Stock Markets

10 different types of trading styles – Which one is for you?

The world of trading has a lot of variety in terms of opportunities. Due to the vast variety of opportunities that exist in the dynamic mechanism of the stock markets, many different types of trading styles can be applied. It is very important to choose a trading style which suits your personality and preferences. It is also heavily dependent on your psychology. To become successful you will need to prioritize a style according to how your mind works. For instance, A trader who has a mind-set of generating fixed returns will do better in options trading than in swing trading strategies and vice versa.

There are no Best Types of Trading styles.
Understand your own psychology, and the game will teach you the game.

Choosing from the types of trading styles made easy:

1. Intraday Trading – Most commonly practiced among retail traders in the Indian stock market, positions are squared off before the closing hours of the market. Intraday trading philosophy is that overnight exposure is risky. Traders book profits or losses quickly and do multiple trades every day. It suits people who are least bothered about fundamentals or the things that are considered important to be a successful investor in the long-run. To them, it’s all about money management, timing entries & exits and position sizing appropriately. You can either be jobbing or trading the momentum. Intraday trading involves taking on additional leverage to generate higher returns. They are always looking to make higher ROIs than other trading formats. It is also among the most aggressive types of trading styles. Intraday trading format thrives on high volatility as the number of opportunities go up during such times. A successful intraday trader understands the importance of consistency and the power of compounding returns on a short-term basis. If consistency is maintained, then returns can be compounded on a monthly or quarterly basis. Intraday trading is only suitable for those who can dedicate a fair amount of time tracking the movements of stock markets regularly.

2. Swing Trading – The principal difference between intraday trading and swing trading is the timeframe. Swing traders attempt to predict the short-term fluctuation in stock prices overnight. So positions can last anywhere from 1 day to a few weeks. The leverage used by Swing traders is generally lesser than intraday trading. Due to overnight risk, stockbrokers in India charge SPAN + Exposure margins. In a way, it enables traders more firepower to withstand overnight price movements and hold positions for longer hence trying to book higher profits per trade. Most technical traders and chartists fall in this category. If you like to analyze short-term price movements using technical analysis, then this is your ball game. True swing trading also involves a great deal of money flow analysis. If this is what you like doing then stick to this trading style. It is rewarding and the price movements are more predictable. However, risk management will need to be more sophisticated. In this style, you must be able to ignore minor intraday fluctuations without breaking a sweat or getting worried. However, most swing traders also do intraday trading so it is one style which can be merged but, it is important to draw a line somewhere and focus on specializing in one particular trading style. I must point out that you will require more capital to swing trade in comparison to intraday trading because of diversification and also that overnight trades require more margins. Ideally, you should also keep some buffer capital and not be 100% invested at all times to account for the volatility and avoid margin calls of any sort. To know the exact margins required to trade in derivatives, check out our Margin Calculators.

3. Positional Trading – This is a type of trading style which ignores the minor short-term fluctuations that swing traders are fully focused on. Positional trading involves lesser leverage than swing trading. The holding timeframe of each trade is higher as these traders anticipate a big pice movement in the coming future. Timing the market is not the top priority for this category of traders as they are willing to weather the storm and wait out a few months to see a large gain. Their focus is usually a hybrid of technical and fundamentals. To be able to hold positions for a longer time period, they feel like they have to be sure of what’s happening within the company. They’re usually looking for the underlying stock to gain more than 20% in the near future. Positional traders have the aptitude and inclination to lean more towards investing in the long run. In India, positional traders will either have to trade futures by maintaining a safety margin or invest in equity without leverage. Point to note: It is hard to be short for too long unless futures contracts are rolled over. But it does include a time premium for next month contracts.

4. Options strategies – Is your thought process very objective and mathematical? If you like outcomes to be more defined and measured, then trading options strategies may be your thing. The most difficult part about this is to formulate the strategies. It takes quite some time to become proficient and start making your own strategies and implement them seamlessly which is why there are very few options trading specialists in India. After understanding the crux of the problem, we launched Options Strategies Lab to help traders choose from over 43 different options strategies based on individual market outlook and preferences. It is apt for those traders who are looking to clock a fixed and more predictable rate of annual return. Due to the lack of knowledge and awareness, Indian retail traders are gambling by buying far OTM options in a bait to get outsized returns. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible and many traders have earned exorbitantly high amounts of money doing so (1000% returns in 2 months etc.) but the real question is, is it sustainable? If it is not sustainable then one ought to focus on what can work and what has a higher probability of happening. If you use options strategically, it is very scale able and requires much lesser attention than all other formats of trading primarily because the risk is defined. Learn How to Trade Options the Right Way!

