The futures industry has had a tough couple of years, and with each storm there has been a dire warning that people will abandon it in droves. But the futures industry, particularly in Chicago, has faced many challenges and usually comes out the other end stronger through its ability to innovate.
In 2013, forex trading was linked intimately to expectations regarding changes in the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy. Certainly, in 2014 market expectations will continue to focus on the future of tapering policy.
Provided the economy performs as well as Federal Reserve policymakers expect, the Fed will phase out large-scale asset purchases within the next 10 months. That’s a big “if” of course. The Fed has been projecting a stronger recovery each of the last four years, only to see growth average around a tepid 2%.
Perhaps the most over-hyped and misused phrase in the trading world is “paradigm shift,” yet the proliferation of U.S. energy production has created just that. And it will take the world’s energy producers and consumers a while to get used to it.
The shale gas revolution in the United States has led to a collapse in prices but is too big to keep to ourselves. That is turning natural gas from a domestic market to a global one, and the global demand may cure the current low prices.
The advent of electronic trading brought an infatuation with for-profit exchanges, while Dodd-Frank brought hope of regulatory protection for the little guys. Neither delivered in 2013 — will 2014 be any different?
2013 was a year of anticipation and perhaps disappointment. For those hoping the 2012 election would have settled some of the dysfunction in Washington, that did not happen. In fact, we doubled down on fights already settled as if there were no new business. Equity markets impressed, but few saw it as anything other than the hand of the Fed. Mercifully, the Fed signaled the beginning of the end of QE3 by year-end.
Politically, 2013 was the year of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. First the GOP followed the direction of Junior Senator Ted Cruz (R Tex.) down a dark alley in a fight they were guaranteed to lose, and, then with the GOP on the ropes, the President and his team botched the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act website. In the markets all eyes were on Federal Reserve mainly because Congress abdicated all responsibility for moving the economy forward to Ben Bernanke, who finally signaled the beginning of the end of QE3.
Even if you do everything right in your first few trades and make money, you still have to pay the bills. Just like every business, trading has costs. Here are some to be aware of before you make your first trade.
Sean Pan and Ken Fu were high school buddies in China; they both came to the United States to study and find work in the energy field before coming back together to form Houston-based commodity trading advisor Pan Capital Management.