Summary of Last Ten Year Trends in FCM/Listed Derivatives Industry

Overview of the Last Ten Years of Segregated Funds Data for US FCM’s: Source: CFTC, in Billion USD. 10 Year Evolution of Segregated Funds: As illustrated above, 2011 & 2009 are the only two years in the last 10 that the US segregated funds decreased, as published by the CFTC. The percentage decrease in 2011 was 4% and in 2009 the decrease was 15%. The total segregated funds at the end of December 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 were 158, 134, 151 & 145 billion respectively. Over the ten year period from 2002-2011 the customer segregated funds for US markets…...

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Top 10 Google AdWords Mistakes Brokers Make When Generating Futures Leads

Google AdWords is the most effective, budget-friendly, and powerful way to generate futures leads. Ads can be displayed not only on Google but on websites of all sizes from CNBC and Bloomberg to individual bloggers. Add the ability to view informative reports and set your own-budget (and stop-and-start on the fly) and you see why AdWords is the advertising method of choice. However, in the ongoing quest for futures leads, many of the brokers we speak with have tried Google AdWords or other Search Engine Marketing tools but have been disappointed with the results. Common complaints are that they spent…...

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Introducing Broker–Net Capital Calculations

During a recent routine NFA audit of one of our Introducing Broker (IB) clients, it became apparent that NFA is enforcing the following: Security Deposits with your FCM are treated as 50% current and 50% noncurrent for capital purposes. Escrow Accounts (or other trading accounts) at your FCM are considered current for capital purposes but has a 50% haircut during the Net Capital Computation. If the Escrow account is being traded by your firm at a level equivalent to the dollars in the account, then the account is considered a firm trading account and the account balance is considered current…...

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NFA Requires Updates, Disclosures and Filings from CTAs and CPOs That Managed MF Global Assets

In the wake of the MF Global collapse, NFA is requiring CTAs and CPOs that managed assets at the failed FCM to make certain updates, disclosures and filings. CTAs must calculate their performance capsules in accordance with NFA Notice to Members I-12-04. That notice essentially provides that CTAs with programs involving MF Global managed accounts that were not notionally funded and that were frozen by the bankruptcy should not include the MF Global account performance in the program’s track record if the program also had accounts at one or more other FCMs or if the CTA was forced to close…...

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ICE Futures U.S. Offers Weekly Option Contracts on Sugar No. 11, Cotton No. 2 and Coffee “C” Futures

ICE Futures U.S. now lists weekly option contracts on Sugar No. 11®, Cotton No. 2® and Coffee “C”® futures contracts. The new weekly option contracts are short-life options that share most of the contract terms of the existing monthly option contracts – including strike price, minimum price quote, trading hours and exercise and assignment provisions. The weekly options, however, expire on a different date than the monthly options, providing an expiration on each Friday that is not already the expiration date for a monthly option on the relevant futures contracts. For each product, three weekly option expirations are listed concurrently,…...

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NIBA Announces a New Service Provider Directory

The National Introducing Brokers Association has been the leading nexus between futures industry professionals since 1991. In keeping with its networking spirit the NIBA is excited to announce the new Service Provider/Vendor category of membership to encompass companies that supply products and services to our members. NIBA’s service and vendor providers understand the unique needs of futures professionals and can be found in the Association tab of the NIBA website under Service Providers. Here you will find a wealth of services that are tailored to your industry specific needs. In the directory you will find: Online Marketing Solutions Attorneys &…...

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ICE Futures Canada Launches New Canadian Grain Contracts on January 23

New Contracts Listed Reflect Market Participant Demand ICE Futures Canada will introduce three new futures and options contracts for durum wheat, milling wheat and barley January 23. The contracts are being launched following the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s legal monopoly to market all wheat, durum wheat and barley grown in Western Canada and destined for human consumption or export. The new ICE contracts take advantage of the changed regulatory environment that allows these Western Canadian grains to be freely traded for the first time in nearly 70 years. Domestic and international market participants have expressed substantial demand for…...

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Measuring and Using Relative Strength

Relative Strength, sometimes called comparative Relative Strength, can measure the relationship between two securities, between a security and an index, or between two indexes. This does not refer to the popular indicator called Relative Strength Index. The RSI measures the performance of a security or index against itself by producing a normalized measurement of “up closes” versus “down closes” across a chosen time period. Comparative Relative Strength is used in futures markets in inter-market situations, say comparing European wheat prices to Chicago corn prices as a spread or a ratio. We also see intra-market calendar spreads, another form of measuring…...

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Executive Coaching | Sequel to, “Grow Your Business” – Part 2

Much of my work is surprisingly personal in nature, since personalities and relationships underlie human resources issues. I have been called a business shrink, a career therapist. I provide a safe, objective impartial professional point of view. In last month’s NIBA Journal I told a personal story of when I refused a job offer. As the story continues…Remember I had refused a job offer because the president of the company was “rude” to me during the interview. As karma would have it, years later I ended up working with the same “rude” person….to be continued. But by then things had…...

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The Interview | Sequel to, “Grow Your Business” – Part 1

On September 12, 2011, it was my pleasure to give a presentation for the National Introducing Brokers Association, “Grow Your Business by Hiring the Right People.” The response to my program has been gratifying and quite positive. Most remarked on the clarity of the message, especially the relevance and impact of the case studies involving real people and business situations. I derived immense satisfaction from offering these remarks, which reflect my more than 25 years advising financial institutions on human resources practices. The interview process, for example, is fraught with psychological issues. It is important to remember that the interview…...

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