Day Trading vs. Swing Trading: What’s the Difference

SureshotFX Day Trading vs Swing Trading Feature Photo showing Key Differences in Text.

In the world of FOREX trading, there are two prominent ways you can earn a profit.

Either you can go for:

But which one should you go for? Well, this doesn’t have any all-fit answer. Let’s have an example to clear this up. You are hunting to upgrade your closet and upon arriving at the market you see two options: summer collection, for this week only, and one day sale. We know you will also juggle between those two options. And this is how swing trading and day trading wants. Whilst you want to go for the instant sale, your friends might have different opinions and will go for the weeklong sale, or vice versa right? Which one will you pick if you want to score some profitable deals? Well, these two can be a perfect example of day trading and swing trading. Though they both involve buying low and selling high, they don’t necessarily work alike just like the stores mentioned.

What is Day Trading?

Day trading is when you trade (Buy and Sell) on the same day. It’s like buying from the one-day sale store but in the real world, you need to sell them before the store closes that night. What Day traders do is that they look for small price movements and try to make profits quickly, sometimes these profits come in a minute or sometimes it will take hours. Here you have to make quick but steady decisions and be very focused on what you are betting. Hence its day trading as its all about making quick trades and profits in a single day.

What is Swing Trading?

Swing trading is when you hold your investments for a few days or weeks, looking for larger price movements. It’s like going to that “Spring Collection Sale” store, buying some clothes you like, and then selling them a week later when the sale is over. Swing traders look for trends in the market and try to ride those waves for a little while. It’s not as fast-paced as day trading, but it still requires paying attention to the market and making smart decisions. People often ask, “day trading vs swing trading which is better?” or “day trading vs swing trading profitability.” Swing trading is slower, but it can be more manageable for some people.

On the other hand, we have swing trading where you hold your investments for long, say for example a few days, weeks to have a larger portion of price movements. Its like the summer sale that was available for 7 days but in real life it’s buying the stocks and assets and selling them after 7 days(according to the scenario above, the time may vary from trader to trader). Swing traders look at trends in the market and not the small price movements. They ride those waves in the market and though the swing trading isn’t as fast paced like day trading, the traders still need to pay close attention to the market and make smart decisions.

And some may say swing trading is slower but it is manageable to some people. Swing traders look for bigger trends in the market to make huge profits.

Pros and Cons of Day Trading vs. Swing Trading

Trading StyleProsCons
Day Trading Quick Profits; Fast Paced; Doesn’t take much time.High Risk; Have to be cautious 24/7;Costs can add up quickly. 
Swing Trading Lower Risk; To steady decisions  Smaller Profits; Market can shift quickly; Time consuming.
Pros & Cons: Day Trading vs. Swing Trading

So, now the million-dollar question. Which one should you go for? Well as there is no answer, it totally depends on your skills and the strategies you are implementing. Though day trading is very profitable, it’s hands down risky. And even if the swing trading is less risky, it won’t make huge profits. So when considering your trading style make sure to have a thorough knowledge of the challenges and rewards of each and select your style.

Other Factors to Consider

  1. Taxes: Day traders have to pay regular income taxes but swing traders have a competitive advantage of lower capital gains if they hold for over a year. Tax can be a prominent factor for you to give double thoughts before choosing your way.
  2. Capital: Swing trades need a lesser amount of capital as their money keeps invested in the market for a long period of time but since the day traders need more money as they are making lots of trades in a single day. 
  3. Forex vs. Stocks: Some may blunder things between Forex and Stocks. Well, Day Trading is more common with the Forex market whereas swing trading works for both Forex and stocks.
  4. Experience Level: As day trading involves more quick decisions hence it would be great if you are an experienced trader. But since day trading doesn’t necessitate quick decisions it can be a wise decision.
  5. Time Commitment: Day trading means you need to stick your eyes to the market 24/7 to never miss an opportunity. Whilst day trading can be termed as a full time job, swing trading is more like a part-timer. 
  6. Different Styles: These are just two of the major trading styles of the forex market. Apart from that there is position trading where traders hold stocks for months and which can be extended to years. After that, we have long-term trading, which is also identical to position trading in terms of holding the investment for a longer period of time. And last but not least we have scalping, where traders make quick trades for small profits.


Though used in the FOREX market, Day trading and Swing trading are very different from each other. One is super fast and exhilarating whereas the other one can be slow and comparatively less risky. As mentioned earlier, there is no best answer to which way you should go for, it totally depends on your goals, capital, the amount of time you can devote, and your experience. Try working with different strategies with demo accounts to find which one goes with your trading style. The Forex market needs continuous learning and practice. Learn as much as you can first. But whichever strategy you choose, make sure to trade carefully and never risk more than you can afford to lose. Happy Trading!


Green background Cover Photo with characters and a text FAQ
Is swing trading profitable?

Yes, swing trading can be profitable if you are able to execute it correctly.

How long do day traders typically hold their positions?

Day traders typically hold their positions from a few minutes to several hours. It means they can hold a position for hours, minutes, or even seconds.

What are the best markets (stocks, forex, commodities) for day trading?

The best markets for day trading include highly liquid and volatile markets such as:
Stocks (e.g., high-volume tech stocks)
Forex (major currency pairs like EUR/USD)
Commodities (e.g., gold, crude oil)
Index futures (e.g., S&P 500 futures)

Which indicator is best for swing?

Here indicator that is best for swing:
Moving averages
Bollinger Bands
Ease of movement
RSI (Relative strength index)
Stochastic Oscillator

What are the best times of the day to execute day trades?

The best times of the day trading is-
The first hour after the market opens (9:30 AM – 10:30 AM EST for U.S. markets)
The last hour before the market closes (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST for U.S. markets)

Can swing trading be automated?

Yes, swing trading can be automated using algorithmic trading systems.

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