Last Updated on July 2, 2022 by Oddmund Groette
On this page, we have compiled all the trading strategies we have published since our start in 2012 (plus trading relevant articles). The page contains 80+ free trading strategies plus articles about indicators and trading strategy-specific articles.
If you don’t want to browse through all the articles, we have compiled the code for all articles that contain testable strategies or hypotheses. Additionally, you get a description in “plain English”. Read more.
If you like our trading strategies on this page, you might be interested in our monthly subscription service where we provide trading edges/strategies. We save our best strategies for our paying subscribers. Each month we publish a new “edge”/strategy – a 100% quantifiable trading idea that includes buy and sell signals in “plain” English plus code for Amibroker and Tradestation/Easy language. Read more.
S&P 500 trading systems (ES and SPY trading strategies):
- The Turnaround Tuesday trading strategy
- Conclusions about trend-following the S&P 500
- A long-term pullback trading strategy in the S&P 500
- Lower highs and lower lows pattern (trading strategy)
- Higher highs and higher lows pattern (trading strategy)
- NR7 trading strategy – The Narrow Range 7 (we improved it)
- Four up days in a row – S&P 500
- A simple trend-following system/strategy on the S&P 500 (By Meb Faber and Paul Tudor Jones)
- S&P 500 mean reversion using IBS and RSI (Classical mean reversion strategy S&P 500)
- What is an unfilled gap in trading? Are they profitable? (Backtests and strategies)
- Buy when the S&P 500 makes new intraday high? (Intraday High Breakout Trading Strategy)
- RSI SPY trading strategy (RSI(2) on SPY)
- Monday Reversal Trading Strategy In The S&P 500 And Nasdaq (Trend Reversal)
- End of month trading strategy in the S&P 500 – update
- 3 day low trading strategy in ETFs
- Does volume really matter in the S&P 500? (A volume-based trading strategy in the S&P 500)
- When both Thursday and Friday are down in SPY (S&P 500 reversal trading strategy)
- The failed bounce trading strategy (A failed bounce is normally followed by rising prices)
- The high and low divergence day trading strategy
- The bottom of the range trading strategy
- The momentum day trading strategy in the S&P 500 (SPY) during the last hour
- The 5-day low and low of the range trading strategy (S&P 500 mean reversion)
- When SPY closes in the bottom of today’s range
- Gap Fill Trading Strategies – Opening Gaps in The SPY and S&P 500
- At what time of the day does SPY/S&P 500set high and low?
- The return during the last hour of trading
- The trend is not your friend in the S&P 500 (and other indices)
- The Tuesday reversal trading strategy (S&P 500 – SPY)
- Daily seasonalities in the S&P 500
- Intraday high and low in the S&P 500 by weekday
- Every open down trading strategy (Buy every open down?)
- MACD-histogram trading strategy
- Four down days in a row trading strategy
- S&P 500 weekly gains and losses distribution (strong mean reversion)
- Some performance facts about the S&P 500
Overnight trading systems in stocks:
- Night strategies trading (overnight edges/strategies)
- How do you do overnight trading? (How to make money overnight trading)
- An overnight short trading strategy in the S&P 500
- 4 Overnight Trading Strategies In The S&P 500 (Strategies From Close To The Next Open)
- Overnight trading strategy in the S&P 500
- Monday Overnight Reversal In The S&P 500 (Short strategy)
- The 5-day low overnight trading strategy (S&P 500 overnight)
- The 3-day down overnight trading strategy in the S&P 500 (3 down days – and gap up?)
Volatility trading strategies:
- Using the VIX to trade S&P 500 (VIX trading strategies)
- What happens after an “extraordinary” big fall in the S&P 500?
Nasdaq trading systems (NQ and QQQ free trading systems):
- RSI QQQ (RSI mean reversion trading strategy QQQ)
- Monday/Tuesday trade in Nasdaq
- Nasdaq (QQQ) mean reversion
Candlestick trading systems (patterns and formations):
- Do candlesticks work? A quantitative test of 23 candlestick patterns
- 3 bullish candlestick patterns that work
- What is the best time frame for candlesticks?
- How many candlestick patterns are there?
