What is the best XAUUSD trading strategy?

xauusd trading strategy

When it comes to trading XAUUSD (Gold/US Dollar), there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. The “best” approach is highly individual, depending on your trading style, risk tolerance, and personal preferences.

In this article, we will explore four popular trading strategies for XAUUSD:

  1. Trend Trading
  2. Breakout and Retest Trading
  3. Swing Trading
  4. Scalp Day Trading

We will explore each trading strategy to determine which type of trading strategy is best for XAUUSD?

🚨 Spoiler Alert: It’s scalping. 🚨

We will consider strategy pros and cons, trader personality factors, highest potential yield, stop losses and other lifestyle factors.

Use these subheadings to go straight there πŸ™‚:

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XAUUSD Trading Strategies Explained

πŸ“ˆ Trend Trading

The concept of this strategy involves identifying and following the prevailing trend in the XAUUSD market. Traders buy when the trend is upward (bullish) and sell or short-sell during a downward (bearish) trend. The main focus is to capture gains through large movements rather than small fluctuations.

Trend Trading uses technical indicators like moving averages, trendlines, or MACD to identify trends and enter trades.


  • Following the dominant trend in XAUUSD can lead to significant profits, especially in strong, sustained market movements.
  • It’s relatively easier to identify and follow trends, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced traders.
  • By trading with the trend, traders potentially reduce their risk exposure.


  • Trend traders might enter a trade after a trend has been established, potentially missing early profits.
  • Misidentifying a trend can lead to losses, especially in volatile markets.
  • This strategy requires patience, as holding positions for longer periods can lead to substantial drawdowns during retracements.

Suited personality: Ideal for patient individuals who are comfortable with holding XAUUSD positions for longer durations.

πŸ“ˆ Breakout and Retest Trading

For breakout and retesting, traders look for moments when XAUUSD price breaks out of its typical trading range or surpasses a significant resistance or support level.

This strategy capitalizes on the momentum that follows a breakout. A retest phase, where the price returns to the breakout point, often serves as the entry point.

Breakout and retest trading use chart patterns and volume indicators to identify potential breakouts and confirm their strength.


  • Traders can capitalize on new trends early, potentially increasing profits.
  • This strategy provides clear signals for entry (breakout) and exit (retest failure).
  • It works well in various market conditions, especially during high volatility periods.


  • Traders may encounter false signals, leading to premature entries and losses.
  • This strategy demands rapid responses to market changes, which can be stressful.
  • Setting stop-losses can be challenging, particularly in volatile markets.

Suited personality: Breakout and retest trading is best for decisive traders who can act quickly and are comfortable with a higher level of risk and uncertainty with Gold.

πŸ“ˆ Swing Trading

Swing traders hold positions in the XAUUSD market for several days or weeks to capture gains from short- to medium-term price movements or “swings.”

This approach balances between the longer-term view of trend trading and the short-term nature of day trading.

Swing trading uses a combination of technical analysis and a basic understanding of market fundamentals to identify potential swing opportunities.


  • Requires less screen time than day trading, allowing for a more balanced lifestyle.
  • Swing traders take advantage of market “swings” or short-term trends, often leading to substantial gains.
  • Allows for diversification of trades over different time frames and assets.


  • Positions might have to be held through periods of adverse market movements.
  • This strategy needs a good understanding of market fundamentals and technical analysis.
  • Holding positions overnight can expose traders to unexpected market events.

Suited personality: Ideal for gold traders who have the patience to wait for the right opportunity, and are comfortable with holding positions for several days.

πŸ“ˆ Scalp Trading

Scalping involves making numerous, rapid trades on small price changes in the XAUUSD market, accumulating profit from these minor fluctuations.

Scalp trades are held for a very short duration, often just minutes, and require quick decision-making and execution.

This strategy has a strong focus on liquidity, volatility, and using smaller time-frames like one-minute to fifteen-minute charts for precise entry and exit points.


  • Scalpers can make numerous trades in a day, accumulating profits from small price movements.
  • Short holding periods reduce exposure to large market movements.
  • Offers an engaging and dynamic trading experience 


  • Requires constant market monitoring and quick decision-making throughout your trading period, however your trading period could be as little as 1 hour a day.
  • Risk to reward per trade are typically smaller as many scalping strategies aim for a 1:1 to 1:3 risk to reward

Suited personality: Scalping is best suited for people who can make quick, decisive moves. It’s most suitable for personalities who like to do highly focused work in small burst time periods and for traders who don’t want to hold positions overnight.

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Which XAUUSD Strategy Gives The Highest Yield?

