What Is Trading: Types and Benefits

We know the financial market is constantly evolving, where trading remains one of the most dynamic fields of interest for the investors. Whether you’re a professional or newbie looking to start a journey in trading, for both its essential to know what trading is and what benefits it can bring to you.

In this blog, we will dive into the basics of what trading actually is.

What is Trading 

The term Trading simply refers to, the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, and derivatives with the aim of making a profit. Trading involves various participants, including individual retail traders, institutional investors etc.

We can understand trading with the help of a simple example, imagine you have a collection of trading cards. You buy a card at a certain price because you think its value will go up. Later, when its value has increased, you sell it to someone else for more money, making a profit in the process.

The primary objective of trading is to generate returns by buying assets at a lower price and selling them at a higher price, or by short-selling assets to profit from price declines. People trade for various reasons: to earn extra income, grow their savings, or even as a full-time job. 

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History of Trading 

The history of trading dates back thousands of years, evolving from primitive barter systems to sophisticated financial markets. Before the invention of money, people engaged in barter, exchanging goods and services directly for other goods and services. This early form of trading facilitated the exchange of goods based on their perceived value and utility. 

The rise of formal stock exchanges in the 17th and 18th centuries marked a significant milestone, providing centralized platforms for trading shares of joint-stock companies. The Industrial Revolution propelled trade to new heights, fueling economic expansion and technological innovation. 

Now, electronic trading platforms and high-frequency trading algorithms have transformed financial markets, making trading faster, more efficient, and more accessible than ever before. Today, trading continues to shape the global economy, driving commerce, investment, and innovation on a scale unimaginable in earlier times.

Types of Trading 

Let’s understand different types of trading – 

  1. Day Trading – It involves buying and selling of stocks or any other financial entity within the same trading day, with the goal of profiting from short-term price movements. This style of trading requires quick decision-making and a solid understanding of technical analysis.
  1. Momentum Trading – In this type of trading, a trader exploits a stock’s momentum, i.e. a substantial value movement of stock, either upwards or downwards. 

momentum traders believe that assets that have been moving in a particular direction will continue to do so in the near future.

  1. Position Trading – involves holding positions for an extended period, ranging from weeks to months or even years. This requires patience and a willingness to endure temporary market fluctuations in pursuit of larger, sustainable gains. This style of trade is ideal for individuals who are not market professionals or regular participants of the market. 
  1. Scalping –  It is a trading strategy employed by traders to profit from small price movements in financial markets. Every transaction does not yield profits, and in some cases a trader’s gross losses might exceed the gains. 

It is suitable for traders who are comfortable with high-speed trading, have excellent discipline, and can remain focused under pressure.

  1. Swing Trading –  It aims to capture short- to medium-term gains by holding positions for several days to weeks. Unlike day trading, swing traders are not concerned with intraday fluctuations but rather focus on identifying trends and taking advantage of price swings within those trends. This approach allows for more flexibility and may suit those with a less time-intensive lifestyle.

Benefits of Trading 

Let’s understand some benefits of trading –

  1. Good Returns – It has potential for significant returns on investment, especially for those who are skilled at timing the market and identifying profitable opportunities.

But higher returns often come with increased risk, diversification and risk management strategies can help mitigate potential losses.

  1. Flexibility – Trading offers unparalleled flexibility to have the freedom to set their own schedules. This flexibility can lead to a better work-life balance and increased autonomy.
  1. Financial Independence – It empowers individuals to take control of their financial future and create wealth on their own terms. Traders have the opportunity to generate additional income streams and build long-term financial security.
  1. Liquidity – Stocks are considered to be highly liquid.  Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset can be bought or sold in the market without significantly impacting its price. Liquidity in a market decreases risk & offers more opportunity to purchase or vend at the chosen price for every individual.
  1. Global Markets Accessible on fingertips – Traders can access global markets with ease. Whether trading stocks, currencies, commodities, or cryptocurrencies, investors can participate in markets around the clock and capitalize on opportunities.

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Trading presents a dynamic and potentially rewarding avenue for those seeking to navigate the financial markets. By understanding the core concepts, different trading styles, and the inherent benefits, individuals can embark on a well-informed trading journey. 

However, it’s crucial to remember that trading also carries inherent risks. Before diving in, aspiring traders should equip themselves with the necessary knowledge, skills, and risk management strategies to navigate the complexities of the market.