NYSSA Certificate in Commodity Trading & Trend Following
An exclusive online program
Courses with Michael Martin are delivered online with and through the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA). It is the largest member society of the CFA Institute and it was founded in 1937 by Ben Graham.
There are four online modules of study that need to be completed in order to attain the NYSSA Certificate in Commodities. The NYSSA will award the Certificate once the candidate has successfully completed the four modules of study online. The courses must be taken consecutively as they are progressive in nature.
The NYSSA Certificate in Commodities Trading Program will appeal to several strata of students:
• CFA Charter holders and CFA candidates
• Professional development students
• Current college students and recent graduates who want to learn how to trade
• Future CTAs (Commodity Trading Advisors)
• Those endeavoring a career in Prop Trading or at a hedge fund
Module 1: Introduction to Commodities & Technical Analysis
• History of commodities
• Basic fundamentals of physical commodities
• Technical Analysis basics
• Quizzes & Assessments
The student will be introduced to all the commodities, what exchanges they trade on, a very brief history of commodities in the US, and some basic fundamentals. They will be taught how to draw trend lines correctly, how to recognize a change in trend, and key reversal points on a chart. Students will learn to look at price and volume data over multiple time frames such as 3 and 6-minute bars, as well as daily, weekly, and monthly charts.
We will do a compare and contrast between the commodity space and the equity space, which most students have a decent grasp of.
The roles of hedgers and investors will be examined and each student will go through several online quizzes and assessments. There will also be embedded mp3 files that include some key insight (like a lecture) and some screen-grab videos so that I can illustrate how the market activity unfolds in real time.
Module 2: Directional Trades and Trend Following
• Full discussion on Trend Following
• Moving Average Crossover Systems
• Breakout Trading Systems
• Full discussion on Technical Indicators
Students will be introduced to trend following methodologies that traders and managers use to create trading systems. They include Moving Averages (simple and exponential), Breakouts, technical indicators, and the importance of volume at key chart points. Much of this module builds upon Module 1 and students will complete these modules consecutively. The technical indicators we will cover include Keltner Channels, ADX, RSI, Donchian Channels, and Average True Range (ATR). These will be introduced again in Module 4 because they are heavily relied upon for building one’s complete trading system.
Module 3: Commodity Spreads & Seasonal Trades
• Intra-commodity Spreads (grains, softs)
• Inter-commodity spreads (metals, grains, financials)
• Reading What Spreads can teach Traders
• Old Crop / New Crop Spreads
• Product Spreads (crush, crack)
Spreads are a natural extension for commodity traders as they capture how the hedger sees the world of commodities. Spreads are a way of life for the floor trader. Decades and sometimes over a century of domestic and international consumption and production data can be found by looking closely at both intra- and inter- commodity spreads.
Students will be introduced to intra-commodity spreads in most of the agriculture and softs sectors of commodities. Many of these evolve around weather and driving patterns and some are expressed as “old crop / new crop” spreads. Spread price data tells us if the commodity has abundant supply or if it is high in demand. Therefore, spreads are often referred to as “leading indicators” for the commodity itself.
Intra-commodity spreads in cotton, wheat, soybeans, and sugar will be covered. Product spreads such as the crack spread between crude oil, heating oil, and gasoline will be studied, as well as the crush spread between soybeans, soybean oil, and bean meal will be studied in detail. Some inter-commodity spreads will be covered such as gold/platinum, natural gas/crude oil, and the different maturities between the treasuries that comprise the yield curve.
Module 4: Building a Complete Risk Management Trading System
• Entering trades – establishing a position
• Exiting losing trades
• Exiting winning trades
• Adding to winning trades
• Calculating position sizes
• Moving Average Risk Management systems
• Breakout Trading Risk Management systems
• Correlation Risk between commodities
Trading systems have 3 distinct components: entry prices, exit prices, and position sizes. This module will evolve from the Moving Average and Breakout lectures and will include the inclusion of certain technical indicators to eliminate what is known as “noise” – false trading signals that yield only poor results. They act as a filter.
We will cover position sizing, risk per trade, what sectors of the commodity world are typically traded, when to add to winners, how to cut losers quickly, and how to avoid having positions that are highly correlated to one another (crude oil, heating oil, and gasoline are all highly correlated to one another, for example).
Students can register online and purchase a single class at a time. Purchasing the series of courses provides students with a 15% discount. Please enter your NYSSA membership number, if applicable.