Determining which XAUUSD trading strategy can provide the highest yield and profits is a complex question and highly dependent on market conditions, the trader’s skill level, risk management, and the ability to consistently execute the strategy. However, we can explore theoretical scenarios for each trading style using a $10,000 trading account over a 6-month period, with each trade risking 1% from a stop loss. We will also consider the compounding effects of growing a trading account and trading Gold exclusively.

πŸ“ˆ Trend Trading

Yield Potential: Moderate to High

Trend trading can yield substantial returns over time, especially in strong, consistent market trends.

Scenario Example:

  • Assuming a conservative estimate of 3% profit per successful trade.
  • With 10 good trend-following trades over 6 months and compounding gains, the overall profit could be substantial.
  • However, the growth rate would be slower compared to scalp trading due to fewer trades and a longer holding period.

πŸ“ˆ Breakout and Retest Trading

Yield Potential: Moderate

This strategy can be profitable in volatile markets, but it may offer lower compounding effects due to fewer trades compared to scalping.

Scenario Example:

  • Assuming an average profit of 2% per successful trade and around 15 trades over 6 months.
  • The compounding effect would be present but less dramatic than scalping due to fewer trades and potentially more varied outcomes.

πŸ“ˆ Swing Trading

Yield Potential: Moderate

Swing trading can offer good returns, especially if large swings are captured, but the compounding effect is less pronounced due to the longer duration of trades.

Scenario Example:

  • With an average of 4% gain per successful trade and about 8 trades over 6 months.
  • The compounding effect would contribute to growth, but the overall yield would be less compared to scalp trading due to the lower number of trades and slower turnover of capital.

πŸ“ˆ Scalp Trading

Yield Potential: Very High

Scalping, with its high frequency and quick profit opportunities, offers the highest yield potential, especially when compounded.

Scenario Example:

  • Assume an average gain of 1.5% per trade, with 2 trades each day.
  • Trading 20 days a month, this results in 40 trades per month.
  • With compounding, each win adds more to the account balance, which then increases the amount risked (and potentially gained) in each subsequent trade.
  • Over 6 months, this compounding effect, coupled with a consistent win rate, could significantly amplify the initial $10,000 investment, potentially doubling it or more, depending on the exact win rate and consistency of the trader.

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Considering all of the above strategies, scalp trading shows the highest potential for compounded yield due to its high frequency, larger per-trade gains and ongoing compounding effects. It also requires a high level of skill and consistency.  Each XAUUSD trading style has its own risk-reward balance and compounding potential, and the choice should align with the trader’s capabilities, risk tolerance, and trading goals.

Stop Loss Considerations for XAUUSD Trading Strategies

These trading styles each have its unique characteristics that can influence the likelihood of hitting a stop loss. When a stop loss is hit, your current position is closed instantly, ending the trade, resulting a loss. Understanding these following factors is crucial for effective risk management and XAUUSD strategy selection.

πŸ“ˆ Trend Trading

Delayed Entry

Trend traders often enter a trade after a trend is established, which can increase the risk of a reversal hitting the stop loss.

Length of Trends

If a trend unexpectedly shortens or reverses, stop losses may be hit more frequently, especially in highly volatile markets.

Drawdowns During Retracements

Trends often have retracements. If the XAUUSD retracement is deeper than expected, it might hit the stop loss before resuming the trend.

πŸ“ˆ Breakout and Retest Trading

False Breakouts

A common risk in breakout trading is the occurrence of false breakouts, where the price breaks a key level but then quickly reverses, often hitting the stop loss.

Volatility Spikes

Around breakout points, volatility can spike, which can cause prices to fluctuate rapidly and hit stop losses unexpectedly.

Re-test Failure

If the price fails to re-test successfully and instead reverses quickly, it can lead to hitting the stop loss.

πŸ“ˆ Swing Trading

Overnight and Weekend Risk

XAUUSD swing trades are often held for several days, exposing them to overnight and weekend risks where gaps can occur, potentially hitting stop losses.

Market News and Events

Swing traders might be more exposed to the impact of scheduled economic events or unexpected news, which can cause sudden market moves.

Changing Market Sentiment

As swing trading involves a longer time frame, a shift in market sentiment or trend can lead to stop losses being hit before the anticipated move materializes.

πŸ“ˆ Scalp Trading

Rapid Price Fluctuations

Given the short time frame of XAUUSD scalp trades, rapid and unexpected price movements can easily hit tight stop losses.

