3.5 Position Trading: How To Benefit From Long-Term Trend Following

position trading

Alright, let’s dive into the world of Position Trading. It’s a fascinating arena of finance where the name of the game is patience and long-term vision.

What’s Position Trading Anyway?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start with the basics. Position trading, as the name implies, is a trading strategy where an investor holds a position in a security (like stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies) for a long period, usually months to years. Position traders are not so concerned with market fluctuations and short-term price movements. Instead, they ride the broader trends and seek to profit from significant shifts in the market. It’s kind of like surfing, but instead of catching waves, you’re riding market trends.

How Does a Position Trader Operate?

Let’s break down how a position trader works. First, they identify potential investment opportunities by analyzing market trends and economic indicators. This analysis can be both technical (studying statistical trends gathered from trading activity) and fundamental (evaluating a company’s financials, industry position, and market conditions).

Once they’ve identified a promising security, they buy and hold onto it, monitoring its performance over time. Remember, they’re not looking to make a quick buck from minor price fluctuations. They’re banking on the long-term performance of the security. If the security performs well, they stand to make a substantial profit when they finally decide to sell.

Is Position Trading Risky?

Now, onto the million-dollar question: is position trading risky? Well, all types of trading come with their own sets of risks and rewards, and position trading is no exception.

The risks associated with position trading include market volatility, economic changes, and company-specific risks. For example, you might buy a stock expecting it to perform well over the next few years, but an unexpected economic downturn or poor company performance could lead to significant losses.

However, position trading also has its advantages. By focusing on long-term trends, position traders are less exposed to the daily volatility of the markets. They’re not affected by the short-term noise and can stay the course even during temporary downturns. Plus, they don’t have to constantly monitor the markets and make quick decisions, which can reduce stress and improve decision-making.

A Peek Into Position Trading: A Historical Example

One classic example of position trading is Warren Buffett’s investment in Coca-Cola. In 1988, Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, started buying Coca-Cola shares. At the time, the soda company was recovering from the “New Coke” fiasco and its stock was undervalued. Buffett, seeing the long-term value and global appeal of Coca-Cola, decided to buy and hold onto its stock. Over the next few years, the value of Coca-Cola’s stock skyrocketed, and Buffett’s investment paid off handsomely. Today, Coca-Cola is one of the largest holdings in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio.

position trading Coca Cola

This example illustrates a key principle of position trading: patience and a focus on long-term trends can lead to substantial profits. Warren Buffett didn’t buy Coca-Cola’s stock intending to sell it after a few days or even a few months. He saw the long-term potential of the company and held onto his position, even as the stock went through ups and downs.

In position trading, as in life, patience is a virtue. You might not see immediate results, but by staying the course and sticking to your strategy, you can reap significant rewards in the long run.

Another classic example of position trading

Let’s consider another classic example of position trading – Amazon.com, Inc.

In the mid to late 1990s, the dot-com boom was in full swing. Tech stocks were surging, and investors were scrambling to get a piece of the action. Among these tech companies was a little-known online bookstore named Amazon. Back then, Amazon was not the retail giant we know today. It was a fledgling startup with a modest stock price. Despite this, some position traders saw the company’s potential and decided to invest.

One such investor was a man named Jeff Bezos (maybe you’ve heard of him?). Bezos believed in the long-term potential of online retail and invested heavily in his company. As the CEO, he held onto his shares despite numerous market fluctuations and challenges, including the dot-com bust in the early 2000s when many tech stocks plummeted in value.

Fast forward to today, Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, and its stock is worth thousands of times its initial price. Bezos’ position trading strategy paid off big time, making him one of the richest people in the world.

This example demonstrates that a position trading strategy, combined with a keen eye for potential and a whole lot of patience, can yield significant returns. However, it’s crucial to remember that not every long-term investment pans out like Amazon or Coca-Cola. Every investment carries risk, and it’s important to thoroughly research and consider your options before diving in.

Position Trading vs. Day Trading

Now, you might be wondering, “how is this different from day trading?” Excellent question. While both are trading strategies, they differ in their approach and time horizons. Day trading is like a sprint. It’s fast, intense, and all about making quick decisions. Day traders buy and sell securities within a single trading day, never holding positions overnight.

On the other hand, position trading is more like a marathon. It’s slower, more strategic, and all about endurance. Position traders hold onto their positions for extended periods, aiming to profit from long-term trends. It’s less about speed and more about staying the course.

Position Trading vs. Swing Trading

Let’s dive into the differences between position trading and swing trading. Position trading and swing trading are two distinct trading strategies, each with its own unique approach to the market. While both strategies aim to profit from market trends, they differ in their time horizons and trading tactics.

Position Trading

As we’ve already discussed, position trading is all about the long game. Position traders hold onto securities for extended periods, ranging from months to years. They’re less concerned with short-term market fluctuations and more focused on long-term trends. For position traders, patience is key. They wait for their investments to mature over time, often enduring market downturns and volatility in the process.

Swing Trading

Swing trading, on the other hand, operates on a shorter time frame. Swing traders typically hold onto securities for days to weeks, looking to profit from short-term price swings in the market. They’re like the rhythmic gymnasts of the trading world, timing their moves to the ebb and flow of the market.

swing trading

Swing traders rely heavily on technical analysis to predict price movements and identify profitable trading opportunities. They look for patterns in price trends and use indicators like moving averages, relative strength index (RSI), and volume to guide their trading decisions.

While swing trading can offer faster returns compared to position trading, it also requires more active management. Swing traders need to monitor the markets closely and be ready to act quickly when opportunities arise. This can be both exciting and stressful, depending on your personality and trading style.

So, Which One’s Better?

The answer to this question really depends on your individual goals, risk tolerance, and trading style. If you have a knack for analyzing market trends and don’t mind waiting for your investments to mature, position trading might be up your alley. On the other hand, if you enjoy the thrill of short-term trading and have the time to actively manage your trades, swing trading could be a good fit.

Both strategies have their pros and cons, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to trading. The key is to find a strategy that aligns with your trading style and stick with it. After all, consistency is key in the world of trading.


So, there you have it, folks. Position trading is a unique approach to investing that focuses on long-term trends and strategic patience. While it’s not without its risks, it offers an alternative for those who prefer a slower, more deliberate approach to trading.

Remember, no trading strategy is a guaranteed ticket to wealth. It’s important to do your research, understand the risks involved, and make informed decisions. Whether you’re a day trader looking for a change of pace or a new investor deciding on a strategy, position trading offers a unique perspective on the world of finance.

And who knows? With the right strategy and a little patience, you might just find yourself riding the wave of a long-term trend, all the way to the bank. But no matter what your trading style is, remember to keep your eyes on the horizon, stay patient, and happy trading!

That’s all for now. Until next time, keep investing, keep learning, and keep growing. Because the world of trading waits for no one, and there’s always a new trend to follow, a new investment to consider, and a new opportunity just around the corner.

This was a basic primer on position trading, and we hope it has given you a better understanding of what it entails. Whether you choose to be a position trader or prefer a different style, remember that every strategy has its strengths and weaknesses. Understanding these is the key to finding the trading style that suits you best.

Here’s to your success in the markets, whether you’re sprinting with the day traders or running the marathon with the position traders. Whichever path you choose, may your trades be profitable, and may you always stay ahead of the curve.