What is Positional Trading? Insights Revealed

“Unlock the secrets of long-term market success with positional trading. In this article, explore the art of strategic investment, where patience meets profit in the world of sustained market trends. Dive into the fundamentals of positional trading for a journey to financial resilience.”

Positional trading is a long-term investment strategy where traders hold positions for weeks, months, or even years, based on fundamental analysis. It aims to capitalize on major market trends, requiring patience and a strategic approach to market movements.

Key Takeaways:

  • Positional trading allows traders to profit from long-term trends.
  • Traders hold positions for weeks, months, or even years.
  • Fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and market sentiment play a crucial role in decision-making.
  • Position trading is suitable for various markets, such as stocks, forex, and commodities.
  • Successful position traders exhibit traits like patience, discipline, and strong fundamental analysis skills.

What is Positional Trading?

Positional trading, also known as long-term trading, is a well-established strategy in the financial markets. It involves holding on to positions for an extended period, typically ranging from weeks to months or even years. Position traders utilize a combination of fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and market sentiment to make informed trading decisions. The primary objective of positional trading is to capitalize on long-term trends in various markets, including stocks, forex, and commodities. Successful position traders possess traits such as patience, discipline, a long-term focus, and strong fundamental analysis skills.

Positional trading stands as a strategic approach within the realm of financial markets, embodying a long-term perspective that sets it apart from shorter-duration trading styles. It involves maintaining a trading position for a prolonged period, spanning from several weeks to months or even years. What distinguishes it from other strategies is its focus on long-term trends rather than reacting to short-term market fluctuations. This approach closely aligns with traditional buy-and-hold investing but distinguishes itself by allowing traders to take both long and short positions.

One example of successful positionl trading is a ten-year position in the S&P 500, yielding a remarkable profit of $16 million. The legendary investor Philip A. Fisher, followed by luminaries like Warren Buffet, exemplified success through long-term investments, holding positions in companies like Motorola for decades.

Asset Classes in Positional Trading

When it comes to positional trading, the choice of asset class plays a pivotal role in shaping a trader’s strategy and determining the potential for long-term success. Positional traders strategically navigate various asset classes, each presenting unique characteristics and considerations. Let’s explore the prominent asset classes in positional trading, shedding light on their distinct features.

1. Positional Share Trading: Shares of companies, commonly referred to as stocks, represent a foundational asset class for positional traders. These traders often gravitate towards stocks due to their tendency to follow more stable trends compared to volatile markets like cryptocurrencies or certain forex pairs. Holding onto shares for extended periods aligns with the overarching positional trading philosophy, allowing traders to capitalize on stable, long-term trends.

Example: A positional trader might choose to hold shares in a fundamentally sound company, anticipating long-term growth. By relying on fundamental analysis, examining factors like earnings, dividends, and market position, they aim to identify opportunities that align with their extended timeframe.

2. Positional Commodity Trading: Commodities, encompassing goods such as gold, oil, and agricultural products, constitute another asset class attractive to positional traders. While commodities can exhibit volatility, they tend to stabilize faster than some other markets, making them appealing for those adopting a long-term approach. Positional traders in commodities rely on a combination of fundamental analysis and an understanding of historical patterns to make informed decisions.

Example: A positional trader might choose to hold a long-term position in gold, anticipating its value to increase over the years. Fundamental analysis of global economic conditions, geopolitical events, and historical trends would guide their decision-making process.

3. Positional Index Trading: Stock indices, representing clusters of companies grouped by geographical location, industry, or other criteria, offer stable trends suitable for positional trading. Positional index traders appreciate the more predictable nature of indices, driven by the collective performance of the included companies. This stability aligns well with the long-term focus of positional trading.

Example: A positional trader might opt for a long-term position in a regional stock index, expecting the overall economic conditions of that region to drive sustained growth. By analysing historical trends and economic indicators, they aim to identify opportunities within the index.

