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Managed Forex, Trading systems, and more on the new www.AttainCapital.com
March 10, 2008
As you saw in our Feb. 4th and Feb. 25th newsletters highlighting features of the new www.AttainCapital.com - we will be dedicating one of our weekly newsletters each month to educating our website users on how to use the new tools on our website. As always, we appreciate any and all feedback you may have, and welcome your comments. It was your comments which shaped this new site, and it will be your comments which take it to the next level from here.
To login, use the previous username and password you selected when first signing up for the Attain site. If you can't remember either one, just click forgot your password on the login screen, and we'll email your password to you to use with your email address as a username.
For those users who have been experiencing errors or odd behavior such as the inability to create a Watchlist, we have pushed through a fix, but it will require you to click the “logout” button under the MyAttain menu at the top right of the screen, and then log back in.
Highlights on some of the website’s New Features:
Managed F/X & Trading System Performance Tables:
Despite focusing on the CTA performance table in our last website focused newsletter, there are actually three categories of performance tables on the new site: 1. CTAs, 2. Trading Systems, and 3. Managed F/X.
As with the CTA table – the Managed F/X and Trading System tables default to Attain’s smaller ‘recommended’ list, but a quick click of “All Programs” in the blue “Filter By” column immediately loads multiple pages of programs. Those programs not in Bold are ones Attain does not currently work with. If they are a CTA with only a 1 or 2 flag rating, we probably don’t work with them on purpose — finding them too risky, not experienced enough, or having no data on them — and include them for comparison only. If they are highly ranked with 3, 4, or 5 flags, yet not in BOLD - it is likely we intend to add them to our recommended list – yet have not finished our due diligence yet.
On each performance table, a search box adorns the top left of the page, enabling you to quickly get to a specific program you’re looking for by typing the name in the search box. Please note that if you search for a CTA on the trading system page, or a Managed F/X program from the CTA page – the search will not work. At this time, the search will only return the programs in the category you are currently viewing.
Trading System Results:
One feature of the trading system results unique to the new website is the combination of computer generated and actual client fill results in trading system track records. What sort of fills and trade prices actual clients have received on trading systems has always been important to Attain – but showing just the actual client fill results often resulted in a very short track record if the system was just launched, or clients had stopped trading a system.
On Attain’s new website, a combination of computer generated trades and actual client trades is presented. You can see this in graphical format in the equity curve graph for each system, which shows results containing computer generated fill prices in blue, and those containing actual client fill prices in green. You can toggle the performance detail page between showing just computer generated, just client fill trade results, or the combined data set by clicking on the appropriate link in the blue ‘View’ column on the left side of the screen.
The return, DD, and other statistics will automatically reflect the choice you make in the ‘View’ column, changing depending on whether you are view the combined data set, just computer generated, or just client fill trade results. This allows users to see whether a system is tracking along with its historical averages, as well as whether the actual fills being achieved by clients are in line with what the system is producing via computer generated fills.
Please bear in mind that whether viewing the combination of computer generated and client fills, computer generated only, or client fill only – the results are all hypothetical in nature, as they are the returns experienced in a model account which rises or falls by the profit or loss achieved by the client fill trade prices or the computer generated fill trade prices.
The MyAttain “dashboard” is where each website user will find his or her custom content. Simply login, then click on the MyAttain link under the MyAttain main menu item to view the Dashboard.
The main tool currently available on the MyAttain dashboard is the Watchlist. CTA programs, trading systems, and Managed F/X programs users add to a watchlist on the main performance tables will be listed in the dashboard area, allowing users to quickly and easily follow along with their favorites.
The dashboard is also where users can view and edit any saved portfolios. Portfolios are saved on the portfolio builder screen, but viewable with just a click from the MyAttain dashboard so you don’t have to combine all of the components again each time you wish to view how a portfolio is doing.
The dashboard also includes contact information of each user’s “specialist”, including name, phone number, email, and instant message addresses. Many non-US web users like to use this feature to Skype our staff, saving on international calls. Our specialists are the registered brokers whom make up our client facing team, and they average over 10 years experience with managed futures. They are highly skilled and experienced in not just the ins and outs of managed futures, but also on tips and tricks to using the Attain website. Be sure to use them.
The MyAttain website will continue to grow over the coming months, as new features and customized tools are rolled out to website users, including succinct balance information for existing clients so they may see where their accounts are at without the hassle of deciphering the clearing firm’s cryptic statements, as well as early intramonth estimates for CTAs in your watchlist, and a listing of other programs you may be interested in based on your current watchlist and talks with your specialist.
