Why Futures for Stock Traders?

By: Leslie Burton

Whether you have traded a stock account for years or have just begun stock trading, you may have mixed results. Perhaps you have taken a course or you are simply well-read in your investment choices. The questions that every investor, trader and wealth manager must ask are, Am I diversified enough to produce a smooth equity curve with my portfolio? and Will this portfolio be weighted well enough to stand worst-case-scenario market conditions? If you hesitate to answer those questions, then perhaps taking a look at other products may broaden your knowledge and enhance your current investment portfolio.

The beauty of trading stocks online is that it keeps overhead costs down by trading out of your home. You will have immediate access to market information along with your account to place trades as you check the stock earnings, operating costs and any news that may impact the company. Typically, the cost of doing business is your low commission rate, use of your home computer and any subscription material to keep you informed. Most trading occurs in expanded hours, giving the investor time to trade whether it is a full-time or secondary job. The online platform allows the trader convenient access to the funds in his/her account readily. Continue reading "Why Futures for Stock Traders?"

Beyond the "Spotlight"

For the Week of May 13, 2013
By: Don DeBartolo

The GBE Trade Spotlight advisory service applies the GBE trading methodology (buying or selling commodity contracts based on breakouts of chart formations and technical indicators) to identify one to two trade setups per week.

Highlighting This Week’s Potential Breakouts:

June 2013 British Pound

The June 2013 British Pound futures contract closed below a lower trend line on Friday. There are touches on the trend line at 1.4823 (3/12/13), 1.5027 (4/04/13), and 1.5192 (4/23/13). The Trend Seeker (a US Chart Company tool to help identify market trend) is Neutral. The MACD, a trend indicator, is bearish and above the baseline. Although MACD is bearish, until the Trend Seeker changes to a Downtrend, there is no entry trigger confirmation. Continue reading "Beyond the "Spotlight""

To Exercise, Or Not To Exercise (Options), That Is The Question

In a previous article, I explained commodity option expiration, exercising, and assignment. I noted a long (purchased) option position (call or put) has the right to exercise the contract. To make an informed decision, I will explain the result of exercising an option contract.

A commodity option contract is a decaying asset that will expire. As an option contract draws near its expiration date, set by the exchanges, both the time value and intrinsic value diminish. Time value is premium in relation to days until expiration. Intrinsic value is the premium in relation to the strike price’s distance from underlying futures contract price. Note that volatility will also play a role in the calculated premium price. The exception to intrinsic value diminishing is an in-the-money contract. At that point, the intrinsic value is a one-to-one ratio of the strike price in relation to the underlying futures contract. For example, a long April 2013 Gold 1600 call will be valued at 50 points (or $5,000) if futures are at 1650.0 on option expiration (March 25, 2013). On the other hand, if futures are at 1600.0 or below on expiration, the option contract is valued at zero. An in-the-money contract, before expiration, will also have time value included in the premium price. However, because there are a number of finite days until expiration, the time value diminishes from day one. Continue reading "To Exercise, Or Not To Exercise (Options), That Is The Question"

The Future of Managed Futures… Past, Present and Future!

The first Managed Futures Fund may have actually been established around 1948, but the investment vehicle really became en vogue as Richard Dennis and his infamous “Turtles” gained in popularity. Richard Dennis, although working his way up from a runner, really began his reputation as large trader in the 70’s. The 70’s had crop failures to contend with and inflationary conditions which Richard Dennis could use his trend-trading style to position trade. By 1983, he believed that he could teach his methodology to an average woman/man to trade successfully as he had. He had been quoted by the Wall Street Journal in 1989 saying “We are going to grow traders just like they grow turtles in Singapore” thus coining the name “Turtles”! He selected his 21 men and 2 woman to learn the trend-following system with success, increasing his notoriety and adding some new traders to the spotlight. Actually about 60% of the trades may have lost money getting stopped out while the balance of trades were held with trailing stops to garnish more from the position. Other traders sprang up into the spotlight like Paul Tudor Jones and John Henry. The methodology is proprietary to the trader and never really divulged, so the entries, stops and the targets remain exclusive in most managed products. The trading model may take years to cultivate! Futures trading is a zero-sum game where there is a loss for every gain and vice versa. The challenge for the trader was to create a percentage to his/her favor! Continue reading "The Future of Managed Futures… Past, Present and Future!"

Gold & Silver Speculator


Now that Thanksgiving has passed and the Holiday Season is in full swing with thoughts turning toward Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year, I’m getting asked more and more questions from traders and investors who are very concerned - even anxious, about the Fiscal Cliff, the Debt Ceiling, tax implications/considerations regarding both and how all of this will play out in the precious metals markets. So, in this edition of the GSS, I’d really like to focus on the bigger picture.

But before we delve into that, I must take a moment to address yesterday’s violent intraday price move in Gold (and Silver to a lesser extent). We witnessed another one of those counter-intuitive, intense, vicious “waterfall selloffs” or spikes lower that seem to “randomly” occur from time to time over the past couple of years.

Massive and concentrated volume hit the market immediately on the NY Pit open: Over 35,000 lots or contracts reportedly traded - the equivalent of 3.5 Million ounces of Gold - with nearly 7800 contracts (that’s 24 TONS!) traded electronically in a single minute, slamming the price of Gold down -$36. The price drop was not enormous in percentage terms, but the volume size and velocity of the move still shocked many market participants as there was no corresponding “news” to point to. Continue reading "Gold & Silver Speculator"