- Candlestick pattern – doji
Treasuries/bonds trading systems (TLT free trading systems):
- Calendar effects in long-term Treasuries (TLT seasonal trading strategies)
- Trend following strategies Treasuries
- Some monthly seasonalities in US Treasury bills
- Monthly seasonalities in long-term Treasuries
- Daily effects in long-term Treasuries (Day of the week trading strategy in TLT)
Consumer staples trading systems (XLP free trading strategies):
- XLP trading systems (Is XLP good for trading?)
- Internal bar strength trading strategy in consumer staples
- Trade the boring consumer stocks when they open down and yesterday was a down day – a day trading strategy
- When XLP diverges from recent high and low: A mean-reversion trading strategy
Seasonality trading strategies in stocks (seasonalities, anomalies, abnormalities, and effects):
- Seasonal trading strategies – why use seasonalities and seasonality in trading
- The holiday effect in stock markets (Holiday effect on the stock market)
- The Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday effect in trading
- The Easter Holiday effect in trading (Holy Thursday – best day of the year for stocks?)
- The Memorial Day Holiday Effect In Trading (Backtest)
- The 4th of July Holiday Effect In Trading (Independence Day Effect – Backtest)
- The Thanksgiving and Black Friday effect in the stock market
- The End Of The Year Rally In Stocks (Santa Claus Rally/Effect Strategy)
- The Friday jobs report trading strategy for stocks (and bonds)
- How to use the weekday effect in trading (Does the day of the week make a difference?)
- Even Vs. odd days trading strategy (S&P 500)
- Last trading day of the month trading strategy (last day of the month seasonality)
- The options expiration week effect (options week anomaly and seasonality)
- Quadruple witching day – what is it and is it bullish or bearish? (Backtest)
- Trading the week after options expiration day
- The congressional effect in stocks
- What trading hour is the best? When should you buy and sell during the day?
- What is the best day and month to own stocks?
- The turn of the month trading strategy (end of month effect)
- The January effect strategy that works
- The January effect in the S&P 500
- Sector ETF performance per quarter
- Country ETF performance by quarter
- First trading day of the month trading strategy (first day of the month effect)
- The first day of month seasonality in the S&P 500 (Trading the first day of the month)
- Retail stock market seasonality trading strategy
- The Russell 2000 rebalancing strategy (end of June Rally/Effect)
- Sell in May and go away – OBX (Oslo Stock Exchange)
- The End of month rally/effect in stocks (S&P 500 seasonality)
- The Santa Claus Rally in Emerging Markets (End of year rally)
- December seasonality in OBX (Oslo Stock Exchange)
- Day of week seasonality in the S&P 500
- Sell in May and go away – myth or fact – the S&P 500 (trading seasonality)
- The average gain per trading day and day of the week since 1970 in the S&P 500
Stock and sector rotation strategies (momentum strategies):
- Sector rotation strategy – what is it? Do stock rotational systems work?
- Is Meb Faber’s momentum/trend-following strategy in gold, stocks, and bonds still working?
- S&P 500 and gold miners rotation strategy/system
- S&P 500 and gold rotation strategy (SPY and GLD rotation)
- Market neutral momentum in SPY and EEM
- Monthly momentum in SPY and EEM
- Monthly momentum in SPY and TLT (rotation strategy)
- A monthly momentum strategy in ETFs (sector rotation in EEM, SPY, TLT)
- A simple pair trading strategy in liquid ETFs (pair trade ETFs)
Larry Connors Trading Strategies:
- Larry Connors’ Double Seven strategy (Double 7 trading strategy)
- Larry Connors’ multiple days up and multiple days down strategy
- Larry Connors’ %b strategy (Bollinger Bands)
- Larry Connors’ R3 strategy
- Larry Connors’ RSI 25 & RSI 75 strategy
- Larry Connors’ 3-day high/low strategy
Gold trading systems (GLD trading system):
- Gold weekend trading strategy (GLD swing trading)
- Trend-following system/strategy in gold (12-month moving average)
- The greatest gold stock system you should trade
- When gold gaps up or down (gold gap strategy)
DAX 40, Euro Stoxx 50, and Bund trading strategies:
- Why trade the DAX? (How to trade it)
- Why trade the Euro Stoxx 50? (How to trade it)
- The Santa Claus Rally in DAX 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 (End of year rally)
- Trading the futures expiration week in DAX 40 and Euro Stoxx 50
- Trading the futures expiration week in Euro Bonds (FGBL)
- Trading the week after futures expiration in DAX 40
- Trading the week after futures expiration in Euro Stoxx 50
- Trading the week after futures expiration in Euro Bund
Short selling strategies:
- Short selling strategies – is it possible to make money by shorting?
