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Trading Styles Explained: Choosing Your Trading Style

When entering the world of Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading, a good rule of thumb is to learn about and consider the different trading styles popular among traders, and find the one that best suits your strategy and goals. However, what is a trading style exactly?

A CFD trading style refers to the approach or methodology a CFD trader adopts when engaging with the market. His or her style encapsulates the overall strategy, risk management techniques, timeframes, and market analysis methods employed by the trader.

Each trading style typically reflects the trader's preferences, objectives, and level of risk tolerance. Some traders may favour short-term approaches, while others may opt for longer-term strategies.

Ultimately, the chosen trading style shapes how a trader navigates the dynamic CFD markets. Let’s take a deeper dive into the features of some of the key trading styles you may encounter on your journey:

Trader types: Day trader, Swing trader, and Position trader

Trading Style Types

  • Day Trading involves traders who do not hold their positions overnight, closing them before the end of the trading day. This style, often favoured by intraday traders, requires constant monitoring of markets for opportune moments to execute trades. Traders often leverage high liquidity and volatility periods to potentially capitalise on significant market movements, holding positions for hours as needed. However, day trading requires frequent position monitoring over the course of the trading day, and the day trader may incur higher fees in addition to the risk of financial losses.

  • Swing Trading, on the other hand, aims to capture larger price moves, while the market changes direction and can potentially enter or exit their trades upon those price swings. Swing trading requires thorough research to make effective trading decisions and if holding positions overnight, patience is required to withstand short-term fluctuations, often necessitating the use of wider Stop Losses and Take Profits compared to day trading.

  • Position Trading entails keeping trades open for extended periods with a focus on trends and fundamental analysis. This style requires thorough analysis and patience in relation to the price movements. Position trading demands significant capital and the ability to withstand market fluctuations over the long term.

Ultimately, the choice of trading style depends on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and adaptability to changing market conditions. Combining elements of various styles may offer a personalised approach that maximises profits while effectively managing risks.

How to Choose Your Trading Style

When venturing into the realm of Contract for Difference (CFD) trading, selecting the right trading style is crucial for your success. Whether you're considering position trading, swing trading, or day trading, each approach offers distinct advantages and challenges. Here's a comprehensive breakdown of factors to help you determine which trading style aligns best with your goals and preferences.

  • Consider Your Schedule: The time you can commit to trading is a fundamental consideration. Assess how much time you're willing to dedicate to monitoring the markets and executing trades. Day trading demands constant attention throughout market hours, while swing trading may allow for more flexibility with less frequent trade executions. Position trading could be more suitable for those with busy schedules or other commitments.

  • Define Your Financial Goals: Consider whether you're aiming for short-term speculation or diversifying your portfolio. Day trading is focused on short-term market fluctuations. In contrast, swing and position trading deal with larger potential market trends over extended periods, catering to investors.Strive to align your trading style with your financial objective.

  • Assess Your Experience: Your level of trading expertise plays a pivotal role in making trading decisions. No matter which market you choose to participate in, it is important to get yourself familiarised with its dynamics and risks before making any trading decisions or building your personal strategy.

  • Evaluate Your Risk Appetite: Different trading styles carry varying levels of risk. Day trading often involves rapid decision-making and frequent trades, leading to higher potential returns or losses. Swing trading and Position trading may not involve such frequent decision-making. Determine your comfort level with risk and select a trading style that aligns with your risk tolerance.

In conclusion, selecting the right trading style involves a thorough assessment of various factors, including your schedule, risk tolerance, experience, financial goals, personality, and lifestyle. By carefully considering these aspects, you can identify the trading style that best suits your individual circumstances and sets you on the path towards achieving your trading objectives in the dynamic world of CFD trading.

Popular Trading Strategies

In addition to trading styles, there are a variety of popular trading strategies commonly used by CFD traders.

