HomeMARKETSSMART MONEYHow Can You Trade During a Recession?

How Can You Trade During a Recession?

Various factors, including external events like wars or natural disasters, internal factors like government policy, changes in interest rates, or a decline in consumer confidence, can cause recessions. The severity of a recession can vary, with some being mild and short-lived.

In contrast, others can cause significant long-term economic damage. With the help of an economic calendar traders can identify key events such as unemployment rates, GDP growth, and inflation. These metrics help point recession periods and aid in trading during economic turbulence.

During a recession, businesses may struggle to stay afloat due to reduced demand for their products or services, leading to layoffs and reduced investment. Consumers may also cut back on spending, leading to further declines in economic activity. Governments may respond to a recession by implementing policies to stimulate the economy, such as lowering interest rates or increasing government spending.

Investors may also be impacted during a recession, as stock prices often fall, and there may be increased volatility in financial markets. However, there may also be opportunities for investors to buy financial instruments at lower prices and potentially benefit from an economic recovery. Let us see how you can trade during a period of recession.

Dollar Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging is a strategy that investors can use to take advantage of a declining market. Investors can benefit over the long term by gradually reducing the overall cost basis in the share price. This method involves increasing contributions to or starting dollar-cost averaging in a non-qualified investment account.

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As the share price drops, the investor continues to get more shares. As the market rebounds or reaches its original entry, they close the trade for a potential profit. This approach suits investors who do not want to worry about their investments’ performance.


Hedging is a method that helps to lower the risk of potential loss by having two opposite positions in the market. It ensures you can benefit from the market, regardless of its direction. For instance, if you own certain assets that you think will decrease in value, you can short the same stock to offset the losses. However, hedging comes with some costs that should be considered in your projections. You can use spread bets or CFDs for hedging purposes.

Bonds and Recession

Government bonds are considered safe haven investments during a recession, as their prices generally rise during economic downturns. The bond market reflects investors’ expectations for the future. By the time the recession hits, most of the damage to the bond market has already occurred.

Central banks often buy bonds as part of their efforts to stimulate the economy through monetary policy changes. However, not all bonds experience downturns similarly, and it’s important to consider the bond’s yield and its relationship with interest rates. Junk bonds do not perform like government bonds due to their higher risk profile.

Currencies and Recession

Forex trading involves trading currency pairs to make a profit from one currency’s strength relative to another. During a recession, currency movements may increase, providing opportunities for traders. Strong currencies in a recession include the US Dollar, Singapore Dollar, and Swiss Franc.

Commodities and Recession

In a recession, commodity demand usually falls, causing prices to decline. The value of commodities depends on whether they are perishable or not. Their value is likely to decline if they can’t be stored for long periods. The impact of storage facilities becoming too full was seen in April 2020 when a record volume of crude barrels caused global panic, and the price of West Texas Intermediate fell negative for the first time. However, commodities like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, considered a store of intrinsic value, tend to respond differently.

Gold Trading and Recession

Gold is considered a safe haven during recessions due to its reputation for maintaining value and continued demand from industries such as medicine and technology. While gold may not consistently rise during recessions, it is viewed as more stable than stocks. Investors can take a position on gold by buying coins and bars, trading CFDs or futures, or focusing on ETFs. However, managing risk is vital as markets can change quickly, even in safe havens.

What should I not do in a recession?

Avoid taking any new risks or trading new financial instruments you do not know. Do not dive into your savings account or take your job as granted.

Summing up

Recessions can be challenging for investors, but there are opportunities to trade and potentially benefit from an economic recovery. Strategies like dollar-cost averaging, hedging, and investing in safe-haven assets like government bonds and gold can help manage risk and potentially generate returns.

It’s also important to avoid taking new risks or making impulsive decisions during a recession and to focus on long-term goals and investment plans. By staying informed and disciplined, investors can navigate a recession and position themselves for future growth.

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