It’s the time of year for taking stock, making resolutions and then looking ahead to the next 12 months. Before turning the page on 2012 for good, we took a look back at our most popular stories of the year. Most were published within the past 12 months, although a few are enduring favorites from years past Some were profiles of industry leaders; others offered practical advice and trading tips. But they all have one thing in common: They sparked interest and, in many cases, discussion among readers.
10. William Eckhardt: The man who launched 1,000 systems (March 2011)
In the 1980s, Bill Eckhardt gained fame as one half of the duo that launched the turtle trading experiment. If the popularity of this profile is any indication, his influence hasn’t waned over the years. In this wide-ranging interview, Eckhardt revisited his famous experiment, talked trend-following and offered three simple truths for trading.
9. Bill Gross: Damages are accruing (October 2012)
In this investment outlook, PIMCO Founder Bill Gross revisited his “Ring of Fire”—a list of countries, including the United States, whose public debt had the potential to exceed 90% of GDP within a few years.
And although Gross maintained that he “[doesn’t] believe in the imminent demise of the U.S. economy,” his predictions weren’t overly rosy. “If we continue to close our eyes to existing 8% of GDP deficits…” Gross said, “then we will begin to resemble Greece before the turn of the next decade.”
8. Trading stocks with pivot points (March 2012)
Along with profiles and analyses, Futures also offers trading tips, such as this popular article on trading using pivot points and their associated support and resistance levels. The piece offers a primer for calculating and then trading with pivots, complete with a sample scenario involving an individual stock.
7. How much trading capital is enough? (April 2012)
It’s no secret that trading is a risky enterprise, full of elements that even the most experienced traders can’t control. In this article, Joseph Stuber focused on what traders can control—namely, money management. Using real-life examples, Stuber shows that losing trades don’t have to ruin traders, provided that they diversify, adequately fund their accounts and set realistic stop-loss levels and profit objectives.
6. Jamie Thorsen: A natural in forex (April 2012)
Shortly before her retirement, forex trader extraordinaire Jamie Thorsen sat down with Futures to discuss her long career at BMO and offer her insights on everything from the Eurozone crisis to international regulation and the U.S.-China relationship.
5. Using the broken-wing butterfly options strategy (September 2011)
This 2011 article examines the costs and benefits of the broken-wing butterfly option spread, designed to offer the upside of a butterfly strategy at a much lower cost.
4. Top 50 brokers of 2012: The good, bad and ugly of a post-MF Global world (December/January 2013)
The past few years have been tough ones for futures commission merchants, between the collapse of MF Global and the revelation of Russ Wasendorf Sr.’s long-running embezzlement scheme at Peregrine Financial. In this broker roundtable, Futures convened six industry leaders to share their perspectives on declining futures volumes, the transition to over-the-counter products, new regulatory measures and more.
Bill Gross makes another appearance on the list with this August investment outlook questioning whether the pattern of stock market returns can continue in the future, or whether investors should look elsewhere in their efforts to duplicate those returns. Gross argues that stocks cannot realize a 6.6% real return “absent a productivity miracle that resembles Apple’s wizardry,” and cautions against governments pursuing inflationary solutions to slowing growth.
2. 50 years of trading: Larry Williams looks back (November 2012)
A lot of things have changed in the world since Futures first launched 40 years ago. One constant is the continued presence famed trader and author Larry Williams, who has created numerous technical indicators and trading concepts in the course of his half-century career. In this profile, Williams talks about the market event that sparked his interest in trading and what he’s learned from his years in the business.
1. Jim Sinclair has something to say (May 2012)
Far and away, the most popular story of the year was this Q&A with gold guru Jim Sinclair, which drew tens of thousands of readers and generated dozens of comments. In it, Sinclair shares his thoughts on the factors affecting gold, the lasting effects of the 2008 economic crisis and his work mining gold in Africa.
Looking for more popular Futures content? Now that you’ve perused our most-read stories of the year, take a look at the 10 most popular slideshows of 2012:
- Top 10 largest gold reserves by country
- 10 celebrities who worked on futures trading floors
- Top 10 trading movies
- Too-big-to-fail: 10 largest banks
- Top 10 natural gas producers by country
- Top 10 rogue traders
- Top 50 brokers of 2011
- Top 10 trading commercials
- 10 must-have apps for traders
- 15 key players in the MF Global bankruptcy