Swing Trading vs Day Trading: 8 Differences You Should Know in 2023

swing trading vs day trading

Day trading is a style that’s often used to gain exposure to short-term price movements in an underlying market. People who favour day trading will open and close multiple positions during a single trading session, usually in reaction to daily news stories or market-moving events. Day traders open one or multiple positions across a single day, whereas swing traders hold positions across days, weeks—and in some cases—months.

Is swing trading better than day trading?

Hence, beginners can get success as swing traders more quickly than in day trading. Day traders make several transactions a day, multiplying profit opportunities. But gains and losses are relatively smaller. In swing trading, profit and loss occurrences are less, but often substantial.

And although small price fluctuations are the target, these fluctuations can and do add up. There are certain differences between margin trading and leverage trading, and these differences can have an impact on whether a trader decides to choose day trading or swing trading. Day traders have lower margin requirements primarily because they combine high-turnover trading strategies with high leverage. Swing traders, on the other hand, use lower leverage to minimize risk exposure since their positions are open for longer, meaning that the margin requirements in swing trading are higher. Day traders execute multiple trades, often with multiple assets, within a day.


Because of the longer time frame (from days to weeks as opposed to minutes to hours), swing traders do not need to be glued to their computer screen all day. They can even maintain a separate full-time job (as long as they are not checking trading screens all the time at work). Swing trading aims to profit from short to medium-term price movements, which can offer the potential for larger returns than day trading, but also carries the risk of larger losses.

Day trading seeks to scalp small profits multiple times a day and close out all positions at the end of the day. Swing traders do not close their positions on a daily basis and instead may hold onto them for weeks, months, or even longer. Swing traders may incorporate both technical and fundamental analysis, whereas a day trader is more likely to focus on using technical analysis. Swing trading and day trading are both popular investment strategies, but they have some key differences. Swing trading involves holding positions for a few days to a few weeks, while day trading involves holding positions for just a day. In this post, we’ll discuss why swing trading may be a better strategy than day trading.

Drawbacks of swing trading

Choosing between day trading and swing trading depends on your investment goals, personality, and lifestyle. Day trading requires more time, attention, and higher risk tolerance. Swing trading requires less time and can be done part-time, but still requires discipline and patience. On the other hand, since swing traders keep their positions open for longer periods of time, there’s a high probability of earning more pips from the market (hence more profit from a single trade). Day traders looking to scalp ultra-short-term profits have to deal with much more market noise than swing traders (or long-term investors) who are trying to capture larger trends. Because swing traders must carry overnight risk, most have to adjust their position size to maximize potential profit while reducing the effect of losses.

If you are a trader and do not yet feel as though you have found your trading style, you still can. Here are some of the personality traits that go with the different styles of trading. There is no legal requirement for minimum account balances for day trading futures, but your broker might require that you keep a minimum in a margin account as with the other types of day trading. You’ll likely want to build up to and keep at least $10,000 in your account, preferably $20,000 if you’re looking to draw an income from swing trading. One good rule of thumb for swing trading is to have about $1,500 to start with. This amount of capital will allow you to enter at least a few trades at once.

Plan your trading

Day trading is popular among investors searching for rewards that can be quickly compounded. The practice of buying and selling assets inside the same trading day, sometimes on many occasions during the trading day, is where the phrase “day trading” originates. Even though swing traders flow with the ongoing trend in security, some of the traders enter into contrarian trading or counter trading to gain by going against the trend. You may be wondering what exactly are the major differences between day vs swing trading, and how these two short-term investment strategies are unique. But before we can begin to compare the two, we need to provide some clarity around each strategy so we can see what really differentiates them. Day trading uses multiple trades throughout one or two trading days to gather as many small profits as possible on daily price changes.

As swing trading requires less attention and personal investment, it can often be seen as a less entertaining style of trading. Instead of relying to face-paced trends and immediate price action, swing trading is slower, more methodical, and can be seen by more investors as a safer but more boring approach. In our exclusive Wagner Daily report, most of our stock trades are held from several weeks to months (depending on market conditions). Note the MTG system is designed to be completely end-of-day, giving you the perfect side hustle as a swing trader. Day trading is popular among forex traders, especially those trading fiat currencies.

What are the ‘swings’ in swing trading?

Most traders and investors are more familiar with long trades, utilizing the “buy low, sell high” mentality. This type of trading is relatively straightforward and can be done with most trading accounts. Note the amount of time a trader spends on trading can vary greatly depending on individual preferences, risk tolerance and trading strategy. Some traders may prefer to spend more time researching and analyzing the markets, while others may spend less time and rely more on automated tools. However, it is important to note that even though they may not spend all day actively trading, they do need to be available to manage their positions if necessary. I personally started out as a day trader 25 years ago, but eventually found it to be too mentally and physically demanding.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. In other words, there’s a “quality” to the “quantity” of time spent in the market. And it’s the qualitative experience of trading that sometimes defines each style better than the definitions themselves. On the other hand, if swing trading vs day trading you want to be more hands-off and away from the computer, whilst still trading frequently – then swing trading may be your thing. If you targeted only 20 pips for each trade that would equal 140 pips in one trading day. Swing traders do not rely on time to dictate how long they should be in a trade for.

Capital Constraints

We’ll answer the big question that many want to know–swing trading vs day trading – which is more profitable? But, we’ll also factor in other aspects of trading that matter to you – like risk, time commitment, etc. Compared to traditional investing, both swing and day trading are not being done with the intention to buy and hold stocks over the long run. But, while they both operate on the same principles of making money from short-term stock movements, the two strategies differ in some key ways. A case can be made, however, that day trading offers a path to making more short-term profits since day traders execute multiple trades within a single day.

swing trading vs day trading

So regardless of which strategy you choose to utilize, you cannot underestimate the advantage of having the right tools at your fingertips that can help you maximize profits while capping losses. In either case, you need to stay informed on the markets and utilize the proper tools when implementing a short-term trading strategy like day trading or swing trading. Swing trading is a trading strategy that involves holding a particular position for longer periods (i.e., days or even weeks). Even in a prolonged bullish or bearish period, the trends are often punctuated by instances of short-term price pullbacks.

Disadvantages of swing trading:

A trader should choose his approach that suits their personality, skills, and preferences. Day trading is best suited for individuals who are passionate about trading and comfortable being full-time in trading. Discipline, diligence, and decisiveness are key characteristics of a good trader. Learning from mistakes and creating a trading strategy generally pays good results; one should always look to develop his trading style.