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Swing trading offers the opportunity to capture short and medium-term profits from speculating on the price of financial assets and derivatives. Swing trading differs from day trading because swing traders are typically willing to take overnight positions. The duration of a position taken by swing traders might range from a few minutes to several weeks.
Successful swing trading depends in large part on initiating optimum positions using signals and indicators. Swing trading apps can help with identifying market opportunities and can be used as an adjunct to technical and fundamental analysis that helps many experienced traders improve their odds of making winning trades.
While your swing trading strategy and trading plan should specify how trading decisions are made, a swing trading app can help swing traders decide when to initiate or liquidate positions in a market.
In this article, Benzinga reviews the best swing trading apps and explains how they can be an invaluable resource for new or experienced swing traders.
What Is Swing Trading?
Swing trading is a speculative trading strategy commonly used among traders where a tradable asset is held for between 1 and several days in an effort to profit from price changes or “swings.”
A swing trading position is typically held longer than a day trading position, so swing traders need to be prepared to hold overnight positions. While most swing traders operate on a shorter time frame than those implementing buy-and-hold investment strategies that follow market trends, swing trades can even be held for months or years.
Swing trading has proven itself unusually popular as a trading strategy among many financial markets traders over the years. Furthermore, swing trading profits can be sought by either buying or selling an asset. Many swing traders use a stop and reverse strategy so that they are either long or short in a particular market but rarely square.
In practice, swing traders often use a number of different market signals and technical indicators to evaluate the optimum entry and exit points in the market. In addition to taking note of nearby support and resistance chart points, swing traders often employ the momentum signals and indicators popular among technical analysts to generate objective buy and sell recommendations when swing trading.
For example, many swing traders like to use momentum indicators like the Relative Strength Index, the Momentum Indicator and the Stochastics Oscillator to gauge market momentum and suggest likely reversal points.
What to Look for in a Swing Trading App
Swing trading is a discipline that requires clear trading signals to initiate and liquidate trades. The best swing trading apps are the ones that let you monitor the indicators you selected to generate signals and alerts for trading setups.
Some brokers offer swing trading apps to clients, while other apps — like WealthCharts — focus exclusively on research and signal generation. Depending on your swing trading strategy, you probably have certain indicators that signal a trade setup, such as a moving average crossover or an overbought/oversold reading on a momentum oscillator.
The type of signal and alert depends in large part on the trader, although many swing traders use momentum indicators to signal trade setups. The types of signals that you intend to use when trading and your experience level will help you select a suitable swing trading app.
In addition to signal generation and indicator monitoring, a good swing trading app might feature asset watchlists and a forum or community where you can interact with other traders that may use similar indicators. Certain signals and indicators might work better for trading particular assets than others.
The types of financial products you choose to swing trade will also have a bearing on the type of trading app that would best suit you. For example, earnings and earnings calls can have a significant impact on the price of a stock, but they are irrelevant when trading in other markets, such as commodities or forex.
Best Swing Trading Apps
Take a look at the list of best apps for swing trading below.
WealthCharts is an easy-to-use, high-value and low-cost platform for finding optimum trades that many swing traders will appreciate because it provides traders with actionable data and research. The intuitive platform combines automated algorithmic analysis with real-time charting that helps traders immediately identify opportunities and trade ideas.
Built for traders by traders, this award-winning platform is packed with hundreds of important indicators, research, educational resources and real-time news. The platform has also grown significantly thanks to feedback from clients and the top traders who share their indicators and trading signals. Top traders’ indicators include Steve (Slim) Miller’s Slim Ribbon, Dr. Barry Burns’ TDT Cycle Indicator, Jeff Tompkins’ Crossbow Indicator and Mark Helweg’s TOP Extreme Index.