- Why is short selling difficult? (Why don’t short stocks)
- Is high short interest good or bad? How is short interest used in trading?
NIFTY 50 trading systems:
- End of month effect in NIFTY 50 (turn of the month)
- The Santa Claus rally in NIFTY (The end of year rally)
OTC and penny stocks trading strategies:
- Can you get rich trading penny stocks? (Annual returns of penny stocks)
- Why are pump and dump strategies bad (Why avoid penny stocks)
- Why scalping is a waste of time (do this instead)
- Why are penny stocks bad? (why avoid them)
Different trading systems and strategies:
- Junk bond trading strategies (make money in junk bonds)
- How likely are you to go broke as retired or FIRE? (Sequence risk, diversification, and withdrawal rate)
- Dollar cost averaging vs. lump sum investing backtest – sequence of return risk (luck, skill, or magic?)
- Tail risk hedging strategies – what is it? (Tail hedge examples)
- Is selling puts a good trading strategy?
- Are covered calls a good strategy?
- Buy and hold vs market timing (Can you time stock investments?)
- How does war affect the stock market historically?
- What happens to stocks when bonds go down? (Trading strategy backtest)
- What happens to stocks when bonds go up? (Trading strategy backtest)
- What happens to stocks when interest rates go down? (Trading strategy backtest)
- What happens to stocks when interest rates go up? (Trading strategy backtest)
- What percentage of traders fail
- Commodity trading strategies
- Follow Through Day – What Is It? (Trading Strategy, Backtest, Meaning, and Example)
- How to trade and invest in oil stocks (trading strategy and seasonality)
- The Friday Seasonality in USO (oil)
- What is more important? Entry or exit?
- Pivot points strategies – are they profitable?
- Gap down strategy in stocks – going long
- Can I swing trade futures? (How much do I need?)
- In the long term it pays to be a contrarian trader and investor
- The Importance of Trading Records
- Do stocks outperform Treasury Bills? (Not what you expected)
- 3 free mean reversion trading system (backtested buy and sell signals)
- 10 free swing strategies that work (backtested buy and sell signals)
- Opening range breakout – what is ORB trading strategy – does it work (Day trading, daily, and weekly)
- Gap trading strategies (How to trade gaps with backtested examples)
- Trend following strategies and systems explained (including strategies)
- Does trend following work? Why does it work?
- How to create a mean reversion trading strategy (pros and cons of mean reversion strategies)
- Does quant trading work? Is being a quant worth it?
- Breakout trading strategies (including examples)
- Is trend following dead (again)? Or just the normal out-of-favor cycle?
- What happens when stock markets are oversold?
- What happens when stock markets are overbought?
- Ray Dalio’s All Weather Portfolio investment strategy (what is it, returns, performance, backtests)
- A pair trade in SPY and TLT (pairs trading strategies)
- The anatomy of a bear market: 2000 -2003 (Nasdaq and the S&P 500)
- How does pairs trading work? (Pairs trading strategies)
- Why trade XLU and utility stocks
Moving average quantitative strategies:
- Moving Average Comparison. We backtest all variants of MAs
- Simple moving average (backtest strategy)
- Exponential moving average (backtest strategy)
- Hull moving average (backtest strategy)
- Linear-weighted moving average (backtest strategy)
- Adaptive moving average (backtest strategy)
- Smoothed moving average (backtest strategy)
- Variable moving average (backtest strategy)
- Weighted moving average (backtest strategy)
- Zero lag exponential moving average (backtest strategy)
- Volume weighted moving average (backtest strategy)
- Triple exponential moving average TEMA (backtest strategy)
- Variable Index Dynamic Average (backtest strategy)
- Triangular moving average (backtest strategy)
- Guppy multiple moving average (backtest strategy)
- McGinley Dynamic (backtest strategy)
- Geometric moving average GMA (backtest strategy)
- Fractal adaptive moving average FRAMA (backtest strategy)
- Fibonacci moving averages (backtest strategy)
- Double exponential moving average (backtest strategy)
- Moving average slope (backtest strategy)
Finale: Some advice before you embark on your trading career:
If you have clicked on one or several of the free trading strategies above, you might wonder what is the best way to approach trading. We have tried to answer that in many other articles, but below we give a very brief explanation of what should be your main considerations before you start trading:
Are you a trader or an investor?
