WHY LEARN HOW TO TRADE FUTURES SPREADS?

There are many different reasons to start trading futures spreads, many different trading strategies and classes you might consider, and many instructors to choose from. Our approach to teaching and our goals are different from others.
CQG Spreader


SHORT DESCRIPTION OF FUTURES SPREADS TRADING

If you ask any retail trader a simple question - "What type of trading or trading strategy do they use? - they would probably answer scalping, day trading, swing trading, trend following, or maybe options trading.

The vast majority of traders do not even know that insiders, managers, locals, and many successful traders do not use any one of the above strategies in their trading. Despite the phenomenal development of e-commerce over the past 15 years, the strategy of professionals remains a secret for the majority of non-professional market participants. What is this strategy, you ask? The answer is very simple: seasonal trading of futures spreads!

What makes spread trading so attractive to professionals? There are many factors but I will mention only a few:

Seasonality.

Futures markets are subject to certain seasonal factors that repeat from year to year. You all know that the economy is built on a simple supply and demand rule, which in turn varies with the time of year. For crops, we have a planting and harvesting season; for energy, we have an increased demand for fuel during the holidays or during the cold season, natural gas is subject to hurricane season from June to October and the weather, orange juice, and coffee are related to the weather in Brazil and in Florida, currencies, and indices influenced by a meeting of the Federal Reserve or Central Banks, etc.

"Smart money", or big professional traders, have been trading seasonality for a very long time, and there is a good reason for it. To give you an idea, consider, for example, that the seasonal spread of Soybean between the old and the new crop has been profitable at 82% since 1970, with the highest profit of about $25,000 per contract in one year, and the seasonal spread for Soybean Oil was profitable at 90% of entrances over the past 15 years!


Margin Requirements.

Many traders can not trade positions due to the fact, that position trading requires a full initial market margin and day trading usually requires as little as 25% of the initial margin. If we look at the Soybean Futures mentioned above, the initial margin requirement for positional trading at the moment of this writing is $1,950.00 for one contract. Compare it to the margin requirement for the Old Crop / New Crop Futures Spread for 2020, which is $325.00 for the 05/2020-11/2020 futures spread. If the futures market moves just 10 cents in your direction, you would realize about a 25% return on your initial margin. If the futures spread moves 10 cents in your direction, you would realize about a 150% return on your initial margin. It is easy to see why many professionals prefer to trade futures Spreads.

Trade without stops.

If you trade Futures without protective Stops, you will very quickly learn that this is very dangerous. Markets moves are unpredictable, the price of the futures contract can move to the market limits where it will be impossible to liquidate your positions. Even if you have a protective STOP, it does not guarantee that you will limit your losses to the intended amount, since market conditions could make it impossible to close your position at the price price. There are also be circumstances, when the exchange will simply cancel your Stop order, if, for example, there is a huge gap above or below your Stop Order and the best available price to fill your order would be more than a certain allowable range. These are all extreme examples, that could happen, but the most likely scenario is that simple market nice will hit your Stop Order before continuing movement in your direction.

When you trade Calendar Futures Spreads, you can greatly minimize your risk compared to Futures simply because you will be holding two contracts in the same commodity with different expiration dates - one is Short and one is Long. Even if the market moves Limit Up or Limit Down the spread would not change that much, and quite often won't change at all since you would have an unrealized loss on one leg of the spread that will be offset by unrealized profits on the other leg.

In certain spreads and markets, when entered properly, you can limit your risk exposure to "Carrying Charge" between two contracts in your spread. Since many futures markets are built on the principle of contango, where the price of long-term contracts is higher than the spot price, the maximum risk when trading these spreads in such markets will always be equal to the full "caring charge" price, or the amount required to hold the commodity in storage until later delivery day. You can trade the following markets using "carrying charge" as your protective stop in normal market conditions: corn, wheat, soybean, soybean meal, soybean oil, sugar, cocoa, orange juice, copper, and pork.

Low cost.

Trading Futures Spreads is low in cost since you don't trade often and hold your open positions for a long period of time. Less trading means fewer expenses associated with active trading.

