Managed Futures 2013 Strategy Review


Happy New Year to all of you from Attain. Like most, the end of the year allows us to reflect on the events and experiences that took place. There’s no denying it was, shall we say, a unique year for Managed Futures. After 3 out 4 years of negative returns coming into 2013, it appeared as though change was in the air early in the year as CTA’s collectively recorded four straight months of positive performance. Managed Futures was flexing that non-correlated muscle, as stocks continued to climb. Then it was as if something just stopped. The Managed Futures Indices and many of the individual programs we track followed the good start to the year with five months of choppy, inconsistent, and a negative performance.


Tack a particular media outlet’s war against the asset class and the end of a 30 year tail wind in interest rates onto the choppy conditions in the last half of the year and it felt like a terrible year for managed futures. But even after the streaky performance and negative press, Managed Futures as an asset class was sitting up 0.53% for the year coming into the last two days of trading according to Newedge. {Disclaimer: Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results}.  Not a banner year, but not exactly the death knell many would have you believe.


In our annual end of year tradition, we take a moment to dig a little deeper into the overall asset class performance number and give some color on the different types of strategies which make up the managed futures asset class (no… it isn’t all trend following), and what caused the strategies to perform the way they did. Without further ado, our 2013 Managed Futures Strategy Reviews.




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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.

Managed Futures Disclaimer:

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.