16 Rules for the Master Swing Trader


Swing trading can be a great way to profit from market upswings and downswings, but as I’ve always said, it’s not easy. Mastering the swing- trading techniques takes time and effort. To help get you started, I am giving you 16 Rules to think about as you begin – and ultimately master – swing trading.

Rule 1: Trends depend on their time frame.
Make sure your trade fits the clock. Price movement aligns to specific time cycles. Success depends on trading the right ones.

Rule 2: Price has memory.
What happened the last time a stock hit a certain level? Chances are it will happen again. Watch trades closely when price returns to a battleground. The prior action can predict the future.

Rule 3: Stand apart from the crowd at all times.
Trade ahead, behind or contrary to the crowd. Be the first in and out of the profit door. Your job is to take their money before they take yours. Be ready to pounce on ill-advised decisions, poor judgment and bad timing. Your success depends on the
misfortune of others.

Rule 4: Buy at support. Sell at resistance.
Trend has only two choices upon reaching a barrier: Continue forward or reverse. Get it right and start counting your money.

Rule 5: Short rallies, not selloffs.
Shorts profit when markets drop, so they start to cover. This makes it a terrible time to enter new short sales. Wait until they get squeezed and shaken out, then jump in while no one is watching.

Rule 6: Manage time as efficiently as price.
Time is money in the markets. Profit relates to the amount of time set aside for analysis. Know your holding period for every trade. And watch the clock to become a market survivor.

Rule 7: Trades that work in hot markets destroy accounts in cool ones.
Stocks trend only 15% to 20% of the time. Price ranges cause grief to momentum traders the rest of the time.

Rule 8: The best trades show major convergence.
Watch for the bull’s eye. Look for a single point in price and time that points repeatedly to a trade entry. The market is trying to tell you something.

Rule 9: Don’t confuse execution with oppourtunity.
Save Donkey Kong for the weekend. Pretty colors and fast fingers don’t make successful careers. Understanding price behavior and market mechanics does. Learn what a good trade looks like before falling in love with the software.

Rule 10: Control risk before seeking reward.
Wear your market chastity belt at all times. Attention to profit is a sign of immaturity, while attention to loss is a sign of experience. The markets have no intention of offering money to those who do not earn it.

Rule 11: Big losses rarely come without warning.
You have no one to blame but yourself. The chart told you to leave, the news told you to leave and your mother told you to leave. Learn to visualize trouble and head for safety with only a few bars of information.

Rule 12: Bulls live above the 200-day moving average, bears live below.
Are you flying with the birds or swimming with the fishes? The 200-day moving average divides the investing world in two. Bulls and greed live above the 200-day, while bears and fear live below. Sellers eat up rallies below this line and buyers come
to the rescue above it.

Rule 13: Enter in mild times, exit in wild times.
The big move hides beyond the extremes of price congestion. Don’t count on the agitated crowd for your trading signals. It’s usually way too late by the time they act.

Rule 14: Perfect patterns carry the greatest risk for failure.
Demand warts and bruises on your trade setups. Market mechanics work to defeat the majority when everyone sees the same thing at the same time. When perfection appears, look for the failure signal.

Rule 15: Trends rarely turn on a dime.
Reversals build slowly. Investors are as stubborn as mules and take a lot of pain before they admit defeat.

Rule 16: See the exit door before the trade.
Assume the market will reverse the minute you get filled. You’re in very big trouble when it’s a long way to the door. Never toss a coin in the fountain and hope your dreams will come true.