For traders who thrive on excitement, scalping is a popular trading style worth considering. If you find yourself constantly fixated on 1-minute charts and preferred quick trades to long-term investments, then scalping might be for you.
The main objective of scalp traders is to profit from small price movements. Rather than focusing on large returns per trade, scalpers seek to generate small profits repeatedly, which can accumulate over time and lead to account growth. To increase their chances of success, scalp traders commonly use tools such as leverage and tight stop-losses.
Many day traders use the popular short-term strategy, also known as scalp trading, which involves shorter timeframes, speedy decision-making, and substantial use of technical analysis and charting tools. Consequently, numerous professional day traders reserve a portion of their trading accounts for scalping.
Scalpers are drawn to the stock market, Forex trading, and crypto due to the viability of their strategies across a broad range of financial markets.
What Is Scalping?
Scalping is a trading strategy that aims to capitalize on small price movements, rather than targeting substantial profits. Scalp traders focus on harvesting gains from repeated small price changes.
To achieve this, scalp traders execute numerous trades within short periods, actively seeking small price fluctuations and market inefficiencies. The strategy relies heavily on technical analysis, as fundamental events tend to unfold over longer durations, making them less relevant for scalp traders. Nevertheless, fundamental narratives can influence the choice of assets to trade. Stocks or cryptocurrencies that experience heightened interest due to news or actual events generally exhibit increased volume and liquidity, offering opportunities for scalpers to profit from heightened volatility.
Instead of targeting significant price fluctuations, scalping is a trading strategy that capitalizes on brief periods of market volatility. Due to the fast-paced nature of scalping, it's not a suitable approach for everyone. Scalpers must possess a sophisticated comprehension of market mechanics and the ability to make quick decisions under pressure.
How to Make Money On Scalping Trading?
Scalpers use technical analysis to identify small trading opportunities in the market. They often consider trading volume, price action, support and resistance levels, and candlestick chart patterns when identifying potential trades. Additionally, they often use technical indicators such as moving averages, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), Bollinger Bands, the VWAP, and the Fibonacci retracement tool. Some traders also use more complex indicators such as real-time order book analysis and volume profile. Scalpers may also create custom indicators to gain an edge over the market.
Intraday charts with timeframes ranging from 1-hour to as short as 1-minute are typically used for scalping trading. However, some traders may use even shorter time frames. While high-frequency trading bots may be able to quickly process data from very short time frames, it may not be reasonable for humans to do so.
To be successful, scalp traders need to have a unique advantage over the market. This is why they often keep their strategies secret and may create their own custom indicators. While there aren't strict rules for scalping, having a high time frame view of the market structure can be helpful when looking for scalp trading setups. It's also important to keep in mind that trading and investment strategies can differ between traders.
Various Scalping Strategies
Scalp traders can be classified into two types: discretionary and systematic.
- Discretionary traders make trading decisions based on market conditions and may rely more on intuition.
- Systematic traders use a well-defined trading system that triggers entry and exit points based on certain conditions.
While both approaches can be applied to other types of traders, the distinction is more apparent in short-term strategies.
One strategy used by some scalp traders is range trading, where they wait for a price range to be established and trade within that range. However, traders must prepare for a potential breakout by setting a stop-loss. Another technique involves exploiting the bid-ask spread, but this is typically more suitable for algorithmic or quantitative trading due to market inefficiencies that humans may not easily spot.
Scalp traders often use leverage to boost their position size as the percentage targets are relatively small. They may use margin trading platforms, futures contracts, and other leveraged trading products. However, traders must also be aware of slippage as they aim to profit from smaller moves with larger positions.
Overall, scalp trading requires a unique advantage over the market and a thorough understanding of the technical factors involved. While there are no strict rules to scalp trading, guidelines and strategies can be considered to set one's own rules.
Who Should Start Scalp Trading?
There are two types of traders - short-term and longer-term. Short-term traders, such as day traders, prefer not to leave any positions open when they're not actively trading. On the other hand, longer-term traders, such as swing traders, are comfortable holding positions for several months.
To determine whether scalping is suitable, traders should consider which trading style best fits their personality and risk tolerance. Additionally, traders should find a trading strategy that matches their style and risk profile so that they can apply it consistently and profitably.
Traders can experiment with different strategies to see what works best for them. Traders can test their scalping strategies without risking actual funds by using paper trading on exchanges that allow it.
Scalping is a popular short-term trading strategy that aims to profit off small price movements. However, it requires discipline, market knowledge, and quick decision-making. For beginners, it might be better to consider more long-term strategies like swing trading or buy and hold, while experienced traders might find scalp trading more suitable. But regardless of the chosen strategy, risk management principles such as stop-losses and proper position sizing should always be considered to minimize risk.