Futures For You
Inside The Futures World
Want to find out how the futures markets really work? Carley Garner is the senior strategist for DeCarley Trading, a division of Zaner Group, where she also works as a broker. She authors widely distributed e-newsletters; for your free subscription, visit www.DeCarleyTrading.com. Her books, Currency Trading in the Forex and Futures Markets, A Trader’s First Book on Commodities, and Commodity Options, were published by FT Press. To submit a question, post your question at http://Message-Boards.Traders.com. Answers will be posted there, and selected questions will appear in a future issue of S&C.
How can I practice trading in a realistic environment?
Anyone who has risked his hard-earned money in the markets knows that trading is a game of mental stability, not necessarily intelligence, or even skill. Most traders enjoy massive success in a paper trading account but fail to convert their experience into profitable live trading.
Is it possible to place a stop order on an option?
As with option trading platforms, futures exchanges do not accept stop orders on electronically placed options. Some open outcry execution brokers might be willing to take the order by phone for execution in the trading pit, but in general, stop orders on options are a thing of the past. That said, even if it were possible to place stop orders on options, it isn’t generally a good idea.
The CME has made changes to the trading hours of various products. What was their motivation and what is the impact on traders and the markets?
The CME recently made two significant changes to the trading hours of some of their most popular contracts. The first was implemented in late May 2012 and greatly expanded the number of hours that traders could speculate in grain futures and options; the second went into effect in mid-November 2012 and altered the cutoff point between trading sessions in stock index futures and options.
What are some highlights of popular trading platforms?
Futures brokerage firms typically offer trading platform options including a “free” version along with an array of premium platforms for additional cost. Last issue, we discussed various types of platform subscriptions and capabilities. This time, we’ll focus on a few of the more popular trading environments available, their costs, and highlights.
The free trading platforms provided to brokerage clients are often developed in-house and are, therefore, only available at the firm offering it. Don’t automatically assume the platform is inferior to the high-cost options.
What criteria should I use for choosing a trading platform?
It is in the best interests of brokerage firms to make it as easy as possible for their clients to trade. After all, they generate revenue on each transaction and the more convenient it is to enter an order, the more commission they could earn. Accordingly, brokerage firms have worked hard to provide each type of trader an attractive trading solution.