4. Position Trading in Forex: While currency pairs in the forex market are generally associated with shorter-term trading strategies, some positional traders find success in this asset class. Forex trading is known for its consistent volatility, making it less favoured by positional traders. However, for those who choose this path, a meticulous analysis of economic indicators and global events is imperative.

Example: A positional trader in forex might take a long-term perspective on a currency pair, anticipating economic conditions and geopolitical factors to influence its value over an extended period. Their decision-making involves a blend of technical and fundamental analysis.

The selection of asset classes in positional trading is a strategic decision that aligns with a trader’s risk tolerance, expertise, and the desired holding period. Each asset class presents its own set of opportunities and challenges, and successful positional traders leverage a combination of technical and fundamental analyses to navigate these complexities. As traders explore the vast landscape of financial markets, a nuanced understanding of asset classes becomes paramount for informed and successful positional trading.

Positional Trading Strategies

Positional trading strategies play a crucial role in the success of position traders. These strategies are specifically designed to take advantage of long-term trends in the financial markets, allowing traders to maximize their profits. Here are four effective positional trading strategies:

Trend Following

The trend following strategy is one of the most popular approaches in positional trading. This strategy involves identifying and riding the prevailing trend in a particular market. Traders using this strategy would enter a position when the market is trending upward and hold on to it until the trend reverses. To identify trends, traders often use technical indicators such as moving averages and trendlines.

Breakout Trading

The breakout trading strategy focuses on identifying key levels of support or resistance that, when broken, indicate a potential trend reversal. Traders using this strategy would enter a position when the price breaks above a resistance level or below a support level. Breakout traders aim to capture significant price movements that often occur after a breakout, profiting from the momentum of the new trend.

Swing Trading

Swing trading is a strategy that aims to capture shorter-term trends within the broader long-term trend. Traders using this strategy would enter a position when the price swings in their desired direction, often based on technical indicators such as oscillators or chart patterns. Swing traders typically hold their positions for a few days to a few weeks, looking to profit from the price swings within the overall trend.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is a strategy that focuses on evaluating the underlying factors that drive the value of an asset. Position traders using this strategy would analyze economic indicators, company financials, news, and other factors to make informed trading decisions. By understanding the fundamentals of an asset, traders can identify long-term opportunities that have the potential for significant price movements.

These positional trading strategies provide traders with different approaches to capitalize on long-term trends. It’s important for traders to choose a strategy that aligns with their trading style, risk tolerance, and market conditions. By mastering these strategies and adapting them to their specific trading goals, position traders can increase their chances of success in the financial markets.

StrategyKey Points
Trend FollowingIdentify and ride the prevailing trend
Breakout TradingEnter positions when key levels of support or resistance are broken
Swing TradingCapture shorter-term trends within the broader long-term trend
Fundamental AnalysisEvaluate underlying factors that drive the value of an asset

Positional Trading Indicators

Positional traders rely on various technical indicators to help inform their trading decisions and identify potential entry points. These indicators provide valuable insights into market trends, momentum, and potential reversals. While no indicator is foolproof, understanding and effectively utilizing these tools can enhance a trader’s chances of success.

Trending indicators are crucial for positional traders as they identify the direction and strength of a market trend. The Moving Average (MA) is a popular indicator that smooths out price fluctuations over a specific period, providing a clearer picture of the underlying trend. Traders often use different MA lengths, such as the 50-day and 200-day moving averages, to identify short-term and long-term trends, respectively. When the shorter MA crosses above the longer MA, it may signal a bullish trend, while a crossover below could indicate a bearish trend.

Another useful trending indicator is the Average Directional Index (ADX), which measures the strength of a trend rather than its direction. ADX values between 0 and 25 indicate a weak trend, while values above 25 suggest a trending market. Traders often combine these trend indicators with other tools to confirm their trading signals.

Momentum Indicators

Momentum indicators help traders identify the speed and magnitude of price movements, which can be helpful in determining potential entry or exit points. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is a commonly used momentum indicator that measures the speed and change of price movements. RSI values above 70 indicate overbought conditions, suggesting a potential reversal or correction, while values below 30 may signal oversold conditions and a potential upward price movement.

