Should I Forget Intraday Trading and Just Swing Trade?

BellaGeneral Comments2 Comments

Good afternoon Bella!

I wanted to send you a quick email to get your experienced opinion on a current issue I’m dealing with. Namely, style of trading. I have closely followed SMB’s educational material/webinars/blogs, and tons of it makes sense and has been very helpful in my personal trading. Making money day in day out with short term trading is something that appeals to me, as I’m really striving for that consistency. However, I have yet to achieve that. I’m shooting for that 70%-80% positive efficiency mark, as I think that’s a great “stretch” goal for me at this point in time.

Like I said, the active approach of nailing down profits on a daily basis is something I’m after, but my stats are telling me something very different. I feel I have the personality and mentality to trade intraday actively, but once again, my stats tell me a real different story. My day trading P&L is negative, but my overnights P&L (things I generally hold one to two days) is decidedly positive. What to make of this? Do I think my trading type could work as an intraday trader, but I’m deceiving myself and need to focus my efforts on my bread and butter? Have I been trading intraday in a style that may not suit me? Instead of trading the volatile stuff, maybe I should focus on slower intraday movers? Anyways, needed some outside input on this. Thanks much for the time, I really appreciate it!


In The PlayBook I dedicate a chapter to finding your style as a trader using The Playbook. First, let me start with the big picture. You are doing very well. I say that because you are focusing on the right things, and that makes all the difference. What a wonderful job by you recording and recognizing how you are making money.

I will say here and I say in detail in The PlayBook, do more of what you do well. Find out how to spot more of your profitable setups with technology, trade them with more size, and risk more on them. This will dramatically improve your trading results.

I would dig deeper into your intraday trading. It might be that your overall intraday trading is negative (I don’t recognize the term “day trader” 🙂 ), but as you said with your overnight positions you do have some plays that are profitable. As for your other trades, it might be that you have to cull the intraday data further. What intraday setups are profitable for you? Trade more of them, with more size and risk. Which intraday setups are not profitable? Get rid of them. What time periods work best for you? Trade with more size and risk during this time frame. For example, many intraday traders struggle on the open but crush it after 10:15. If you traded with more size on the open you could be unprofitable but with a tweak profitable by lowering your risk during this period and raising your risk during your profitable period.

Also, it takes time to get good at a trading style. I don’t know how long you have intraday traded but 18 months is the minimum period to make trading conclusions. Further, if you’re trading solo without great coaching this might be the reason for your intraday underperformance.

Terrific job with your swing ideas. Trade more of them and build from this strength. Contemporaneously cull your intraday trading some more and find patterns of success and build from them. Please check back in three months with your progress.

I hope that helps.

You can be better tomorrow than you are today!

Mike Bellafiore

The PlayBook

One Good Trade

No relevant positions


2 Comments on “Should I Forget Intraday Trading and Just Swing Trade?”

  1. You could probably do a blog on the term “daytrader”…….i.e., how this is negatively perceived by the majority outside of trading…..and even some within trading. Daytraders are portrayed as reckless, void of knowledge, gamblers, and somehow the piranhas of the trading community. Pisses me off. Which why I also do not like the term. But it is thrown at us constantly.

    Take two truck drivers. Each works the maximum hours permitted by law of 10 hours. Each do the same thing. One is a long haul driver – trucking goods all over the country. He/she may drive from NYC to Oklahoma & back over 2-3 days. The 2nd driver drives local. #2 has probably more stops, deliveries, pick-ups, etc………delivering to the tristate area as an example — CT, NY, NJ is on their regular route. #2 drives the same # of hours. Is driver #2 any less of a truck driver than #1? Is driver #1 considered a real truck driver and #2 and lower regarded facsimile? Nope. Neither is an intraday trader vs a swing trader vs a position trader IMO.

    The negative “aura” surrounding the term daytrader via many is incredibly annoying.

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