Daily Press (Sunday)

Swing trading vs. day trading

- Motley Fool

Q. What’s the difference between swing trading and day trading? — M.T., Walnut Creek, California

A. Both are short-term trading practices where folks aim to profit from changes, or swings, in a security’s value over a short period. As you might guess, a day trader will buy, say, a certain stock and hold it for only a few minutes or hours, selling it by the end of the day. A swing trader is a little more patient, selling within a few weeks, at most.

Both strategies will often employ “technical analysis,” which involves looking for promising patterns in graphs of stock prices without much regard for the underlying businesses. Swing traders may incorporat­e some “fundamenta­l analysis,” too, assessing the financial health, competitiv­e strengths, growth prospects and more of the companies whose stocks they’re trading.

In general, we strongly recommend favoring fundamenta­l analysis and investing in stocks for years, if not decades. Short-term trading can seem more like speculatin­g or gambling than actual investing. The Securities and Exchange Commission has warned, “Day trading is extremely risky and can result in substantia­l financial losses in a very short period of time.”

Q. What are some unusual or amusing ticker symbols? — K.B., Potomac, Maryland


There are plenty! For example: Yum! Brands (YUM), the parent of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut; National Beverage (FIZZ); Gibraltar Industries (ROCK); Petco Health and Wellness (WOOF); Molson Coors Beverage (TAP); Southwest Airlines (LUV); 3M (MMM); Harley-Davidson (HOG); Olympic Steel (ZEUS); Heineken (HEINY); Ferrari N.V. (RACE); and Viper Energy (VNOM).

Before they were bought out, eyewear maker Oakley sported the symbol OO, mattress maker Sealy had ZZ and auction house Sotheby’s had BID.

Shocking retirement statistics

Millions of Americans are not where they should be when it comes to savings for retirement. With inflation recently steep and wages not always keeping up, saving for retirement is easier said than done. Still, most of us need to be preparing for our financial futures. Here are some shocking facts to consider.

Social Security is not likely to provide sufficient income in retirement. The average retirement benefit, as of December, was only $1,856, or a little over $22,000 per year. Millions of beneficiar­ies do collect more, but the maximum is still only $4,873 per month, or about $58,500 annually. And millions of beneficiar­ies are receiving less than $22,000.

Clearly, most of us need to build up additional retirement income streams. They may come from stock dividends, interest-bearing investment­s, annuities we buy, pensions, rental income from real estate investment­s or a reverse mortgage, among other possibilit­ies.

According to the 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey, fully 33% of workers have less than $25,000 in savings and investment­s (excluding the value of a primary home), and 18% have less than $1,000.

Nearly two-thirds have less than $250,000, and even that may not support people for too long — especially when you consider how costly health care can be. Per the folks at Fidelity, “… a single person age 65 in 2023 may need approximat­ely $157,500 saved (after tax) to cover health care expenses in retirement.” (Again, that’s an average, so while millions will spend less, millions will spend more.)

Given all this, if you’re behind in your saving and investing for retirement, what can you do? Well, start saving more and be sure to invest long-term dollars effectivel­y, such as in a low-fee index fund.

Consider delaying retiring, too, because that can make your Social Security benefits bigger, can permit you to sock away more money and can give your investment­s more time to grow. Also, your nest egg would have to help support you for fewer years.

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