Home > Markets, Planning, Teaching, trading > Profitable ETF Trading Strategies: Respect Volatility, use its power for good

Profitable ETF Trading Strategies: Respect Volatility, use its power for good

At the most fundamental level, volatility is the fluctuation in the price of an asset. The greter the price swings in the shorter periods of time, the greater the volatility. Periods of great volatility are like thunderstorms. They get your attention.
Volatility is an absolute requirement for a trader to make money. Most investors look at volatility with fear and trepidation, and properly so, because wild swings in price are an indication of uncertainty about the fair value of the asset in question. This uncertainty will play havoc with your bottom line as an investor. It is a normal tradeoff consideration for investors to give up the potential of outsize gains in exchange for protection against downside volatility.
It is clear from scholarly studies that increases in volatility correlate strongly with declines in equity value. If you look at bear markets you see volatility everywhere, leading to tremendous gains on up days and tremendous losses on down days. This volatility  is what drives longer term investors to the sidelines and creates the window of opportunity for longer term value players to establish excellent entry points for long term holdings in beaten down companies and sectors. This eagerness to buy value at a discount is why we see buying pressure even in the midst of the worst bear markets.
Traders who are looking to make their loving off the buying selling of inventory need the volatility of longer term position traders and short term scalpers to move price in swings that last long enough for them to realize their gains while offering the buyers and sellers from other time frames reasons to get in and out of these positions as well.
Because swing traders do not need fundamental beliefs in their positions they are able to operate successfully in swing trades during bear markets, and providing that they can manage their risk in the periods of higher volatility, should be eager to trade on the most violent of das in the market.  For a swing trader the greater the intraday volatility, the easier it is to see opportunities and frame favorable trades in terms of reward to risk. 

Like electricity, volatility can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. As a trader you must learn to use the power of volatility responsibly and effectively.  Stay grounded and respect the power for your own good. 

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