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RECENT QUESTIONS AT CTCR Online - May, 1999
Hint: If you are looking for a specific piece of information, try the CTCR search engine located on the bottom of this page - it is very effective in finding you information on your favourite books, gurus and topics.

Plain English, Simple Charting Systems in Commodities? (May 29)
"I recently saw a new book advertised by Gerald Marisch called "The W.D. Gann Method of Trading - A Simplified, Clear Approach." Is this book any good? Does it explain things better than Larry Williams' "Batting .800"? I know Larry Williams is a proven commodities trader, however I read a review of his course recently and I agree with that review. His book is sloppy and does not reference things on the page very well. Also, the video course is not very easy to follow. I'm looking for some plain english, simple charting systems to get started in commodities trading. Can you help? Thanks for your time." Alex

>>> Commodities Charting Systems Answer...


Seasonal software? (May 27)
Dear Mr. Smith, I have long admired your work at FNN. I have previously been a subscriber to CTCR...thanks for taking it over. I just received your special reprint of the Nov 1998 issue and indeed it was fascinating! A good job...I agree with your assessment of Jake Bernstein (How did Larry ever get mixed up with him?) Right now I'm interested in combining multiple seasonal factors for the nearby S&P contract (not spread) or the cash index. But maybe Jake's the best out there in seasonals...

I've ordered and studied The Stock Trader's Almanac. Traditionally, they're the experts at stock market seasonals but I find the data incomplete. The same to a slightly lesser degree with the Supertrader's Almanac. The newsletter Market Logic is fairly good but analyzed data only goes to 1994-5.

Have you ever or do you know of any company that makes (or could make) software that produces the expected daily % change of the S&P -- taking into account the year of the presidential cycle, the annual bias, holiday effect, monthly, five (six) day and 401(k) bulge, day-of-month and day-of-the week historical record. All those "seasonals" could be combined into a final grand score (without double counting) for each and every trading day of any particular year. For instance you could start with the average yearly gain of 4.5%, which is four and one-half% or .045 in decimal form. Divide that by the number of trading days (250), and you get .00018, which is due to the secular increase; the monthly % change in March, for example is .01 and dividing that by 21 (days) results in .00048, etc. I remember in the early days there was a fellow who predicted the market on a daily basis for a whole year (or more) ahead. I believe anyone could do it with reasonbly accurate results with the available seasonal data and a computer program!

The result, of course, could be profitably used by anyone according to his or her style as either a standalone or supplement to other techniques. It's remarkable that by now such an obvious statistically viable and stable bias has not been long since discounted by the market but such seems not the case... (see page four, THE 1999 STOCK TRADER'S ALMANAC). Since 1950 the only major shift would seem to be the day of week strengh reversal (from Friday to Monday) and the 401(k) mid-month bulge as well as an extra end of month bullish day.

This niche procedure would seem to be a natural and I have either overlooked it (serious vendors - even after searching the web) or it has been neglected by vendors altogether. If the latter is the case, do you think the data could be customized by a programmer? The bottom line is that the info can be gathered and processed but it is very tedious to do it by hand. Would you please comment and help me?

Thanks, Bill

>>> Seasonal software answer...


More Reader Comments on CTCR Index (May 26)
The CTCR Index graph is very important because it gives an indication of how the Commodity Advisory Industry has performed over the short and long run. I would, however, include the yearly long-term graph ONLY in the Jan/Feb newsletter (together with the Advisory Forecasts for the following year). As for the short term graph, I would put it in every issue, showing the monthly index evolution for ONLY the present year ( prior years are already reflected in the long term graph). Samuel.

Editor-in-Chief Courtney Smith: Excellent idea! Although we might want to also include it in the July issue where we wrap up the first half of the year.


Volatile Scheduling for Volatility Tamer (May 25)
Earlier in the year you were working on a report of Bruce Babcock's Volatility Tamer. Do you still intend to publish the results of your tests of this system? I would look forward to it. Thank you, George

Editor-in-Chief Courtney Smith: Yes, we are. But we've had so many other great things to look at that it has been bumped in our schedule.


Silver Slices Alert Reader (May 24)
I just started trading silver a few months ago. I knew nothing about commodity trading before, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I invested approximately $20,000 in 1,000 troy ounce silver boullion in a margin account that gave me approximately $80,000 leveraged funds. My equity was down to $15,000 when my trader suggested that I try to do a short transaction. I did this to get a few thousand in profits by selling long, so I could take the profit also when the price went down. Meanwhile, I'm paying 11.65% interest on an account where my equity is decreasing steadily. +AFw
Is this normal? Shouldn't my equity have increased when I sold my silver? At what point should I be worried about my decreasing equity? Can you share any data and trading strategies for silver?

Editor-in-Chief Courtney Smith: Stop doing what you are doing now! Frankly, it sounds like you are being ripped off.

>>> Trading silver answer...


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