5. Trading based on technical analysis – Almost all kinds of trading activity revolves around technical analysis because of its diversity and different approaches to analyse demand and supply in the stock market. As long as you know how to apply it, you can be a day trader, swing trader or positional trader. The underlying knowledge required is similar. However, it may not be fully relevant in the following trading styles and the concept of analysing opportunities is completely different. Almost all traders including institutional ones, banks etc. use technical analysis skills to gauge market and to foretell the future prospective of the Indian stock market.

6. Trading based on money flows – It is based on FII Inflows, DII flows in and out of stocks, Open Interest analysis, promoter deals, stake sales, gross delivery data, Index rebalancing etc. More often, than not, this data is vital to identify the near term trends in the stock market. Many professional traders give such information first priority and then back it up by technical analysis of stocks and indices. If you are the kind who likes analysing money flows, then this type of trading can be rewarding. Such information is especially useful if you are a swing trader. This information is also useful to analyse the short term sentiment of participants. For instance, advance decline ratios fluctuating before RBI meeting is enough to suggest that this method is very useful in gauging the near term future.

7. Event Based Trading – Trading based on some events that have occurred or ones that are about to occur is a type of trading style in itself. Events can range from good earnings results of companies, change in government policies, geopolitical events, mergers & acquisitions, company restructuring, change in price of raw materials, one time dividends, natural calamities, new innovations etc. The concept in this kind of trading is to identify trading opportunities based on events. It does require a fair understanding on fundamentals and technical analysis. You might wonder how technical analysis is relevant, but I must remind you that stock markets anticipate events before they occur. So suppose an event is already priced in, it’s best to change your stance. Technical analysis helps identify this quite easily. If you like doing research and wait for such game changing opportunities, then you should make it worth it.

8. Quantitative trading – It is often misunderstood as high frequency trading and automated algorithmic trading but in reality it isn’t. Quantitative analysis is analysing stocks based on statistical performance. For instance, if International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that the price of Brent Crude Oil will be headed downwards due to the supply glut expected in Saudi Arabia. The quant program analyses historical patterns when such news has occurred and the impact it has had on oil prices and other correlated asset classes and presents it with a risk/reward ratio based probability so that you can take a good trading decisions. Quantitative trading does not necessarily need to be HFT or even algorithmic order execution. It just means that the method of analysing stocks is based on computer models to increase efficiency. It definitely requires knowledge of programming, a good trading capital and computing speed. Most Importantly, the right knowledge of markets to be able to analyse data correctly. No amount of programming will give you the desired results if you lose focus of the markets. It is better to learn about markets thoroughly before you attempt this.

9. Arbitrage Trading – Arbitrage is only reserved for the prop trading firms and institutional traders as it requires great network speed and does not require superior analysis skills. The yield for vanilla arbitrage are not lucrative anymore and strategies have gotten more advanced involving some element of risk. There are many different kinds of risk arbitrage models which can only be exercised by institutions or large traders due to the sheer complexity of information acquisition, and risk management skills. Only enter the field if you’re obsessed with no risk profits. Otherwise, you might get bored soon.

10. High-Frequency Trading – High-frequency trading is all about SPEED. The strategies have all got to do with manipulating bids and offers (Bid/ask) at a rapid pace. This breed is looking to make the smallest profits per trade and do hundreds or thousands of transactions in a day. Currently, institutions and hedge funds compete in this space in the microseconds. As we speak, it has got less to do with brains and more to do with speed so it is not recommended at all. If this is what you want to do, then try starting your own fund or joining one as a programmer. These are fully automated so there is no value for analysis. Only order execution.

We are passionate about providing solutions to the trading community. So feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below. Hope you enjoyed reading it.

Comments & Discussions in

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  • Avatar Ravi kanth says:

    Thanks for sharing the post. The way you narrated the post is good and understanding. After reading the post I learned some new things. Please let me know for the upcoming posts.

  • Bakshi Raghu says:

    When I was going through this article, I observed that it is very important to understand what you are good at rather than just copying any other person.

  • Avatar Manu Mahesh says:

    I prefer to go with the intraday because I don’t have to worry about the overnight risks. What’s your opinion?

