Dec 19 2019 1
Scalping is a trading strategy that specializes in profiting off small price changes, generally after a trade is executed and becomes profitable. It requires a trader to have a strict exit strategy because one large loss could eliminate the many small gains the trader worked to obtain. Having the right tools such as a live feed, a direct-access broker and the stamina to place many trades is required for this major key forex strategy to be successful.
How scalping works
Scalping is based on an assumption that most stocks will complete the first stage of a movement. But where it goes from there is uncertain. After that initial stage, some stocks cease to advance while others continue.
A scalper intends to take as many small profits as possible, without letting them evaporate. This is the opposite of the "let your profits run" mindset, which attempts to optimize positive trading results by increasing the size of winning trades while letting others reverse. Scalping achieves results by increasing the number of winners and sacrificing the size of the wins. It's not uncommon for a trader with a longer time frame to achieve positive results by winning only half or even less of his or her trades – it's just that the wins are much bigger than the losses. A successful scalper, however, will have a much higher ratio of winning trades versus losing ones, while keeping profits roughly equal or slightly bigger than losses.
Spreads in Scalping vs. Normal Trading Strategy
When scalpers trade, they want to profit off the changes in a security's bid-ask spread. That's the difference between the price a broker will buy a security from a trader (the bid) and the price the broker will sell it (the ask). So, therefore, they're looking for a wider spread.
But in normal circumstances, trading is fairly consistent and can allow for steady profits. That's because the spread between the bid and ask is also steady, as supply and demand for securities is balanced.
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3 types of major key forex strategy
The first type of scalping is referred to as "market-making," whereby a scalper tries to capitalize on the spread by simultaneously posting a bid and an offer for a specific stock. Obviously, this strategy can succeed only on mostly immobile stocks that trade big volumes without any real price changes. This kind of scalping is immensely hard to do successfully, as a trader must compete with market makers for the shares on both bids and offers. Also, the profit is so small that any stock movement against the trader's position warrants a loss exceeding his or her original profit target.
The other two styles are based on a more traditional approach and require a moving stock where prices change rapidly. These two styles also require a sound strategy and method of reading the movement.
The second type of scalping is done by purchasing a large number of shares that are sold for a gain on a very small price movement. A trader of this style will enter into positions for several thousand shares and wait for a small move, which is usually measured in cents. Such an approach requires highly liquid stock to allow for entering and exiting 3,000 to 10,000 shares easily.
The third type of this major key forex strategy is considered to be closer to the traditional methods of trading. A trader enters an amount of shares on any setup or signal from his or her system and closes the position as soon as the first exit signal is generated near the 1:1 risk/reward ratio, calculated as described earlier.