We all know the basic rule of traditional trading: buy low, sell high. Index scalping follows this rule, but on a much smaller – miniscule almost – scale. When using the index scalping strategy an investor aims at making many small profits on slight price changes that eventually add up to sizeable amounts. But how exactly can you achieve this?
Index Scalping Strategy
Unlike a traditional investor, a scalper places anywhere between ten to a couple of hundred trades in a single day which he enters and exits within a short amount of time. The underlying notion of index scalping is that small movements in price values are easier to catch than large movements. Thus when scalping, you need to buy stocks at the bid price and quickly sell them just a few cents higher for a profit. The minute difference in price means that you need to buy and sell a lot of stocks and to make a lot of trades in a day to accumulate large overall gains, hence the high volume of trades placed by scalpers. This strategy also requires that you have a strict exit strategy of selling stocks as soon as a higher price is reached in order to prevent large losses that could eliminate the many small gains you make over a day’s trading. Unlike a traditional trader who may have approximately an equal number of winning and losing trades, but with the winning ones of course returning greatly higher amounts than the amounts lost in the losing ones, a successful scalper will have a much higher ratio of winning to losing trades. That’s because the profits of winning trades in scalping do not far exceed (if at all) the losses of losing trades, and overall profit depends entirely on a higher number of winning trades.
Benefits of Trading Indices
Index Trading can be quite tricky and requires not only a lot of time and effort in order to achieve a high volume of trades, but also good timing in catching the small movements of the market. Nevertheless, there are certain advantages to this strategy that make it appealing to scalpers.
Scalping trades receive very little exposure to the market as they are opened and closed within minutes, which lessens the probability of running into major events that can adversely and significantly affect the value of a price.
The small movement of a few cents that the scalper looks for in the market, occur much more easily than big movements of traditional trading. A big move signifies an imbalance in supply and demand which is hard to obtain, but a small difference of a few cents can occur for any minor reason.
Small movements occur not only more easily, but also at a much higher frequency. Even on a quiet day where markets are generally stable, a scalper can find many small movements to exploit for profit.