The last tool we will touch on today is perhaps the most important for those looking to gain more insight into, and experience with CTAs, trading systems, and managed F/X programs. That tool is a library containing hundreds of Attain’s past e-newsletters.
Attain has worked hard to produce an e-newsletrter every Monday (excluding holidays) since August of 2002, and they are jammed pack with information on how managed futures investments work, up and coming CTAs and trading systems, research topics such as investing in Drawdowns, and educational tips such as earning interest in your futures account through T-Bills.
The newsletters are all available through the “Research & Analysis” link under the ‘Performance ‘ tab on the main menu. Once there, you can get to a newsletter topic you are interested in by clicking on any of the recent newsletter headlines, or by viewing one of the Editor or Reader picks. You can also browse newsletter by their content type: including CTA and System Spotlights, Strategy Focuses, Research, Education, or News/Events – or by the date or author.
- Barbara Mueller
IMPORTANT RISK DISCLOSURE
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Oil prices are making headlines again as April Oil futures closed above $105, up +3.25% per barrel last week. Prices seem destined to stay north of $100 for the foreseeable future as OPEC says they are comfortable with the price and will not look to increase output. Heating Oil futures +4.99%, RBOB Gasoline futures +0.91% and Natural Gas futures +4.30% all traded higher as well last week.
US Stock futures headed in the opposite direction as higher energy prices, slowing economy and illiquid credit markets continue to weigh heavily on the market. SP futures were hit hard falling -4.62% for the week while Dow futures at -3.37% and NASDAQ futures at -2.26% also finished the week significantly in the red. In smallcap trading Russell 2000 futures were down -3.81% and SP Midcap 400 futures fell -3.60% for the week.
In the financials - 30 year bond futures fell -1.30% while 10 year note futures remained unchanged for the week. Foreign currencies continued to trade higher against the Dollar with Euro Currency futures climbing +1.06% , Swiss Franc futures up +1.82%, Japanese Yen futures +1.28% higher while Dollar Index futures fell -0.96%.
Elsewhere in commodity trading, Metals were mixed for the week with Copper futures climbing +1.68% and Silver futures gaining +1.68%. Meanwhile Palladium futures were down substantially at -14.16% while Platinum futures lost -6.41%. Gold was unchanged for the week. In the grains, Wheat futures climbed +6.85% while Soybeans -8.31% and Corn -1.66% finished in the red. Softs also were down for the week with Sugar futures losing -8.56% and Coffee futures losing -9.20%. Finally in the meats Lean Hogs were down -3.50% and Live Cattle futures lost -4.03%.
Following a spectacular February for many of the CTA's we track (you can view Feb’s returns clicking here), March has started out at a much slower pace for most advisors as they return to the mean a bit, and some have even given back some open trade gains.
Here are some quick estimates for March - NDX Shardrach +1.58%, NDX Abednego +0.57, Attain Portfolio Advisors +1%, APA Modified +0.5%, Dighton is flat, Hoffman Asset -4%, Vision Capital -13%.
One exception to the slow start has been in the currency markets, where the tumbling US Dollar has continue to fall to new lows vs most foreign currencies presenting an opportunity for FX Mangers. After one week of trading K3 FX is up 5.59%, Wallwood FX is ahead 3.33%, and Devrim is up 1.03%. Both K3 and Wallwood looking for emerging trends while Devrim is a short term day trading strategy.
Elsewhere FCI is having a strong start to the month and is ahead 1.42% so far and has several potential positions expiring over the next few weeks - should all of these positions expire worthless investors stand to realize an additional 75 basis points. Noting the higher commodity market volatility we expect to see many of their new positions collect higher premiums in addition to being placed at further out strike prices.
Finally, as a reminder not all trends last forever and for the contrarian investor drawdowns present an opportunity to invest - our recommendation is to identify strategies you want to invest in today and further to have your account ready to begin trading on the next pull back.
***Day & Swing***
Last week U.S. equities tested their yearly lows with S&Ps trading down to 1282.30 and other markets following suit. While the R word has been mentioned several times over the past few months, it is now starting to become a reality and investors continue to move their money out of stocks and into bonds and commodities. Swing systems trading the bonds fared well last week, with 2 out of three profitable on their positions, while those trading stock indices had mixed results. Day trading systems struggled again last week as many of the large moves occurred in overnight trading and left systems susceptible to large gyrations in early trade.
