to Get Started

  1. Education: Understand the basics and the risks before diving in.
  2. Choose a Trading Platform: Look for one that provides real-time analytics to help you make informed decisions.
  3. Start Small: Risk only what you can afford to lose, as the odds are against profitability.
  4. Have an Exit Strategy: Knowing when to cut your losses is as crucial as knowing when to take profits.


Swing trading is not a strategy to be taken lightly. It involves substantial risks and a high likelihood of financial loss over the long term. As such, it should only be considered by those who have done their homework and are fully aware of the odds stacked against them. Always consult a Fiduciary Financial Advisor, ideally one who can clearly explain that this method is statistically a losing battle for approximately 90% of people trying it over the course of a year. This will help ensure that this high-risk strategy fits appropriately—if at all—into your broader financial plans.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

Article written by: Anthony Owens

Copyright © 2023

Copyright © 2023 Anthony Owens @ Thriving Wealth Hub.

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, Anthony Owens @ Thriving Wealth Hub, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please contact the copyright owner directly. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the copyright owners, Anthony Owens @ Thriving Wealth Hub, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthony Owens @ Thriving Wealth Hub with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is protected by copyright laws and international treaties. Any unauthorized use of this material may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.