Another popular momentum indicator is the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD). It consists of two lines – the MACD line and the signal line – and a histogram that illustrates the difference between the two. Positive values suggest bullish momentum, while negative values indicate bearish momentum. Traders often look for crossovers between the MACD line and the signal line to generate buy or sell signals.

Volatility Indicators

Volatility indicators measure the rate at which prices change, providing insights into potential market risks and opportunities. The Bollinger Bands are widely used to identify periods of high or low volatility. The bands consist of three lines – the middle band, which is an MA, and the upper and lower bands, which represent volatility levels. When the price touches the upper band, it may indicate overbought conditions and a potential reversal, while touching the lower band suggests oversold conditions and a potential upward movement.

Traders can also use the Average True Range (ATR) to assess market volatility. A higher ATR value indicates greater volatility, while a lower value suggests lower volatility. By monitoring volatility levels, traders can adjust their position sizes and manage their risk accordingly.

It is important for positional traders to understand that indicators should be used as tools to support their trading decisions, rather than relying solely on them. Combining multiple indicators, along with fundamental analysis and market sentiment, can provide a more comprehensive view of the market and increase the probability of successful trades.

Moving Average (MA)Identify trend direction50-day moving average
Average Directional Index (ADX)Measure trend strengthADX value above 25
Relative Strength Index (RSI)Assess momentumRSI value above 70
Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)Identify momentum changesMACD line crossover
Bollinger BandsMeasure volatilityPrice touching upper band
Average True Range (ATR)Assess market volatilityHigher ATR value


Positional trading offers several advantages for traders seeking long-term profitability and a more relaxed approach to the markets. Unlike day trading, which involves frequent buying and selling within a single day, positional trading focuses on capturing long-term trends that can span weeks, months, or even years.

One of the key advantages of positional trading is the potential for greater profits. By holding onto positions for an extended period, traders can take advantage of the full upward or downward movement of a market, maximizing their gains. In addition, positional traders can benefit from reduced transaction costs, as they are not constantly entering and exiting positions.

Furthermore, positional trading allows traders to avoid the stress associated with constant market monitoring. Instead of being glued to their screens all day, position traders can take a more relaxed approach and make informed trading decisions based on thorough fundamental and technical analysis. This also enables them to capitalize on long-term trends and market opportunities that short-term traders may overlook.

When comparing positional trading to day trading, it is clear that each approach has its own merits. Positional trading offers the advantage of a longer-term focus and the ability to avoid the volatility of short-term market fluctuations. On the other hand, day trading allows for quicker profits and more frequent trading opportunities. It ultimately comes down to the trader’s personal preferences, risk tolerance, and trading goals.

Whether in stocks, forex, or other financial markets, positional trading provides traders with the opportunity to implement long-term trading strategies and take advantage of trends. By utilizing a combination of fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and market sentiment, position traders can increase their chances of success and achieve their financial goals over the long run.


What is positional trading?

Positional trading is a time-tested approach to the financial markets that involves holding onto positions for an extended period, typically ranging from weeks to months or even years. Traders aim to profit from long-term trends and rely on a combination of fundamental analysis, technical analysis, and market sentiment to make their trading decisions.

What are some positional trading strategies?

Effective positional trading strategies include trend following, breakouts, mean reversion, and momentum trading. These strategies help traders identify and capitalize on market trends and price movements.

Are there specific indicators used in positional trading?

Yes, positional traders use various technical indicators to help identify and improve their trading entries. Some popular indicators include moving averages, trend lines, relative strength index (RSI), and moving average convergence divergence (MACD).

What are the advantages of positional trading?

Positional trading offers several advantages, including the potential for greater profits, reduced transaction costs, and less stress associated with constant market monitoring. It allows traders to capitalize on long-term trends and take advantage of market opportunities that short-term traders might overlook. Compared to day trading, positional trading offers a more relaxed and flexible approach, with the ability to avoid the volatility of short-term market fluctuations.

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