Starting with the swing systems, Signum EBL was the top performer with profits of +$3,780 on its open long trade (2 contracts per unit). It reversed long on the last day of February and gained some open trade equity as the Euro Bund broke out of consolidation as stocks moved lower globally. Signum TY had open trade profits of +$406.25 on its current long trade (2 contracts per unit). Mesa Notes came into the week holding short and lost -$203.12 in open trade profits but is positioned well for a potential rebound in equities (and corresponding move lower in bonds).
Elsewhere, Tzar ES closed out a winning short trade for a gain of +$2,253.10 but gave back some open trade equity after reversing long. Tzar NQ followed a similar pattern and profited +$1,295.64 on the closed out short trade but was down on the current open long trade. Ultramini ES profited +$582.50 on three trades for the week.
For the day trading systems, activity was limited with the following results: Compass SP -$259.77, BetaCon ESX -$804.74, Waugh eRL -$1,160 and Rayo Plus Dax -$3,826.47.
Focus for the long term traders continues to be fixed in the soft commodity, metal, and interest rate sectors, although the inflationary frenzy has many other commodities posting wild swings, especially with the continued fall by the U.S. dollar to record low levels.
The food/grain sector posted some declines last week on profit taking ahead of upcoming reports, although their strong uptrends were not in danger even with the sharp sell-off. The sugar market remained in a defensive mode last week, although ideas that the Southern Hemisphere will move more cane to the ethanol industry rather that refining it for sugar continued to be a supporting factor. Aberration is currently long Corn making $6437.50 (open trade), long Sugar making $369.60 (open trade), and long Cotton making $765.00 (open trade). Relativity is currently short Hogs making $1,220.00 (open trade), long Robusta losing -$2,290 (open trade).
Rate futures ended the week near even, although it took a late week rally on a weak jobs number to get the market back to there. High volatility continues to be the catch word in this sector with the markets trying to find guidance from weak U.S. economy, which continues to hamper the U.S. Dollar, versus the continued poor performance of the 30-year bond auctions. Aberration is currently long TY with a current gain of $10,339.50 (open trade). Both Aberration and Relativity are Short the U.S. Dollar Index making $1,145.00 (open trade) and making $1440.00 (open trade).
The Metals held their strong upward trend, although the sector did see a sell-off from profit taking during the past week. The industrial metals continue to be the guiding force on ideas that the boom in Asian economies will continue for the foreseeable future. Both Aberration and Relativity are long mini-Silver making $3920.00 (open trade) and $1,074.00 (open trade) respectively. Relativity is also long the Tocom Platinum with open trade losses of 94,000JY.
IMPORTANT RISK DISCLOSURE
Futures based investments are often complex and can carry the risk of substantial losses. They are intended for sophisticated investors and are not suitable for everyone. The ability to withstand losses and to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can adversely affect investor returns.
Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. The performance data for the various Commodity Trading Advisor ("CTA") and Managed Forex programs listed above are compiled from various sources, including Barclay Hedge, Attain Capital Management, LLC's ("Attain") own estimates of performance based on account managed by advisors on its books, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.
The dollar based performance data for the various trading systems listed above represent the actual profits and losses achieved on a single contract basis in client accounts, and are inclusive of a $50 per round turn commission ($30 per e-mini contracts). Except where noted, the gains/losses are for closed out trades. The actual percentage gains/losses experienced by investors will vary depending on many factors, including, but not limited to: starting account balances, market behavior, the duration and extent of investor's participation (whether or not all signals are taken) in the specified system and money management techniques. Because of this, actual percentage gains/losses experienced by investors may be materially different than the percentage gains/losses as presented on this website.
Please read carefully the CFTC required disclaimer regarding hypothetical results below.
HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS, SOME OF WHICH ARE DESCRIBED BELOW. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFITS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN; IN FACT, THERE ARE FREQUENTLY SHARP DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND THE ACTUAL RESULTS SUBSEQUENTLY ACHIEVED BY ANY PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM. ONE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS IS THAT THEY ARE GENERALLY PREPARED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. IN ADDITION, HYPOTHETICAL TRADING DOES NOT INVOLVE FINANCIAL RISK, AND NO HYPOTHETICAL TRADING RECORD CAN COMPLETELY ACCOUNT FOR THE IMPACT OF FINANCIAL RISK OF ACTUAL TRADING. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND LOSSES OR TO ADHERE TO A PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM IN SPITE OF TRADING LOSSES ARE MATERIAL POINTS WHICH CAN ALSO ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS. THERE ARE NUMEROUS OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO THE MARKETS IN GENERAL OR TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY SPECIFIC TRADING PROGRAM WHICH CANNOT BE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE PREPARATION OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND ALL WHICH CAN ADVERSELY AFFECT TRADING RESULTS.