Newer traders often don’t see the kind of results that they would like because they aren’t trading in the right timeframe for their trading style. This is to say that they get started trading on a time frame that is built for someone with a strategy that is different than their own. How do you determine what time frame you should trade?

Many of the newer traders have dreams of getting rich quickly, and that is why they will trade on 1- and 5-minute timeframes. However, they get frustrated because this does not align with their strategy.

Some prefer a 1-hour time frame because it opens them up to get to see some of the signals that the market gives off, but it doesn’t require them to wait too long. However, there are some who do feel like this is too long of a timeframe to bother with. Much of the difference comes down to the personality of the trader.

  • A scalper who prefers the 1- or 5-minute chart is interested in quick swings and only holds their trade for a little while.
  • A day trader might prefer the 15-, 30-minute or hourly chart to hold their trades for hours at a time.
  • A swing trader is much more interested in the 4-hour, daily, and weekly charts since they hold their trades for days or weeks.

It is normal to feel some pressure or even frustration when trading because you have real money on the line. However, you should also have the flexibility to be able to trade within the timeframe that makes you feel the most comfortable. Believe it or not, both of those things can be true at the same time.

The best thing to do to avoid putting yourself in a spot where you are losing money on the wrong timeframes is to set yourself up on a demo account that allows you to experiment with the various timeframes until you are able to find the sweet spot for your own trading preferences. At least when you are on the demo account you won’t have to worry about losing real money as you try to work things out. It is always going to be a bit of a challenge in the meantime to determine what time frame you should trade, but you can at least figure out how you prefer to trade before you get yourself too far out on a limb doing so. It is all about practicing good consistency with your trading.


Disclaimer: All information provided here is intended solely for study purposes related to trading financial markets and does not serve in any way as a specific investment recommendation, business recommendation, investment opportunity, analysis, or similar general recommendation regarding the trading of investment instruments. The content, in its entirety or parts, is the sole opinion of SurgeTrader and is intended for educational purposes only. The historical results and/or track record does not imply that the same progress is replicable and does not guarantee profits or future profitable trading records or any promises whatsoever. Trading in financial markets is a high-risk activity and it is advised not to risk more than one can afford to lose.