First, you need to have a thorough understanding of what kind of investor you are. It might seem obvious, but many derail already before they start.
Sit down and think about what your aims and goals are. Are you a trader or an investor? Do you think you have the mindset and capabilities to deal with frequent profits and losses?
The alternative to trading is to invest in stocks and mutual funds for the long-term:
Position trading/buy and hold
By position trading we mean holding positions for a long time, close to or equal to “buy and hold”.
Should you trade at all? Trading is scalable, ie. you can make a lot of money in a relatively short period of time, but the fail ratio is much higher compared to buy and hold.
- Trading or investing – what is best?
- Compounding – the magic of a long-term mindset and delayed gratification
If you invest passively in a mutual fund you participate in the earnings and productivity growth in society and you are most likely well protected against inflation.
We recommend spending some time pondering where you should put your money.
What is a trading strategy?
A clearly defined trading strategy needs at least four elements:
- It needs to have defined/quantified buy/short criteria. That is, you need to know exactly when to buy. “Buy when touching resistance” is not a criterion – it’s vague and not clearly defined. You should not use anecdotal evidence in your decision-making!
- If you get a buy signal, how do you execute the buy/short order? Do you put in a limit order or do you buy at the market? In the trading strategies above, we mainly use at the close orders. Obviously, we only know the close price in hindsight. However, we start sending orders ten seconds before the close, and that works really well and gets very close to the results in our backtests.
- If you are in a position, you need to know when to sell/cover. Just like the buy criterion, this needs to be quantified to avoid second-guessing.
- The sell/short order should be executed at prices that are realistic compared to your backtests. Slippage and commissions are a big cost for a trader, and you need to minimize costs and make it as similar as possible to the backtest. We have been using at the close orders for years, just like when we buy and enter positions, and it works well for us.
Types of trading strategies: What kind of trader should you be?
If you start trading, you need to make plans and systems, and trading strategies. This takes time, but hopefully, this is time well spent and at the same time enjoyable.
If you don’t have a particular interest in trading, you should invest for the long-term and forget about trading. A great interest in trading is a prerequisite for success!
Furthermore, your approach should be agnostic. First off, what kind of instruments and asset classes should you trade? Don’t limit yourself by focusing on a certain time frame or asset class.
There are many types of trading systems to choose from, but mainly we can argue they fall in two groups: day trading and swing trading.
Unfortunately, many want to be day traders in the hope they can make money faster. The reality is that most of them get poor pretty fast. It’s a fast way of departing your money if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Another downside with day trading is that you don’t benefit from the long-term tailwind in the stock market, as you do in swing trading:
Swing trading (end-of-day trading)
We prefer end-of-day trading where we enter at the close (but sometimes exit at the open). This is the same as swing trading.
Many argue they will day trade to avoid the overnight “risk” in the stock market. But the long-term trend suggests that you get well awarded for taking this “risk”: all the gains since 1993 have come from the close until the next day’s open. There has been no money to be made intraday from the open to the close.
The overnight “risk” is a nice tailwind you can exploit!
The tailwind is particularly strong in stocks, and to some extent in gold. In most other asset classes, you don’t have this edge.
Other trading strategies
Among prop traders long/short and pairs trading are popular. These are market-neutral trading strategies because you hold an equal amount of capital both long and short that should cancel each other out in case of adverse movements.
The idea behind pairs trading strategies is to trade on the value of the spread. For example, this could be shorting the strongest and buying the weakest on the assumption they will converge.
The downside of trading
If you buy a basket of mutual funds there is no much you need to do. Just buy the funds and forget about it. Get on with your life and save regularly and don’t interfere in your dollar-cost averaging. If history is any guide, you will be well rewarded as long as you are patient and let the capital compound.
With trading, you need to do a lot of work and research. It requires time to develop strategies, and when you are done developing you need to do the actual trading. It’s essential you like this process and find it enjoyable. If not, you will not make it as a trader.