EXAMPLE:

Here is an example of a calendar spread in Soybeans. In this example, the Soybeans spread on May 2009 - September 2010, moved from January to March from minus 30 basis points to plus 206 basis points. This movement of the market represents an $11,800 increase in value of just one spread. The cost to enter and hold this position was $920.00. The rate of return for this position represents 1,228 % in five months! This type of spread is very common in grain markets.

Now I think you understand, why Futures Spreads Trading is the most secret trading strategy of professional traders. 


Description of the Futures Spreads Master Class

PART ONE - Introduction

In this lesson we will tell you about the main components that are included in the futures spreads trading, tell you what makes spreads attractive to traders, talk about margin requirements, and consider the types of spreads. You will also learn about the basic rule that should be used when choosing futures spread, we will talk in detail about the so-called "limited risk spreads", seasonality when trading spreads, and the "two days" rule. In the second half of the lesson, we will examine in detail the settings of the QST Charts terminal and you will learn how to properly use the section "spread charts", how to enter and exit positions, and how to manage risk.

PART TWO - 20 of the most popular and historically profitable strategies.

The second part of our training course will be divided into several lessons, during which we will examine in detail the following types of spreads for various commodity futures commodities:

Grain Spreads

→ Soybeans
→ Soybean Meal
→ Soybean Oil
→ Corn
→ Wheat
→ Oats

Meat Spreads

→ Live Cattle
→ Feeder Cattle
→ Lean Hogs

Softs Spreads

→ Orange juice
→ Sugar
→ Cocoa
→ Cotton

Metal Spreads

→ Silver
→ Gold
→ Copper

TRADING TERMINAL

Any knowledge not tied to the practice will be useless, so we conduct all our training courses using one of the best professional trading terminals for trading futures, options, and spreads, an official analytical platform for CME Group - QST Charts.

You can find out more about this terminal by getting a free DEMO for 14 days before the start of training by filling out a demo request here.

All participants in the training will receive a new DEMO version for the duration of the course, even if they have already received a demo before.

For real trading, you can use any trading terminal that suits you.


TIME AND PLACE OF TRAINING

Individual courses are held at any time convenient for you immediately after payment. We will contact you within 24 hours after payment to arrange the schedule for training. We have evening and weekend times available for individual training.

The duration of the course is two weeks. We will have five sessions during this time. Each session lasts approximately three hours. After each session, you will have time to practice your new knowledge in a real market condition in the demo before the new lesson.

Each lesson is recorded and the video is stored on our servers. You will have access to these video recordings for six months after completing your training.

If you want to repeat this course, you can join our group session for free. Just let us know upon completion that you want to participate in the group session and we will notify you when the next group class will take place.

You do not have to open an account with ITG Futures to take this class, but we hope that you will be satisfied with our service and will become our client.

If you have any questions regarding this course, please contact us before making a purchase.

WHAT MARKETS CAN I TRADE?

You can trade virtually any markets, but the most profitable futures spreads are seosanal spreads in grains, meat, soft and energy markets. 
Agriculture markets

Agriculture markets

The largest segment of the futures market. In this segment, you can find futures on Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Soybean Oil, Oats, Rice, Live Cattle, Feeder Cattle, Lean Hogs as well as Coffe, Sugar, Cocoa, and Orange Juice.
Energy markets

Energy markets

Energy markets are very with day traders. Trade Crude oil, Natural Gas, Gasoline, Heating Oil, and Electricity. E-mini contracts are available for many energy futures.
Equity Index markets

Equity Index markets

Equity Index markets are the most popular markets for day-trading and scalping. This segment includes futures on US equity stock indices such as the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ 100.
Currency markets

Currency markets

Foreign exchange (FX) market is the largest regulated currency markets in the world. You can trade more than 30 contracts including Euro, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, and Dollar Index.
Interest rate markets

Interest rate markets

Interest rate markets are the most liquid and heavily traded futures markets. You can trade futures and on Eurodollars, U.S. Treasury Bonds, 30-day Fed funds and interest rate swaps.
Metals markets

Metals markets

Metals market includes futures on precious and industrial metals. You can trade futures on Gold, Silver, Platinum, and paladium—as well as industrial metals like Copper. There Mini and Micro Gold Futures also available for trading and hedging.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN TRADING COURSE?

