Grains, Nikkei, Lumber top 2013 markets

While people were enamored with Jeff Gundlach’s great call on short Apple/long natural gas, the real trade of the year appears to have been long lumber/short coffee. Per our favorite quote site, Finviz.com, we find the following 2012 stats for commodity markets [Please note – Finviz does some weird things around contract rolls, which can make their percentage gains over longer periods different than what would be found using a continuous contract or the cash/spot market, nonetheless, we feel it is representative of each market’s 2012 movements]:

Some of the highlights as we see them:

  •  80% of markets up this year (32 of 40), compared with 40% in 2011 and 85% in 2010
  •  2 markets down more than -30% (Orange Juice and Coffee – was there a breakfast recession we didn’t read about?)
  •  6 markets up more than 15% (including Nikkei, Wheat, Lumber, Soybean and Soy Meal which averaged a loss of -16.7% in 2011)
  •  Japanese Yen, Coffee, Sugar finishing year at their lows
  •  Nikkei, Lumber, Cattle finishing year at their highs
  •  Gold posts a 4th consecutive positive year
  •  Euro currency basically a non-event for a very eventful year for the Euro

What will 2013 bring?  A crash in the US Dollar as the US fails to get its financial house in order?  Further gains in grains from lasting damage done by last year’s drought?  A losing year for gold? The much expected sell off in US treasuries? None of the above?

Luckily, managed futures investors don’t need to know the answers to those questions in order to have a successful 2013. The managers don’t even need to know the answers, they just need to be able to identify and capture any such moves when they happen (no small task, to be sure; as we’ve seen in 2012).










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Forex trading, commodity trading, managed futures, and other alternative investments are complex and carry a risk of substantial losses. As such, they are not suitable for all investors.

The entries on this blog are intended to further subscribers understanding, education, and – at times- enjoyment of the world of alternative investments through managed futures, trading systems, and managed forex, and is not intended as investment advice, or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. Unless distinctly noted otherwise, the data and graphs included herein are intended to be mere examples and exhibits of the topic discussed, are for educational and illustrative purposes only, and do not represent trading in actual accounts. Opinions expressed are that of the author.

*The mention of specific asset class performance (i.e. +3.2%, -4.6%) is based on the noted source index (i.e. Newedge CTA Index, S&P 500 Index, etc.), and investors should take care to understand that any index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship and self reporting biases, and instant history.

The mention of general asset class performance (i.e. managed futures did well, stocks were down, bonds were up) is based on Attain’s direct experience in those asset classes, estimates of performance of dozens of CTAs followed by Attain, and averaging of various indices designed to track said asset classes.

It should be noted that past market performance is not indicative of future market movement.No market data or other information is warranted by Attain Capital Management as to completeness or accuracy, express or implied, and is subject to change without notice.

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Past Performance is Not Necessarily Indicative of Future Results. The regulations of the CFTC require that prospective clients of a managed futures program (CTA) receive a disclosure document when they are solicited to enter into an agreement whereby the CTA will direct or guide the client’s commodity interest trading and that certain risk factors be highlighted. The disclosure document contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA.