Timing Techniques for Commodity Futures Markets

By Collins, Art | Modern Trader, June 2008 | Go to article overview

Timing Techniques for Commodity Futures Markets


Collins, Art, Modern Trader


Colin Alexander assumes the reader is new to futures trading, so he covers the basics at the onset. This is where I got my first inkling that this book was more than just another "milk-for-profit" rehash. Even the introductory chapters taught me things I hadn't considered. In Alexander's words, all transactions, even outright speculative ones, are "an exercise in buying one thing and selling an equal and opposite amount of something else." Every long futures position, for example, acts as a short in the U.S. dollar because strong foreign currencies make raw materials and financials (i.e., futures) more attractive to overseas investors.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Neophytes understandably want to learn not only the rules of the game but also practical strategies they can apply. This book is rife with such ideas, covering everything from fundamental to technical, long-to short-term cycles, sentiment reading and an array of popular indicators that are framed in unique ways. Each tool is thoroughly explained in theory and practice. Alexander then advocates combining them and provides an extensive checklist of what would make a market bullish or bearish.

One section deals with recurring calendar cycles in the S&P, Nasdaq and other indexes. I was gratified that his advice confirmed my own research, such as how you really do well to "sell in May and go away." He suggests that resumed buying should be done in late October while I prefer the start of November, but that's minor quibbling. …

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