Our intensive Options Master Class will be held during 6 weeks, via ZOOM platform, which not only allows all participant to held vide-conference, but also give you an ability to show your own screen if you need an assistance with you trading terminal. 
  • 8 lessons 2-3 hours each
  • 45 days access to Dorman QST
  • CQG market connection
  • FREE repeat classes
  • FREE help after the course
  • FREE video recording
Trader's Desk

Who will be teaching this course?

All our courses are taught by Val Baur, founder and CEO of ITG Capital Management LLC, managing director of ITG FUTURES, license broker and Commodity Trading Advisor with 20+ years of experience.

Professional Background

Val Baur started his financial career as a runner for the LaSalle Futures Group located in the Chicago Board of Trade. After training, they sponsored him for Series 3 NFA Brokers Exams, which he passed in 2004 and became a licensed commodity broker. While working at LaSalle Futures, Val became friends with Bill Adams, head trader, and financial analyst, with numerous appearances on Bloomberg, CNBC, Morning Call, and other financial news outlets.
 
Val Baur
Val Baur/Founder and CEO ITG Capital Management LLC/
Val Baur
Val Baur/Founder and CEO ITG Capital Management LLC/
Director of development at ITG Futures, Commodity Trading Advisor ar ITG Capital Management 2004 - Registration with NFA 2004-2005 - LaSalle Futures Group 2005-2008 - JKV Global 2006-2008 - Olympus Futures / RCG 2008 - 2018 - ITG Direct 2012 - 2022 - ITG Capital Management LLC 2019 - 2022 - ITG Futures 2023 - present - FIB Stage V Trading Inc

After Bill Adams was recruited to big brokerage company JKV Global as Chief Financial Officer, he offered Val a position as a head of Retail Division, which he accepted. At JKV Global, Val was responsible for preparing new candidates for registration exam and was overseeing more than 20 brokers working under him in this division. After awhile, Bill Adams moved to Switzerland to join his wife and head the trading desk at major Swiss Hedge Fund. Val Baur, moved to another position at Olympus Futures, which was a retail brokerage division of one of the largest and oldest Future Commission Merchant (FCM) - RCG - located in the CME exchange building.

At Olympus Futures, Val was working as a head option strategist, designing option strategies for all POA managed accounts at the firm. At start of financial crisis of 2008, the futures industry along with other financial institutions, took a major hit, and in January 2008, Val moved to Kyiv, Ukraine where he established brokerage company ITG DIRECT, clearing through Dorman Trading LLC. The company run for 10 years, with Dorman Trading until 2012, and with Phillip Capital until 2018.

In 2012, Val Baur established a Commodity Trading Advisor firm, ITG Capital Management LLC, and re-registered with NFA. For over 10 years, Val was teaching his proprietary master classes to hundreds upon hundreds traders. He developed his own proprietary system in Futures, Options and Futures Spreads.

In 2014, at the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine, first in Crimea and than in Eastern Ukraine where Val is originally from, he moved back to Chicago where he continued to work as a CTA, while his brokerage company in Ukraine was run by his wife. Due to financial sanctions imposed on Russian Federation and occupied territories of Ukraine, Val folded his brokerage company ITG DIRECT in 2018.

In 2019, Val moved from Chicago to Miami, re-registered with NFA as principal of Brokerage Firm, and established ITG FUTURES, which was a guaranteed futures broker with Ironbeam clearing firm. Val worked as the Managing Director of ITG FUTURES for several years, but due to personal issues, withdrew his registration with NFA in january 2022. He took a year off, developing and building various trading algorithm using market algorithm, including ITG Strategy 2.3. In 2023, he joined forces with IIB Stage V Trading as an FIB, working with all traders from around the world located outside United States.

