Alternatives Links: The Commodity Backlash


Commodities Volatility Shakes Up Hedge Funds – (Wall Street Journal)

Commodities Rally Is Half-Baked – (Wall Street Journal)

Trade Commodities instead of ‘Invest’ in them – (Attain Alternatives Blog)


High Fees vs Low Fees – (MorningStar)


CME Group resumes electronic trading after glitch delays open – (Reuters)

Futures & Miscellaneous

Deutsche Bank sells N. American Natgas book to Morgan Stanley – (Reuters)


High-frequency trading critic Chilton joins HFT lobby effort – (CNBC)

CFTC names Christopher J Kirkpatrick as secretary – (HedgeWeek)

A Global Macro take on Crude, FOMC, and Everything in Between

In case you missed it, we took to the airwaves with BTFDtv via a Google Hangout yesterday to talk everything from Corn plantings to interest rate levels with Mr. Roland Austrup, manager of the Attain Global Macro fund, one of our newly launched family of alternative funds.

We knew Roland would be a great guest as he has a great TV face, and loves to talk markets. Did he Ever. From geo-political risk, opportunities in the commodity and currency markets, the problem with crude oil, interest rates and the FOMC, hedging European markets, and  U.S. drought but plentiful crops; there was certainly no topic that wasn’t touched on. See the full interview below.

For more information on the IMFC Global Macro strategy utilized by Attain’s IMFC Global Macro fund , download the report here.

Alternative Links: The Next 5 Years

Managed Futures in the Next Five Years – (Hedge Fund Intelligence)

Feature – Advisors that are ready for the bear market with alternatives – (Barrons)


Deconstructing Management Fees In Alternative Funds – (Forbes)

How to Think About ‘Alternative’ Investments (Managed Futures gets bad mention) – (WSJ)


NIBA Member of the Month: Attain Capital Management – (NIBA)

Futures and Miscellaneous

Speculators widen corn net short position-CFTC – (Reuters)

General insurance accounts increasing use of alt investments – (Hedge Week)

CME Group launches Eurodollar bundle futures and options – (Futures Magazine)

A Big List of Alternative Investment Folks on Twitter

Looks like this is sort of a thing now… saying here’s a list of 10, 50, 106 “must follows” on twitter, just as we’ve seen with Business Insider’s “106 Finance People You Have to Follow on Twitter”, BrightScope’s “25 Most Socially Influential Advisors”, and so forth.

twitter-logo (1)But there doesn’t seem to be a list we could find of alternative investment folks, and specifically those focused on commodities, managed futures, and global macro strategies. The more we dug into why that is… the more we found a big hole where all of the people in the alternative investment space should be… There just aren’t that many of the 1000s of commodity trading advisors out there sharing their views on twitter.


Come on guys… it’s 2014!!  Time to join the party and show the world just how smart, funny, sarcastic, and charismatic us futures folk can be.  Twitter isn’t about telling the world what you had for lunch like we all feared back in 2010. It’s the modern day business card. It’s a 24/7 virtual conference where you’re simultaneously talking with hundreds if not thousands of people – it’s the new frontier where wit wins! So go on over and sign up and start making us smarter… or at least making us laugh.

In the meantime, here’s our compilation of people and firms currently out there on twitter (in no particular order, despite the numbering)  providing the latest insight, humor, debate, and news on investments – especially the alternative kind:

  1. @AttainCapital – of course… it’s our list!


[Read more...]

YTD Asset Class Scoreboard

Well that was a lot of red in July, with all of the asset classes we track showing negative performance behind stock markets’ first losing month in the past six.  The big loser, commodities, which fell over 5% as energy markets sold off and the big sell off in grains through the month of July, making Commodities the only asset class negative on the year.

Table Asset Class JulyChart Asset Class July(Disclaimer: past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results)
Source: All ETF performance data from
Sources: Managed Futures = Newedge CTA Index, Cash = 13 week T-Bill rate
Bonds = Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND),
Hedge Funds= IQ Hedge Multi-Strategy Tracker ETF (QAI)
Commodities = iShares GSCI ETF (GSG); Real Estate = iShares DJ Real Estate ETF (IYR);
World Stocks = iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Index Fund ETF (ACWX);
US Stocks = SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)

Alternative Links: The Same old Song and Dance

There Is No Alternative (Face palm) – (Wealth Track)

Exotic Investments ≠ Alternative Investments (contrary to what Bloomberg says) – (Bloomberg)

Trend Following is Your Friend Til it Isn’t – (Bloomberg View)

Do we still need to do this? A Trend Following Rebuttal – (Attain Alternatives Blog)


CME Group seeks feedback on Livestock trading hours on CME Globex – (CME Group)


Use Alternative Investments to Hedge without Hedge Funds – (Nasdaq)


Man Group Reports Rise in Assets – (Wall Street Journal)

Futures & Miscellaneous

LME begins position reporting data for base metals — (Reuters)

The Changing Face of World Oil Markets – (National Bureau of Economic Research)

Managed Futures July Performance

At first glance, this month’s performance appears to be a bit of a head scratcher, with three of the four indices we watch reporting negative performance for the month of July (thus far), despite a major down trend in grains, providing the best returns in years for many agriculture trading CTAs we track.

The reason is the indices are comprised mainly of the largest managers, who are generally trend followers and generally not very exposed to the grain markets. It just goes to show the diverse amount of strategies that represent the Managed Futures Industry, which in July was quite wondrous, or terribly frustrating, depending on whether the strategy type you were invested in caught the down move in grains.  Here’s the month by month performance of Managed Futures for 2014 thus far:

Managed Futures July Performance(Disclaimer: past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results)
(Only 23% of returns reported to the BarclayHedge CTA Index)