The complete guide to trading strategies - IG


Trading strategies are essential tools for both novice and experienced forex traders. They help in navigating the complexities of the forex market, optimizing profits, and managing risks. This comprehensive guide explores various trading strategies, supported by reliable data, case studies, and user feedback, to provide a thorough understanding of effective trading techniques.

1. Trend Following Strategy

Trend following is one of the most straightforward and widely-used trading strategies. It involves identifying the direction of the market and trading in the same direction.

Case Study:The Turtle Traders, trained by Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt, used a trend-following strategy in the 1980s. They focused on long-term trends and achieved substantial profits by entering trades when the market moved beyond a specific range.

Key Elements:

  • Indicators: Moving Averages (MA), Average Directional Index (ADX)

  • Entry/Exit Rules: Enter when the price crosses above/below the moving average, and exit when the trend shows signs of reversal.

  • Risk Management: Use stop-loss orders to limit losses and trailing stops to secure profits.

Trends and Data:According to a report by the National Futures Association, trend following remains a popular strategy due to its simplicity and effectiveness in trending markets.

2. Swing Trading Strategy

Swing trading aims to capture short to medium-term gains by holding positions for several days to weeks. It leverages market cycles to profit from price swings.

Case Study:A swing trader focusing on the GBP/USD pair used technical analysis tools like Fibonacci retracement and MACD to identify entry and exit points, achieving consistent gains over six months.

Key Elements:

  • Indicators: Fibonacci retracement, MACD, Moving Averages

  • Entry/Exit Rules: Enter after a market correction at key Fibonacci levels; exit before major economic events.

  • Risk Management: Use wider stop-loss orders to account for market fluctuations over a longer period.

User Feedback:Swing traders on platforms like IG emphasize the balance between short-term and long-term trading, making it suitable for those who cannot constantly monitor the markets.

3. Scalping Strategy

Scalping is a high-frequency trading strategy that involves making numerous small trades to capture tiny price movements. This strategy requires quick decision-making and precision.

Case Study:A scalper trading the EUR/USD pair used a 1-minute chart with Bollinger Bands and RSI, achieving small but consistent profits by executing multiple trades throughout the day.

Key Elements:

  • Indicators: Bollinger Bands, Relative Strength Index (RSI)

  • Entry/Exit Rules: Buy when the price hits the lower Bollinger Band and RSI is below 30; sell when the price hits the upper Bollinger Band and RSI is above 70.

  • Risk Management: Implement tight stop-loss orders and aim for quick exits to secure small profits.

Market Trends:According to data from the Bank for International Settlements, scalping is increasingly popular due to advances in trading technology and low-latency execution platforms.

4. Algorithmic Trading Strategy

Algorithmic trading uses automated systems to execute trades based on pre-set criteria. It can process vast amounts of data quickly and execute trades faster than humans.

Case Study:An institutional trader used an algorithmic strategy on the S&P 500 index, achieving consistent returns by exploiting small price inefficiencies and trends detected by advanced algorithms.

Key Elements:

  • Indicators: Custom algorithms, high-frequency trading systems

  • Entry/Exit Rules: Based on complex algorithms that consider multiple factors and indicators.

  • Risk Management: Built-in risk management protocols to limit losses and optimize gains.

User Feedback:Algorithmic traders on IG highlight the efficiency and precision of automated systems. However, they also stress the importance of continuous monitoring and updating of algorithms to adapt to changing market conditions.


Choosing the right trading strategy is crucial for success in the forex market. Trend following, swing trading, scalping, and algorithmic trading each offer unique advantages and cater to different trading styles and risk tolerances. Understanding and applying these strategies effectively can significantly enhance trading performance. For further insights and professional guidance on trading strategies, visit IG.

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