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Developing a Trading Style

Master Traders develop a style that is a reflection of their education and character. Most individual trading styles are either positional or combinational and, rarely, a synthesis of both. However, there are other styles.

Positional traders take x amount of positions within a specific price area where the market is thought to be favorable to their trading strategy. This may occur on short term weakness when the longer trends are bullish. A known risk is assumed for a specific profit taking area. Positions remain until the losses or profits are taken or the price action analysis negates the trading strategy.

Combinational traders do not have the patience of positional traders, and want immediate profitable results or will exit the market quickly. These traders add additional orders as the market moves their way, building up large positions for fast two- to six-day price moves, then take profits and exit the market.

A third type of trader is a system trader, who adheres to a trading system discipline.

A fourth type of trader is the method trader. Methods differ from systems in that a method can be traded either as a system with no discretion, or traded with discretionary intervention. A method allows for a trader to be able to change parameters. A method gives full-disclosure of all its parameters and the logic behind the method. It should be realized that both systems and methods are based not so much upon a rationale as they are upon pure statistics, i.e., when a certain setup or pattern occurs, and you behave in a certain way, the result is statistically in accordance with the probable outcome.

The complete trader is able to combine all or parts of the above approaches with his own style. Trading mastery combines observation, scientific knowledge, good judgment, intuition, and creative instincts with decisive action.

Great summary! Thanks Joe.
I would classify what Joe described as a combinational style as swing trading.

I would also add the note that some positional traders use a trailing stop to manage the trade risk and exit point rather than a specific profit price target.

On an intra-day trading basis, most of the time I apply a synthesis of the method trading style and positional style. Also, I usually participate in some swing trades through the month when I can identify these intermediate term opportunities. And I have a few longer term trend trades each year as well, which fits the positional style with trailing stop management.
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