How to Get Started Swing Trading Stocks

How to Get Started Swing Trading Stocks is an introductory guide for new traders looking to get active in the stock market.

We start right at the basics, defining what exactly swing trading is, why someone would want to do it, and all of the important high-level resources and knowledge a trader should have in order to succeed.

Below the video, should you want to jump to the points that are of most interest to you, there is a list of the key topics discussed and the time in which they appear in the video. Want to head to the sites or resources mentioned? No worries, those are down there too.

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide, rather a lightweight overview of what I consider some of the most important topics worth digging into deeper.

What is swing trading?

(1:10) I define swing trading as an active approach to trading the markets where the planned holding time of the trade extends beyond a day (overnight) and the goal is to capture a single leg (swing) in a stock’s trend.

Why choose swing trading?

(3:39) There are lots of benefits of swing trading, but the primary reason for choosing this style, is to be active in the market without needing to stare at charts and screens all day.

What’s needed to swing trade?

(6:30) There are only two things you need to pursue any style of trading.

Discretionary trading capital, and these are not funds that you may need to pay bills with next week.

A low cost broker to place your trades through, and one that provides you with the research and accessibility that you desire.

What knowledge is required to swing trade?

(18:32) There’s a lot that goes into successful trading, but there are four key areas I recommend for further research and development when starting out:

  • Learn how to read a chart.
  • Risk management.
  • Have an edge (strategy).
  • Accumulate screen time (experience).


How to get started swing trading stocks

Resources and Links


  • Robinhood – Free trades!
  • Scottrade  Offers more tools and research than Robinhood, but costly commissions.
  • Interactive Brokers – Professional broker with competitive commissions.


  • Finviz – free stock scanning tool for research and idea generation.
  • Stockcharts – free and premium scanning tool for research, trade ideas, breadth analysis and much more.
  • Worden TC2000 – my favorite screener, a bit more advanced, but powerful and customizable. This is an affiliate link that kicks back a small percentage of sales back to me, but also gives you a discount on the full retail price.


More Trading Educational Articles

The Trade Risk Newsletter is a weekly e-mail designed to quickly catch you up with what’s been going on in markets, trade ideas, and a plan for the week ahead.

Thanks for reading and good luck in your journey as a swing trader.

Enjoy what you read? Share it below and be sure to tag @thetraderisk.

Evan Medeiros

Evan is the founder of The Trade Risk, a financial media company that publishes research and analysis about the stock market and specializes in trading education. With 20+ years of coding experience and a B.S. in computer science, Evan brings a systematic discipline to investing in the stock market.

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  1. Joe M on 3:22 pm June 23, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I have TC2000, Robinhood with 1000 in it and 25 a week going in.
    Is this enough to get started?
    I just retired and I’m not building a college or retirement fund. Just want to learn.

    • Evan on 2:06 pm June 24, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Hey Joe, yes absolutely, it sounds like you are in a perfect situation to learn and get started with $1,000.

      The 2 critical obstacles of traders starting out with a smaller amount of capital is commission costs and managing their return expectations.

      You’ve got commission costs completely eliminated by using Robinhood so there is no friction there and it sounds like you are in a position where you aren’t expecting to produce some large immediate return to live off of.

      $1,000 using RH and adding $$ weekly is quite honestly the path I recommend most traders get started and learn. Focus on getting market experience, accumulating screentime, and think in terms of percentage returns/moves and not absolute dollars. Everything will scale over time.

      Good luck on the journey!

  2. Shantu Dand on 10:26 am August 8, 2019 at 10:26 am

    It is amazing but I use all the tools you suggested. I am a swing trader and use TC2000 to find opportunities. I do not use stocks for trading. I only use leveraged ETFs. Another difference is my trading style. It is apparent to me that you trade breakouts whereas I trade pullbacks. My entry, holding and exit decisions are made by pure price action and volume observations.
    I do not use stocks for trading because of the wide fluctuations in price created by earnings report, upgrade/downgrade, stupid stories, manipulation by powerful parties and extreme news sensitivity inherent in stocks. ETFs eliminate some of these concerns and the leveraged ETFs give me the volatility I need.
    I find your approach interesting. I hope to learn from you.

    • Evan Medeiros on 12:59 pm August 8, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Hey Shantu thanks for commenting and sharing, it sounds like you have your foundation set up underneath you and know exactly what you are looking for.

      I agree completely on using leveraged ETFs, we’re fans of trading them as well for the exact reasons you describe. Keep up the good work and nice to have you as a reader.

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