The objective of swing trades is to generate .1 to 5% return on your account per trade while keeping draw downs as low as possible.
Swing trading methods became popular as antidote to trend following methods that were very popular but were leading to wide swings in account and draw downs.
As cost of trading decreased and spreads between bid and ask narrowed they became mainstay of active traders and hedge funds, Wall Street banks and now quant funds.
Swing trading has existed for hundreds of years for the same reason, that is it allows you to grow account without big draw downs like trend followers have. It helps you avoid the ulcers involved in trend following.
At one time largest amount of capital was allocated to trend following methods. Today only relatively modest amount is in pure trend following funds unless you classify passive index investing as trend following. .
Swing trading also evolved as a way for small accounts to grow their account rapidly by doing several trades and not seating in dead trend periods. Schwab lowered commissions to 39 dollars (from typical 100 dollars plus each way) and that led to swing trading boom. Subsequently commissions have kept on decreasing.
Ever since then Swing trading as a style as coexisted along with position trading and trend following and has become main style of trading. For all the sophistication involved in quant funds, at heart it is just swing trading method using high powered computers.
When you gun for 3 to 5 day moves, you have to do several hundred such trade in a year to make a difference to your account.
Success rates in swing trading is 50% or so. Success rate in trend following is 20 to 25%.
Which means you need to do upwards of 500 plus trade to make big returns in swing trading. Ask successful swing traders and see how many trades they do in a year.
Swing trading is primarily high volume game with low per trade profitability. You can increase your per trade profitability by increasing your per trade risk.
You can risk 1 to 2% per trade instead of conservative risk like and you can increase your returns significantly.
For a beginner I personally think swing trading is easier to learn than trend following or position trading. Things you do hundreds of time , ou can learn quickly. If you are going to make only 10 position trades in a year, by the time you realize whether you learned anything , years will be gone.