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CTCR Online BRUCE BABCOCK: "HE RAISED THE BAR"

Bruce Babcock died this year. Cancer claimed him after battling for five years. Bruce was the founder of Commodity Traders Consumer Report and was Editor-in-Chief from its founding in 1983 through itís purchase by me at the beginning of 1996.

Bruce was a legend in the futures industry. He was the Editor-in-Chief of CTCR. He was the author of bestselling books, such as The Dow-Jones Guide to Trading Systems. He was a clever designer of mechanical trading systems that he traded himself. He was a futures speculator.
Bruce was a lawyer by training. He was a federal prosecutor in Sacramento before venturing into futures trading. He was involved in prosecuting one of Charles Mansonís female companions.
The futures industry has always had a bad reputation for scams and ripoffs. False claims are spread around like water. Claims of super profits graced every page of every futures publication and filled every mail box. The industry needed someone who could cut through the hype and lies and tell the truth. Some people hoped that the National Futures Association would run the scamsters out of town but they have failed miserably. I would argue that Bruce Babcock did more to save the fortunes of futures traders than the NFA has.
He did it by bringing a critical and incisive mind to the futures industry. He questioned everything that he heard and read. He didnít believe what he read. He demanded proof of what he read. He didnít let hype stand unchallenged.
He did it by having CTCR be the only organization to keep the track records of the many trading advisors and newsletters that swamped the industry with hype and unsupported claims. CTCR remains the only publication that tracks the results of following the recommendations of newsletters and advisory services.
Bruce brought an awesome integrity to the futures industry. He was not afraid of anyone. His prosecutorial zeal was often on display. He was often relentless and biting in his criticisms of some books, software, systems, and ideas. Bruce had a reputation for often being very critical and sarcastic in his reviews. Hard hitting would often be an understatement.
One critical decision in the beginning of CTCR was to not accept any advertising. He didnít want to run the risk of being swayed by giving up revenue for fear of offending a big advertiser. Letís face it. It is difficult for a publication that accepts advertising to give an unbiased review of a product. That would be cutting off their arm.
Bruce knew that he had to retain the freedom to be independent if he was to make CTCR a truly unbiased source of information and insight for the futures industry. I think that he also knew that it would mean that he would make less money since advertising dollars are what the magazine industry lives on. But his sense of integrity was so high that he decided to value integrity over dollars.
Larry Williams said it the best, ďHe raised the bar.Ē No longer could vendors push out inferior products without getting called on the carpet by Bruce.
At the same time, Bruce was publishing some of the best books on trading ever written and creating some excellent trading systems. Bruce was unique in that he actually traded the systems that he sold. Year in and year out, he would call me up and mention that he had another profitable year with his systems. He didnít sell something unless he felt it had true value and that he would use it himself.
I believe that the futures industry lost a titan of truth when Bruce died.

Special Free Bruce Babcock Issue for our Subscribers:

We are offering a free copy of the March 1996 issue of CTCR to all subscribers who request it (while supplies last) because it is the only significant interview with Bruce Babcock ever printed in any publication. Email ctcreport@aol.com or courtney@investors.net or call (800) 832-6065 to get your copy.

 

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