  • Avatar Karishma Mokhshi says:

    This is really a good article. I understood the importance of many trading styles in the stock market. Thanks for writing.

  • Avatar mina says:

    I believe you have observed some very interesting points , thanks for the post.

  • Avatar kunal nadia says:

    I do trust all the ideas you have offered in your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

  • Avatar kunal mantri says:

    I liked the intraday trading because I will be sure about the P/L and I can sleep nicely rather to stay invested and worry about what would happen tomorrow.

  • Avanish Singh says:

    can a beginner become an intraday trader?

  • Rames Patel says:

    how to do technical analysis for Intraday Trading? Does Fyers have any tool for that?

  • Anand Mohan says:

    what should be the minimum network speed for Arbitrage Trading?

  • Avatar Munish says:

    Are there any courses for intraday trading?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      There aren’t any formal courses organized by NISM/NCFM. However, there are a vast number of youtubers who share their experiences and knowledge for free. Maybe that may give you insights. Also, I am writing an extensive education portal in the near future which covers technical analysis and trading. Hope that will be useful.

  • Avatar Utkarsh Jain says:

    Impressed with Tejas Khoday’s insights and interaction here… Kudos to Fyers.

  • Avatar Firoz-Intradaywala says:

    Intraday trading is the best and you can make small gains every month. Not possible in swing

  • Avatar Deepthesh says:

    Good post.. write more like this when u have time.

  • Avatar Dhiren Gupta says:

    So far as I know it is Sudarshan Sukhani, Ashwani Gujral, Prakash Gaba, SP Tulsian. I think SP tulsian is the only intraday trader who is fundamental. I like Sudarshan Sukhani who is the best in my opinion.

  • Avatar Bond_Harshit says:

    Positional trading is only for experts nobody knows what is going to happen after 2-3 months and it is very easy to lose MTM position for long-term trades. Actually I think intraday trading is less riskky because you can sell your position.

  • Avatar Satish Mittal says:

    Who are the best stock market experts on intraday trading in India?

  • Avatar Sujit Vasudevan says:

    Oh okay thanks tejas

  • Avatar Hardik says:

    Wanted to open an account with FYERS and I have given my details on your website 3 hours back and have not yet received a call. Pls tell me, is there any other procedure or something?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hello Hardik, Our sales team calls back within 24 working hours. This is because of the high call flow and inquiries all day. So far, we have been able to manage the turnaround time within the stipulated period. You’ll receive a call today.

  • Avatar Nitro_Mahesh says:

    Try not to trade when you are losing money. This will save 50% of your capital.

  • Avatar Marathon_Trader says:

    I am sure that most of the traders will have to go bust atleast once before learning the art of trading

  • Avatar Rajesh AHM says:

    Intraday trading is easier, u can sleep in peace without tension of gap ups and gap downs.

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      That’s true, can’t debate that. But those with a higher risk appetite can carryforward profitable positions overnight if they want to make profitable trades into windfall gains. But yeah, it is more risky.

  • Avatar Avnish Ahuja says:

    Tejas what kind of trading are you into?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      These days, I barely get time to trade. Running a brokerage firm and doing a lot of technology work in-house takes up more time than I had initially anticipated. So, I don’t have the time to trade but I do take a few trades from time to time just to stay in touch with the market fluctuations. But I am adept at intraday trading since I worked at Futures First as a market maker for the energy products. But I prefer to mix it up with swing trading. I like flexible approach. I guess it’s just the way I like to be. Sometimes, I don’t feel comfortable booking positions when they are in my favor.

  • Avatar Shailaja Pradeep says:

    Tejas Sir, Can you pls suggest the correct way to trade for a housewife? I have a toddler son of 1 year.

  • Avatar Dustine says:

    Intraday trading is good only if you have the courage to take risk.. if you want to sit and eat premiums selling options is good but returns are very low for small traders.

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      I agree. Selling options is a suitable strategy only for those who can do it with a meaningful capital size. One or two lots don’t really do justice from a P&L perspective.

  • Avatar Sai says:

    How to be consistent in intraday trading? I have made money few days and lost on other days..

