In our last lesson we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of the second most popular style of trading, swing trading. In this lesson we are going to look at the third and final category of trading, position trading.
Position Trading, which is also referred to as trend trading, generally involves holding a position for three to six months to capture a fundamental change in the value of the financial instrument that is being traded. As this is the case position traders will generally be more prone to integrating at least some fundamental analysis into their trading, than will day and swing traders.
Probably the biggest advantage to position trading is it generally involves the least amount of time of the three trading styles. After they have spent the significant time necessary to learn about trading in general, many good position traders will spend just several hours a week analyzing the market and making their trades. As they are holding positions for long periods of time good position traders have their stop loss and profit targets in place before making the trade, requiring that the trader only monitor the position to make sure nothing significant has changed since his original trading decision.
The second major advantage that I think many traders would site about position trading is that because you are in positions for long periods of time with wide stop loss orders, your positions have room to breath and are much less likely to get stopped out because of random market noise than with the other two styles.
As we learned in our lesson on Swing Trading, holding positions over longer time frames generally requires wider stop loss orders. While as we have just stated this is an advantage from a market noise standpoint it is also a disadvantage from a larger average risk per trade standpoint.
The second main disadvantage that I think most traders would site is that position traders miss out on many of the shorter term opportunities that day traders and swing traders can use to amplify their profits. This is not only true from a length of trade standpoint but also from a capital standpoint. Because position traders hold positions for long periods of time their trading capital is also tied up in those trades for longer periods of time, restricting them from taking advantage of as many opportunities.
We are going to go into a bit more detail on how to choose the style of trading which is best for each trader in our lesson on the trader’s business plan, but you should now have a good understanding of what each style entails. The last thing that I would like to point out here is that often times different styles work better in different types of market conditions. With this in mind many traders will learn a bit about each of these styles so they can place longer or shorter term trades depending on the market conditions at the time.
That concludes our lesson. In our next lesson we are going to begin to take a look at the different markets that are available to traders.