From the May 01, 2010 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Not skin deep

Like the new look? We do.

Although most of us get hair cuts, facials, manicures or something that improves our looks on a monthly or at least a regular basis, Futures hasn’t had a face lift since 2002. Sure there have been subtle improvements and additions, but in keeping with the changing industry we cover, we decided a new look, including the logo, was needed, especially in these times of integrated media.

Welcome to the new Futures, which will continue to include the important trading strategies and tactics that we have featured for 38 years, and will incorporate new content to keep up with the dynamic derivatives business. This will include interviews with key traders as well as movers and shakers who impact the business. We also made the layouts cleaner, charts clearer, fonts fresher, paper weight heavier and integrated the magazine more closely with our website, futuresmag.com.

For example, our cover story, "McGhee on the gold currency" (page 22), is in the magazine, but the unabridged version is on the website. McGhee, who is well known in metals trading and especially gold circles, provides insights with his depth of experience. Gold is a hot commodity, we know that, but how do traders take advantage of ongoing information and future moves? His candor and views should help all traders who read Futures, from those on prop trading desks to risk managers to the 30-year veteran trading from home.

Our brand is Futures, but we are, and have been, so much more. Options coverage has been standard content since the early 1980s. Today we have a monthly column, but we were the first ones to print the 19 Options Strategies series to our readers in 1984. My first feature for the magazine was on the stunning growth of the S&P 100 options contract in February 1984 and though we’ve covered stock index options and futures for years, in 2000 we began our monthly Equities Trading Technique feature to mirror our reader interest. ETFs are all the rage today, but we’ve been covering them since 2006, starting with our first annual ETF Guide.

Foreign exchange is nothing new to the futures business or Futures. After all, the International Monetary Market began in 1972. And while we covered forex futures throughout, in 2002 we began our monthly Forex Trader column, which covers both futures and spot trading in foreign exchange.

Today’s new players are born of the electronic trading age: the so-called prop, algo and high frequency traders. Going forward, we will add this content to our regular stable of topics. This month we look at the controversy around high frequency trading (see "The lowdown on high frequency trading," page 58).

During the FIA Boca show last March, a panel discussion tried to assure traders that at least on the futures side, no “front running” was happening. But when high frequency trading makes up more than 40% of the volume at CME Group, some fund managers wonder who is being served first. This will be an ongoing conversation in future issues.

Finally, let’s not forget the commodity trading advisors (CTA) and hedge fund managers. Futures always has carried CTA and futures fund performance information. My first assignment (in 1984) was covering the managed money world and the first conference I went to was 50 people in a room talking about how to raise money. Today, the industry has grown into billions of dollars and some of the premiere hedge fund managers have their roots in trading futures.

So, while Futures’ look is new, our content has always kept pace of the business. And with futuresmag.com, we have a new dimension in which to serve your educational needs.

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