Ian’s interest in trading began with the stock market after graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Economics and a focus in international business. A natural strength for numbers, trends, and pattern recognition, in conjunction with a curiosity to understand the big picture has enabled a desire to understand market behavior. Ian managed his own stock account before moving into the futures arena because of the wide scope of trade-able sectors and the ample amount of fundamental support behind these larger-scope markets.
While Ian does track the trends and fundamentals behind all major markets, he specializes in trading the financial markets (currencies, stock indices, treasuries, and metals) because of the interrelationship between them and his understanding of economic policy.
<ol> <li>Macroeconomic analysis: Markets perform differently depending on which stage of the business cycle the economy fits into at any given time. The most influential factors in this model are the directions of growth and inflation. For example, equities and industrial commodities do well when growth and inflation are both on the rise, while energies and treasuries outperform when growth and inflation are decelerating.</li> <li>Fundamental analysis: This has everything to do with supply and demand. Government and central bank policy also dictate how these market-making factors are perceived.</li> <li>Technical analysis: Charting is most useful for the timing of entry and exit. Topping patterns like the “evening star” or the “head-and-shoulders” may indicate a market reversal is imminent and profits should be taken (or shorts should be considered). Breakout patterns like the “morning star” or the “cup-with-handle” indicate buying pressure may be mounting in the market. It is also important to consider volume and momentum studies when performing technical analysis.</li> </ol>
Strengths and Trading Philosophy
Obviously, nobody can navigate the markets with complete certainty. By performing detailed analysis, Ian can optimize probability before moving into a trade. If all 3 facets of analysis paint the same picture, he feels most comfortable about a trade whether it be with futures or option strategies. One of my preferred strategies is to buy (or sell) a futures contract and then sell an out-of-the-money call (or put) to protect the investment in the case of slight adverse price movement while simultaneously identifying a profit target if the option reaches in-the-money status.