The service costs $197 per month, although you can take advantage of a limited-time bonus offer by becoming a Founder member. In addition to WealthCharts, you also get FundHunter as an added bonus. This package deal would save you $197 per month since both services cost $394 per month. Other features you’ll have access to include:
- Robust Scanners
- Portfolio Analyzer
- Wealthcharts Research Team
- Global Exchange Data
- Pro Research
You can access WealthCharts on any mobile device in addition to using it on your desktop. If you’re serious about your trading and can take advantage of the many market resources provided by WealthCharts, the service could be worth the price, especially if you take advantage of the bonus offer to become a Founder member.
Stock Alarm is a customizable stock alert app that you can use on iOS, Android or through the web app. Stock Alarm is unique in that it accepts user requests, make changes as needed and is always under active development.
With push notifications and phone alerts, there are 50+ alert types that trigger alerts, including:
- Percent change
- Price change
- Death cross
- Gold cross patterns
In addition to the massive array of indicators that help you track your favorite stocks, you can also review the top gainers and losers every day, read current financial news and see the trending stocks at that moment.
Plus, the referral program credits you a free month of Gold membership on top of your current membership. How does it work? Go into the app, click on Share Stock Alarm and give that link to friends and family. When they use that link to register, you get another month of free use.
Because alerts from Stock Alarm are tailored to the assets you want to watch, you can get in on the action in realtime instead of finding out about major stock movements after the fact.
Intermediate Traders and Investors
Webull is a mobile app-based broker that provides commission-free trades on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Swing traders can take advantage of Webull’s commission-free structure to significantly reduce their trading costs. The U.S.-based broker has oversight from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
The Webull platform gives you access to fundamental information like analyst recommendations, per share data and historical earnings for stocks. On the technical side, you get real-time bar, candlestick and line charts with time frames ranging from 1 minute to 60 minutes.
The platform also provides historical data that goes back 5 years and includes useful technical indicators for swing traders such as Bollinger Bands, the MACD and various momentum oscillators. Overall, you get 8 types of charts and more than 50 indicators to assist you in analyzing the market.
Webull offers a trading simulator or demo trading account that includes most of the features offered on its regular platform. This option lets you try out the broker before committing any funds.
You can fund an account at Webull with as little as $1. If you fund an account with $100, you can take advantage of Webull’s special promotion giving you 4 free shares of stock with a value of up to $3,800. If you want to swing trade U.S. listed stocks, then you might consider Webull for your broker because of the low transaction costs and its helpful platform.
TradeStation is a brokerage that caters mainly to seasoned and active traders. TradeStation offers a wide range of tradable assets that include cryptocurrencies as well as a diverse and extensive set of market analysis tools that swing traders might find useful.
The TradeStation trading platform and mobile app offer one of the best toolsets for active swing traders in the online retail broker space. Also, TradeStation offers commission-free trading on U.S. stocks and ETFs.
The TradeStation platform features real-time charting and excellent scanners that are ideal for swing traders looking for trade ideas and setups. You can even backtest your strategies quickly with the platform’s easy-to-learn scripting language.
For novice traders, TradeStation’s education center offers a wide range of learning tools, while the GO account option gives new traders access to professional-grade stock screeners, advanced charting capabilities and educational and developmental resources. All these resources can help swing traders come up with successful strategies and develop a profitable trading plan.
Can You Make Money Swing Trading?
The key to successful swing trading is taking the time to develop a successful strategy and then incorporating it into a sound trading plan. While swing trading may not suit everyone, especially if you feel uncomfortable holding positions overnight, various swing trading strategies have been profitably used by traders for decades. The success of swing trading strategies is often a result of an ability to capture more of the ups and downs of market fluctuations than either day trading or trend trading strategies can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is swing trading really profitable?
Sometimes. When practiced appropriately, swing trading can capture more of a market’s upwards and downwards fluctuations than either day trading or trend trading. That potential benefit can make a swing trading strategy quite profitable in the right hands.
Is swing trading like gambling?
Yes. Swing trading is more like gambling than investing because it involves taking strategic risks with the goal of making a profit. Like with gambling, you should only swing trade with funds you can afford to lose.