For more than 20 years of registration with NFA, Val Baur and ITG Capital Management LLC were never fined and sanctioned by the NFA. His personal registration history and the history of ITG Capital Management LLC is freely available for review on the official NFA website through the search engine BASIC.
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HOW DO YOU TEACH ONLINE CLASSES?

All our Master Classes conducted online via ZOOM, the most popular video conferencing platform in the United States, used by such companies as NASDAQ, Walmart, Rakuten, New York Times, Major League Baseball and even Google.
  • JOIN IN VIA SIMPLE LINK
  • NO SOFTWARE TO INSTAL
  • JOIN VIA ANY BROWSER
  • WATCH ON YOUR TELEPHONE
  • VOICE AND VIDEO CONNECTION
  • VIEW VIDEO RECORDING
  • SHOW YOUR SCREEN IF NEEDED
Flying Trading Screens

HOW CAN I SIGN UP FOR YOUR COURSES AND WHAT IS THE COST?

We offering several types of classes - individual one on one training, small group training, and video courses with live support. All courses are the same, with only difference being the start and the cost. Most popular are the group classes, which start at the beginning of the month with minimum of 5 participants. Individual courses start at the agreed upon time and date, soon after payment is received. The length and overall schedule of the individual training are the same in our group classes. Video courses will start soon after you sign up. You will have access to our video archive of the last group/individual class for the duration of the class - which is eight weeks.

INDIVIDUAL

$2000

  • 8 lessons 2-3 hours each
  • 45 days Dorman QST ($500.00)
  • CQG market connection ($75.00)
  • FREE repeat classes ($695.00)
  • FREE help after the course
  • VIDEO recording of the course
  • Start whenever you choose
  • Payment in USD | EUR or your currency

VIDEO

$1100

  • 8 lessons 2-3 hours each
  • 45 days Dorman QST ($500.00)
  • CQG market connection ($75.00)
  • FREE repeat classes ($695.00)
  • FREE help after the course
  • VIDEO recording of the course
  • After payment received
  • Payment in USD | EUR or your currency

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Find answer to the frequently asked questions about our Master Classes, payment option, account opening, live trading, after-course support. 
What other classes you teach?

Our most popular course if Futures Trading Master Class. For more advanced traders we are offering master classes in Futures Options Trading and Futures Spreads Master Class.

What types of payments you accept?
How can I contact you?
At what time your classes start?
What computer do I need to participate?
What to do, if I missed a class?
Can I take your class again?
Can I really make $100.00 to $1,000 a day by using your system?
Do you offer any discounts?
Do you teach in different languages?
Can Russians take your Master Class?

Contact Us if you have any questions.

HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS, SOME OF WHICH ARE DESCRIBED BELOW. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFITS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN. NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL WILL ACHIEVE PROFITS USING TRADING SYSTEMS AND STRATEGIES TAUGHT IN THIS TRADING COURSE. IN FACT, THERE ARE FREQUENTLY SHARP DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND THE ACTUAL RESULTS SUBSEQUENTLY ACHIEVED BY ANY PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM.

ONE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS IS THAT THEY ARE GENERALLY PREPARED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. IN ADDITION, HYPOTHETICAL TRADING DOES NOT INVOLVE FINANCIAL RISK, AND NO HYPOTHETICAL TRADING RECORD CAN COMPLETELY ACCOUNT FOR THE IMPACT OF FINANCIAL RISK IN ACTUAL TRADING. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND LOSSES OR TO ADHERE TO A PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM IN SPITE OF TRADING LOSSES ARE MATERIAL POINTS WHICH CAN ALSO ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS. THERE ARE NUMEROUS OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO THE MARKETS IN GENERAL OR TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY SPECIFIC TRADING PROGRAM WHICH CANNOT BE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE PREPARATION OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND ALL OF WHICH CAN ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS.

TRADING DISCLOSURE

Trading Futures and Options on Futures involves a substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. You should carefully consider whether trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition, circumstances, and industry knowledge. You may lose all or more of your initial investment. Opinions, market data, and recommendations are subject to change at any time. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Full Risk Disclosure | Privacy Policy / Legal | GDRP Policy

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