Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Creating a premium subscription service

So its been about a year that i've been experimenting with blogging / tweeting my trades / market thoughts.  As a former flow / prop trader for one of the larger investment banks, i used to just talk with other guys on the desk about our trade ideas to come up with what we thought was "market consensus".  Now that i've gone out on my own, its been a process of finding the right balance of reading social media "news" and talking with my former dealer buddies to recreate this experience.  As any trader can attest, the market can be a humbling beast.

I've found twitter to be a really good resource for market news, and also a convenient platform for sending out trade ideas...it fits nicely with the short attention span of a trader like me.  Sometimes there are trading ideas that require more than 140 characters...which would make for better blog entries or entire articles...but my attention span usually keeps me from creating these.

I've also found that very few people understand my supply-imbalance model....and the supply distributions that result seem to catch a lot of people off-guard.

Over this time i've received many requests for more in-depth articles, as well as more detailed trading plans and more commentary on why i post certain trades on twitter...why i entered...why i exited when i did..etc...expecially when i identify a supply-imbalance  Since this blog, and twitter, were originally just a place for me to vent / note my trading ideas to keep track of my own trading, i never considered this platform would receive as much attention as it ha.

At the request of my readers, i'm going to try something new.  I'll create more detailed and in-depth write-ups of my higher confidence trade ideas (still in real-time) along with tweeting my actual trades and thoughts as the market develops, and send them out to subscribers of a newsletter type of service.  I'll still post on twitter...and sometimes on this blog...but i'll save the best (and real-time content) of my ideas for subscribers of this new subscription product.  I'm not sure how much to charge...its been suggested 500/month.  I'm sure professional traders and institutional traders wouldn't blink at that price (i used to pay a strategist 10k/month just to talk to me...but that was the investment banks money...so its a little different).  I'm assuming that most retail account type traders have 25k in their futures trading account.  With an account this size, trading in clips of 5 ZN contracts (6k of margin) seems fairly reasonable to me.

For my introductory period, i'm only charging $250 / month for this subscription.
Where 5 ZN contracts = $156/tick utilizing 6k of margin....i'm fairly confident that a single day of successful trading will pay for a months subscription service.  Larger traders just get to ride the coat-tails of the smaller guys...its something i can live with.

So, if you like the in-depth type of articles that i used to post on this blog...and if you like following my trades on twitter, then subscribe to my new service.  It will be in both email format...like a newsletter for ideas that are too large to post on twitter,  in addition to a private twitter feed for those real-time messages that just can't wait...such as trade entries and exits.  The frequency of the newsletter will depend on the market.  When i see supply-imbalances in the market, this newsletter service will be the only place i'll post that info.   That alone should be worth at least 2-4k/month to a retail account trading futures with 25k in your account.   I'll also create a special twitter feed that only members of the newsletter will have access to..so you can get my full trading ideas as they develop in real-time.

So...in summary...this is what you'll get for 250/month (using paypal of course).
1)  A newsletter with detailed descriptions of the market profile...and how i read them.
2)  Access to my private twitter feed (this will be new) detailing my trades in real-time.
3)  The only place where my supply-imbalance analysis will be posted (this is the liquid gold).
4)  RV (relative value) analysis when appropriate, indicating the best instrument on the curve to trade
 to achieve maximum P&L potential.

Since i'm a trader and not a journalist, please forgive my grammar.

The button to join the subscription service will also be posted on the top of this blog.

Welcome to the new frontier....

Preferred E-mail Address
Your Twitter Handle

PS.  A few details
1)  You must provide an email address so I can send you the supply-imbalance emails.
2)  You must provide your twitter handle so i can authorize you to see my private twitter feed.
3)  Subscriptions require a Paypal account


  1. I have been watching your posts for almost six months. Most Twitter posts are traders trying to sell their 'tips'. You state that your trades will easily pay for the subscription in one day. If that is the case why sell the 'tips'? Why not just make a lot of money and retire? I am genuinely interested in your service, but as Livermore said "If you need someone to tell you when to buy, who will tell you when to sell?"

  2. i couldn't post my response to your comment because it was too long...so i'm making it into its own blog post.

  3. These emails/newsletters of which you speak, say someone were to sign up in some months time, would they have access to that older content or only new stuff as it's released?

  4. You will have access to all the historical content...as well as live content as it is created. Since i just started this private service...i suggest you read all my historical content on this blog, and on the @govttrader twitter feed for the free historical content. I suggest you open a historical futures candle chart (with volume bars overlaid) and try to follow along what the mkt was doing while reading my mkt comments on twitter to get a feel for my style.

    If you are going to join my service, you really need to have access to the market at all times...because certain trades / setups happen very fast (sometimes minutes to seconds). I expect that my premium service subscribers are staring at the markets all day long...because that is exactly what i am doing all day long...every day. This is my full-time job (i am a professional trader...perhaps you would say HFT??)...and i love it...so there is no such thing as "too much" time spent trading.

    I spend 12-14 hours staring at the screens trading just about every day...and its totally worth it.

  5. While there is no "rule" that i use to define the time-frame of my trades, my typical position lasts less than 12 hours, but more than 30 minutes.

    Occasionally i will take positions overnight, and occasionally my trades last only minutes.

    I typically consider scalping an attempt to make 1-2 ticks in a very short (minutes) time-frame. However, my style is generally an effort to make 6-8 ticks. In order to capture my risk / reward ratio of risking 1 to make 2 (or risking 4 ticks to make 8 ticks), i generally must hold my positions for longer than a few minutes..usually closer to an hour at a minimum.

    Sometimes i have an hour of waiting before i can enter a trade, and sometimes that setup time only lasts minutes...so being active on twitter and being able to read tweets in real-time (via Tweetdeck for example) is an important aspect of my model.

  6. I appreciate your efforts here (and respect the entrepreneurial aspects too). Could you provide an estimate on the required trade sizes/initial capital you recommend in order to effectively trade in a similar fashion to yours? (e.g. where commissions/spreads wouldn't take too big of a bite)


  7. 1 - i would recommend opening your main trading account at interactive brokers - i think they are the best broker for trade execution (if not the cheapest...they are pretty close)
    2 - open an IRA or 401k retirement account at TD Ameritrade (i think 2k is the minimum) and signup for free mkt data
    3 - from the TD Ameritrade website download ThinkOrSwim (their free trading platform) and use TOS for your charting (its free)

    4 - you should have enough capital in your IB trading account to put on 8 units of a trade. So, if you are only going to trade ZN, then you only need 16k...but if you are going to trade ZB or UB, then you will need a minimum of 24k - 32k (and i would recommend having at least 20% more than the minimum as a buffer that you never intend to touch)

    5 - if you intend on trading inter-market spreads (such as ZN vs 6J) then you will need DOUBLE to TRIPLE the margin in your trading account...because the brokers and exchanges do not see these positions as risk reducing.

    You can trade this type of strategy with as little as 1 contract. Trading fees are linearly based on the number of contracts traded..so there is no size advantage in having a bigger or smaller account (until you hit the 500k account size).

  8. I know this is an old thread and comments, but wanted to update. Thanks for the tip about using TD Ameritrade. I actually was able to set up a Roth IRA with no minimum account balance/fees and it comes with the real time data and charts access. $0 balance. Still looking at brokers, but have the charting & data piece resolved.