Momentum Trading

Investors and traders who focus on momentum wish to generate profit from either upward or downward trends in the price of a share. The momentum in these trends induces the momentum-style traders to anticipate that they will continue to move in the same direction.

What is momentum trading?

The process of buying and selling shares based on how strongly recent price movements have been trending is known as momentum trading. It is based on the idea that prices will continue to rise steadily in the same direction if there is sufficient momentum in the price movement. The price of a share often rises when there is positive news around it, and investors get more interested in it.

This leads to an uptrend in share price that might continue until sellers start dominating, as can happen when an unexpected occurrence prompts them to reconsider the share pricing. If there aren’t enough buyers to counteract the momentum shift, the price of an instrument will start falling.

Momentum traders first try to gauge the trend strengthening in a particular direction. They take a position on confirmation of the trend and exit when the trend begins to diminish. A momentum trader concentrates on the price movement rather than locating the peak and bottom of a trend.

How does momentum in stocks work?

Momentum trading implies that a trader will buy a share when its price has just begun to rise and sell it as soon as the price begins to fall. This method is based on the premise that prices of shares sometimes do not represent their true worth for a long time and have the propensity to rise steadily in one direction based on short-term news or event.

The goal of the momentum trading technique is to profit from the market’s ongoing movements. When the price of a share is strongly rising in one direction, momentum traders typically take the position and exit when the trend reverses. Thus, identifying the trend and selecting the shares with significant momentum is necessary for momentum trading. Moreover, traders can utilize different momentum trading strategies.

What are the ways to trade on the momentum?

Momentum trading may be done in two ways:

  1. Short-term Momentum:

    With this method, traders search for short-term price patterns. It could be for a couple of minutes, hours, or days. Depending on the market scenario, chart time frames can be selected to identify the trend.
  2. Long-term Momentum:

    Here, traders utilize weekly, monthly, and daily charts to spot long-term trends (up or down) for the market and any specific security. Using longer periods reduces much of the volatility seen in shorter periods.

What is the process of momentum trading?

To engage in momentum trading, traders must first determine high-momentum shares. This may be achieved by utilizing technical indicators.

If traders gauge an upward trend, they can place buy orders slightly above the current price. The sell order will be affixed at a specific level above the current price to allow the traders to exit their position profitably.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of momentum trading?

Pros Cons
A key benefit of momentum trading is that it may result in profits in a short period when executed correctly and consistently. Momentum trading demands a higher concentration since you, as a trader, must determine when it is appropriate to enter and quit a position.
A position under momentum trades can be held for a longer period, if the trend continues. In this scenario, a higher profit can be targeted. Another disadvantage of momentum trading is that it might increase the degree of risk in your portfolio.
Of the many shares trading in the share market, a few can be identified that may gain momentum for a specific time frame and create an opportunity for the trader to make a profit. As it performs best in a bullish market when investors tend to follow the herd, such an investing strategy might lead to losses if not exited at the right time.


In a nutshell, this strategy poses a certain level of risk and necessitates extensive training and experience. Thus, one should engage in this type of trading after practice and trials.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Momentum denotes the rate of change of a share price. A stock’s momentum is determined by calculating the price difference of a share over a fixed period. A 20-day momentum, for instance, is the difference between the closing price of a share 20 days ago and its most recent closing price.

Stocks with a high growth rate in price over a specific period are referred to as high-momentum stocks.

By taking short-term bets in equities that are gaining momentum, traders try to take a position. As soon as the momentum weakens, they exit.

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