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hello Sai, Some ways are as mentioned below:

      1. Try to have a high success ratio per trade. For that, you’ll need to always trade with the trend.
      2. Take payouts of your profits. Mark my words this helps to understand the importance of profits. Rather than letting it lie in your trading account, withdraw some of it, pay some bills or buy some shares with them.
      3. When you have a losing streak, take a break.
      4. If you have a losing position, book it fast. Don’t let it go out of control. Practice telling someone responsible about your trades. This will help you look at trading more objectively from a P&L perspective rather than just having exciting trades.

  • Avatar Karthik says:

    @Murthy, you are talking like an arrogant superior-minded person. Are you sure you are not Narayan Murthy? Take it easy. Ppl are just asking basic question because nobody else will answer such questions also. You have to thank @tejaskhoday instead of criticizing people who have the courage to ask questions whether it is stupid or not.

  • Avatar Murthy says:

    I think people are not even aware of basic things asking stupid questions to CEO of broking company.. He has written in the post take sometime and read instead of asking same shit… Intraday trading is amazing for small traders. For 50 lac kind of capital, best stratgegy is to do positional. These are basic things

  • Avatar Kamal says:

    Hi I am kamal from Rajasthan near Udaipur. I am doing business in my father’s shop but love trading much more. What do you suggest intraday trading or positional?

  • Avatar Shaurya Chakrobarty says:

    I love Fyers web price ladder feature. Not seen with any other brokr before in India.

  • Avatar Nidhi Pawar says:

    Do you recommend intraday trading for home maker like me?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hi Nidhi, I don’t recommend a particular trading style to anyone. I’m just laying out some options for you and trying to educate you on what you could choose based on your preferences.

  • Avatar Raghuvendran says:

    Intraday trading is any day more safer than selling options.. in options selling u can make money everyday and suddenly one day you can face huge loss. But in intraday trarding it is all about proper trading and risk management.. it is much more profitable if you are good in technicals.

  • Avatar Dinesh Jain says:

    What is the best stop loss strategy for intraday trading?

  • Avatar Seshadri says:

    Tejas what kind of trader are you? I want to know which trades you have made money on

  • Avatar Abhimanyu says:

    Can I combine positional trading with options strategies? Aren’t they one and the same in the sense that both of them are positional?

  • Avatar Ayaan says:

    Trade, take payout, trade take payout. That is the best strategy.

  • Avatar Mathhew says:

    This comments section has gone on fire.

  • Avatar Ask_Musadik says:

    Contact me and I will take coaching classes for you to help you make 80% accuracy in trading. +917865432554

  • Avatar Raksha says:

    Everybody just stick to intraday trading.. it is simple and no risk for overnight..

  • Avatar karna says:

    Which is the most profitable style?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      There is no such thing. The profitability depends on you. But relatively, directional trading (intraday, swing, positional) is more profitable than options strategies, quantitative trading etc.

  • Avatar Shiva says:

    Even i prefer intraday trading because overnight anything can happen. Modi iwll introduce big reforms or trump will wage war nobody knows. Tha’ts why you can’t carry forward options or futures overnight.

  • Avatar Jatin says:

    Good explanation for beginners.

  • Avatar Sishir says:

    Does FYERS conduct any courses for new people?

  • Avatar Fatehchand says:

    Can I combine intraday trading with options strategies on a monthly basis?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hi Fatehchand, You certainly can but remember to be very objective about maintaining the balance. For instance, it is a well-known fact that options strategies (hedged) give you lesser returns but more sure returns than directional trading. That’s because directional trading involves more risk and uncertainty and the profit potential is high too. Hence, it makes sense to record the returns of the options strategies seperately from intraday trading just for your reference. Preferably, you should do this everyday to get an objective understanding of your progress.

  • Avatar Neerab says:

    Thank you and please write more such articles as it will help new traders and pls explain what is the difference between event-based trading and technical trading?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hi Neerab, I’ll try but off late I’ve been held up with developments at FYERS. Anyways, event based trading involves things like election expectation, results, macro economic indicators, price shocks, demand spikes in commodities which effect companies, regulations etc. It can be incorporated into your overall trading stye. Technical analysis is purely the study and projection of prices based on hindsight.

  • Avatar Abhinandan says:

    It makes a lot of sense. On thursday I got screwerd in bank nifty put option because of trying to carry forward position.. I should just do intraday trading i have made decent money in bank nifty.. but everyone keeps on telling that buying overnight is better as we can make huge profits.. opposite happened.