However, if you use automated trading software you can “outsource” the trading to your computer. This gives you leverage to trade an “unlimited” number of strategies.
Which time frame is best for trading?
One of the most important things in trading is to have a portfolio of diversified strategies that correlate as little as possible. One way to do this is to trade several different time frames.
We believe we have given you a pretty wide variety in time frames in the systems and strategies we have presented above: from day trading to long-term position trading in the S&P 500.
However, most of the strategies are swing trades. Scalping and day trading is very difficult and only a few traders manage being profitable year in and year out. The longer the time frame, the more you utilize the long-term tailwind mentioned above (at least in the stock markets).
Which market is best for trading?
Because of inflation and earnings growth, a diversified basket of stocks, like for example owning the S&P 500, has proven to beat inflation in the long run. Just by owning stocks overnight, you manage a 0.04% return from the close until the next day’s open.
This is an edge, let’s call it tailwind, that you basically only get in the stock market. Very few other asset classes offer the same tailwind, perhaps gold being an exception.
Thus, we believe you stand better chances in stocks and stock indexes.
Moreover, our research stock strategies are less prone to “blow off”, like for example happens frequently in the commodities markets. Likewise, the forex markets are very difficult to trade. If you manage to find commodity and forex trading strategies that last year in and year out – congratulations!
We recommend starting with stocks. Not only do you have a tailwind, but you can also choose among thousand of stocks in different sectors. Many of those have little competition from other traders. Compare this to forex trading strategies where you are competing against millions of traders just in the USD/EUR spread!
Swing trading strategy tips: What are you looking for in a strategy?
You want to have consistent profits, more like an income, but that is very tough to achieve. Some kind of lump-sum and erratic profits are inevitable. Most likely just a few days per month will generate most of the profits. The rest of the time you are scraping by and looking to avoid losses and disasters.
Trading is much like a slow grind where you have to show up day in and day out for years with some occasional big wins.
That said, you want a steady rising equity curve from the left to the right. You want a profit factor that is somewhere between 1.75 and 3. Likewise, you can have a look at the Sharpe Ratio of your strategy as well.
Because of the behavioral mistakes you are most likely to commit, most traders should make strategies that give the smoothest returns you can get.
Trade small size – be careful
Trading requires experience – lots of it. In order to survive, always make sure you are trading smaller position sizes than you would like.
Likewise, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your time frames, asset classes, and strategies.
Why trade small?
You want to trade small because you want to make sure you can survive adverse movements against your position. Sooner or later you’ll experience days where all or most of your positions go against you.
Put aside money for a rainy day
Likewise, don’t put all your money in your trading account. We recommend setting aside money for long-term appreciation, preferably in mutual funds. Don’t try to be smart, make your investments simple.
Be careful with leverage:
It’s easy to get fooled by a backtest – it all looks so simple and easy in hindsight. Because of this, many use too much leverage by being greedy.
Leverage can put you out of business. Make sure you always think about how much you can lose, not what you can make. A 50% drop requires a 100% rise to get back to break-even.
Make sure you have a trading plan
This website is all about quantified trading strategies and trading systems. We believe 100% quantified rules are what fits most traders.
The reason for this is simple: Although nothing is certain about the future, you at least have an opinion if your strategy performed well in the past. Additionally, it makes you disciplined and less prone to knee-jerk trades out of the blue.
Besides, by automating all your trading you theoretically can trade an almost unlimited amount of trading systems. You focus on developing strategies, and you let the computer do the rest.
Avoid obvious mistakes
Profits tend to take care of themselves as long as you avoid the biggest blunders. In tennis, this is called unforced errors. In professional tennis, most of the matches are won by the player who makes the least amount of unforced errors!
Make sure you understand yourself
It might sound like a cliche, but you need to understand yourself and potential behavior mistakes you are prone to make. Even very profitable strategies won’t make you money if you buy and sell at the wrong time.
This page which contains our free trading strategies and trading systems might give you input on how to start trading. Trading is not easy, and certainly much more demanding than long-term investing.
While trading offers scalability and huge profit potential, consider the time spent and risk of ruin. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might lose your capital quickly.
Disclaimer: We are not financial advisors. Please do your own due diligence and investment research or consult a financial professional. All articles are our opinions – they are not suggestions to buy or sell any securities.