Spread and Slippage

In scalp trading, the cost of the spread and potential slippage can be significant relative to the trade size, increasing the likelihood of hitting the stop loss. It’s important to trade with a broker with low spreads

Market Noise

Scalp trading is often affected by market noise (random price fluctuations), which can trigger stop losses more frequently compared to other styles.

Each trading style has its specific factors that can lead to the triggering of stop losses. Understanding these can help in refining stop loss placement, strategy selection, and overall risk management.

Best XAUUSD Strategies Based On The Trader

So we’ve finally made it to our key breakdowns and suggestions based on trader preferences. Based on the various aspects of XAUUSD trading strategies we’ve explored above, here are some suggestions tailored to different types of traders and objectives.

πŸ‘€ What is the best XAUUSD trading strategy for beginners?

Trend trading is generally the most suitable for beginners. This style’s relative simplicity in identifying trends and its emphasis on patience and discipline provide a solid foundation for new traders. It allows beginners to understand market dynamics without the pressure of making rapid decisions.

This is not to say that beginner traders can’t start their trading journey with other strategies. We have helps many beginner traders learn how to scalp trade.

πŸ‘€ What is the best XAUUSD trading strategy for advanced traders?

Scalp Trading is the most suited gold trading style for advanced traders. It requires quick decision-making, an in-depth understanding of market movements, and the ability to handle high-stress situations effectively. Advanced traders are typically better equipped to handle the fast movements of scalp trading, including the rigorous discipline and risk management it entails.

Scalp trading XAUUSD often becomes the natural progression of a gold trader. Here at Opes Trading Group we have trained over 300 students to learn to scalp. Many of our students started scalping XAUUSD, without learning any other trading strategies previously. Interested in learning how to scalp XAUUSD?

πŸ‘€ What is the best XAUUSD trading strategy for the highest potential yield?

When executed effectively, scalp trading offers the highest potential yield. It capitalizes on small, frequent price movements, allowing skilled traders to accumulate gains rapidly. However, it’s important to note that this high potential yield comes with increased risk and requires a significant amount of skill, experience, and psychological fortitude.

πŸ‘€ What is the best XAUUSD trading strategy for people who want to replace their full-time job salary?

For those aiming to replace a full-time job with trading, scalping can be an excellent choice, but only if they have developed the necessary skills and discipline. Scalping has the potential for regular income through frequent small gains. In comparison to other trading strategies, scalping is also the most liquid trading strategy for people who need access to their money and withdraw profits from their trading accounts.

πŸ‘€ What is the best XAUUSD trading strategy for people who want structure in their day?

Scalp trading can provide a structured trading day due to its high-frequency nature. It requires a trader to be active and focused during specific market hours. If you prefer a structured environment, and want to β€œwork” only during certain hours and in short bursts, scalp trading offers this consistency. This can also provide freedom off the charts outside of your main scalping hours.

πŸ‘€ Best XAUUSD trading strategy for people who want freedom away from screens?

For individuals seeking more freedom and less time glued to the screen, swing trading is suitable. It doesn’t require constant market monitoring and allows for trades to be held over several days or weeks. This approach provides more flexibility and free time, fitting well for those who value a less intense trading lifestyle. The downside is that there are far less trades meaning you could experience weeks or months with no profits, and also illiquid access to any profits made.

Scalping is a second alternative for freedom away from screens, especially for scalpers who aim to make 1 to 2 trades a day over a short time period then spend the rest of their day doing non-trading related activities.

πŸ“ˆ Best Overall XAUUSD Trading Strategy

Scalp trading stands out to us as the best XAUUSD trading strategy for these reasons:

  • Highest potential yield based on compounding gains
  • Ideal for both advanced traders and beginners (who are committed to learning)
  • Ideal for structure of your day and trading during specific hours
  • Ideal for traders seeking freedom outside of their screens by not holding on to open positions while they are away from their screens
  • Ideal for full-time job salary replacement in terms of liquid access to profits due to more frequent trades (Of course, this is performance dependent!)

For traders who have the necessary skills, discipline, and experience, scalp trading can be extremely rewarding and profitable. It offers a dynamic trading environment and the potential for high returns. 

If you’re looking to scalp gold, it’s crucial that we emphasize that it requires a high level of education and mentorship before you commence scalping. Beginners are advised to start with the right foundations which we can teach you and provide a solid and stable learning curve to your scalping journey. 

If you are beginner looking to learn how to scalp trade, check out our Opes Platinum group.
If you are an advanced trader looking to flip accounts, check out our Elite Scalpers group.


Philip Salloum is the founder and teacher of Opes Trading Group.

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