  • Trend Trading Strategy: Trend trading revolves around identifying market direction and holding onto a trade until signs of a reversal emerge. This strategy emphasises the adage "the trend is your friend." In trend trading, the goal is to open a CFD position early in the course of a trend and exit after you identify the end of that trend. Trends can be bullish or bearish, and traders typically ignore temporary retracements but act decisively if a complete reversal occurs. Trend trading strategies may incorporate either technical or fundamental analysis. For instance, traders might base their decisions on a share's consistent financial performance (fundamental analysis) or utilise technical indicators like moving averages and the Relative Strength Index (RSI) to pinpoint entry and exit points with regard to their CFD position.

  • Range Trading: Range trading involves identifying entry and exit points within consolidating markets, where the prices of underlying assets fluctuate between support and resistance levels. Traders typically open CFD positions near support levels for long positions and exit near resistance levels, and vice versa for short positions. This strategy relies on technical indicators such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) and stochastic oscillators to identify overbought and oversold conditions, guiding traders on when market sentiment might shift with regard to CFDs’ underlying assets. Limit entry and exit orders are commonly used to automate range trading, facilitating precise execution around key price levels.

  • Breakout Trading Strategy: Breakout trading entails entering a trend at its inception, aiming to capitalise on significant price movements. Traders identify support and resistance levels as entry points, anticipating continued price movement once these levels are breached. Stop-entry orders are often used to automatically enter trades upon confirmation of a breakout. Volume indicators are crucial for determining the strength of a breakout, with increasing volume signalling conviction in the new trend direction. Candlestick patterns and predefined trade plans are essential tools for breakout traders to navigate market dynamics effectively.

  • End-of-Day Trading Strategy: End-of-day trading involves opening positions shortly before the market closes, leveraging the increased trading activity during this period. Unlike day trading, end-of-day trading focuses solely on the final moments of price movement. Traders rely on technical or fundamental analysis to identify buy and sell signals emanating from CFD underlying assets, aiming to get exposure on short-term fluctuations. While offering numerous opportunities across multiple markets, end-of-day trading requires strict adherence to trading hours and necessitates additional strategies for identifying trading opportunities and relevant risks.

  • Mean Reversion Trading Strategy: Mean reversion trading revolves around the concept that prices tend to oscillate around an average or mean over time. Traders attempt to capitalise on price swings by entering positions based on an underlying asset’s price deviations from the mean, anticipating a correction back to the average price. This strategy often employs simple moving averages (SMAs) to identify potential entry and exit points. While providing clear rules for trade execution, mean reversion trading requires regular data updates to account for shifting means and carries the risk of prolonged deviations from the mean.

  • News Trading Strategy: News trading involves making trading decisions based on the latest market news and events. Traders anticipate market reactions to significant announcements, economic data releases, or earnings reports, positioning themselves accordingly to trade on the price volatility of their chosen CFD’s underlying asset. While technical analysis takes a back seat in this strategy, fundamental analysis and extensive research are paramount for successful news trading. Despite offering potential opportunities, news trading carries high risk due to the unpredictability of market reactions and the need to compete with institutional traders and financial institutions. As such, news traders must stay informed and vigilant, ready to act swiftly in response to market-moving events.


In the dynamic world of CFD trading, selecting the right trading style and strategy is essential for success. Whether you're drawn to the rapid pace of day trading, the patience of swing trading, or the long-term focus of position trading, each approach offers unique advantages but also challenges. By carefully considering factors such as schedule, risk tolerance, financial goals, experience and personality traders can align their trading style with their individual preferences and objectives. Whether you choose to ride trends, trade ranges, capitalise on breakouts, trade end-of-day opportunities, mean reversion, or react to market news, a well-defined trading style tailored to your needs is a necessary step on your CFD trading journey.


What is considered a short-term trading style?

A short-term trading style is one by which traders tend not to hold CFD positions for extended periods of time, like day trading.

What trading style should I use?

The trading style you should use depends on your goals, risk tolerance, schedule, and experience level.

Which trading style is best for beginners?

Before beginning CFD trading at all, it is important to do significant research and decide for yourself regarding the various factors that go into making a trading style choice.

What is the most popular trading style?

Traders’ trading style preference depends on a host of different individual factors, and may change over time.

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