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hi Abhinandan, Getting screwed should be taken as a learning process. If you’re good at intraday trading, then stick to it. I know a broker/ex-trader who never believed in overnight positions at all. He always was very averse to it because he was scared about tomorrow. IF you are that kind, then follow what suits you best (Intraday trading). Overnight trading is great if you don’t get influenced by intaday MTM and are looking for a much larger move.

  • Avatar Manoj Kumar says:

    Excellent Article, nicely explained the various types of Trading Syle available. Do you have an Office in Chinchwad?pune where I can visit and take the process forward.

  • Avatar Sharemarket_religion says:

    Few days ago, I had terrible experience with one of your competitors. I don’t want to mention the name and spoil their name.. Their platform has severe issues. I have heard very good reviews about Fyers Web and mobile app so far. If you can fulfill my basic expectations I will be more th an happy to open an account and trade with you.

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hello, Yes I understand your concern. Firstly we’re glad that you have heard positive things about us. Without commenting on our competitors, all I can say is that we will ensure that your trading experience will be smooth and hassle-free.

  • Avatar Skand says:

    your post is helpful indeed could you help me to tell that with whom I can open trading account, where I can do trading independently and what are the types of share which we can hold for next 5 10 years.

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hello Skand, You can open an account with us. Our brokerage charges are among the lowest in India. Also, we are more platform focused than traditional brokers. I can’t suggest stocks like this in the comments section but if you’re keen to invest for the long-run, I suggest you checkout :

  • Avatar rajvihaan says:

    Good for new guys who are learning.. okay article.

  • Avatar Dharma says:

    Good article Tejas.

  • Avatar Rukshar says:

    Would you recommend that I stick to one particular style or combine intraday trading with positional?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Most successful traders adopt a combined approach. They are more opportunity-centric than system centric. A multi-faceted approach usually gives better results. However, it is important to have a base style of trading in which other facets can be incorporated. For example, a positional trader can successfully indulge in intraday trading provided he doesn’t shift his entire strategy or allocate maximum money towards it. Hope this makes sense.

  • Avatar Pratap Sehgal says:

    Very good article.. you have a knack for writing.. write more detailed ones as it helps existing traders to refine their style more. I am more comfortable doing intraday trading because personality wise I don’t like to carry positions due to overnight risk. But that is my style not necessarily my brother’s who is into medium term trading.

  • Avatar Karthik says:

    Good info. I feel as a trader you need a mixed approach to make money. Thematic + intraday + option selling etc.

  • Avatar Umesh says:

    Hi sir, I just open the account with the Fyers, I am doing intraday tradin. can you suggest me which trading ll help me give more profit?

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hi Umesh, if you are comfortable making money in the intraday timeframe, you should continue. Although you prefer that, suggest you explore overnight positions too as pure intraday can be limiting.

  • Avatar Subu says:

    Are the spreads fixed of variable?

  • Avatar MOHAN says:

    Can I place orders inside the Spread?

  • Avatar Madhav Pandya says:

    I agree with you i think they all use Bracket Order for HFT. But BO also become more costly because BO order filled with many sub order and BO billed per excuted order. And about STT … STT become more costly then brokrage charges…

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Valid point. I don’t see why a broker should charge per order. It doesn’t make any sense and yes, STT is way more than brokerage itself. Glad you recognize that.

  • Avatar Madhav Pandya says:

    High-Frequency Trading trading style is more costly. I try it for about 2 hrs. My turnover is nearer about 1 cr. Total profit 2600 rs but it cost me 2300 rs and my net profit is just 300 rs….

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      HFT is not meant for retail traders at all. Moreover, competition is currently under 30 microseconds. The IT infrastructure, talent needed etc. is just not worth it with a small capital.

  • Avatar Rajesh says:

    Give knowledge how to detect a future stock or option
    When buy or sell using open intrest or volume changing
    Using your software
    Give more tutorial how to use scanner and
    Intraday trading

  • Avatar Amar Kukreja says:

    I believe in Options writing and desperately waiting for Introduction of i) Commodity Future’s Options trading, ii) Cross Currency Options Trading. But lately I don’t find any news about it. Can you guess when can we expect these instruments to be available for trading in Indian exchanges.

    • Tejas Khoday Tejas Khoday says:

      Hi Amar, usually announcements happen and then there is a lull period. But it is going to happen. Matter of time. Also, SEBI is considering giving NSE & BSE license to start commodity segments within the same exchanges. It will be exciting to see how things play out.

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