Futures track record?

Trader's Mindset

Nov 15

I recently got an email from a vendor with a futures track record. They claimed to be up $5400 on one contract. And, then I went to the track record and guess what, there was a spreadsheet with just profits or losses shown and no trades! This is not a track record.

A real track record should show trades and statements. Tracking services like Collective 2, Striker, and World Cup offer real tracking. They are not, however, guaranteed to tell the whole story.

For example, I found one trader who white-labeled “Collective 2” strategies. While there is nothing wrong with white-labeling systems, this trader implied they were his own creation. This particular trader has a big following online and runs a large community.

On one YouTube video, the vendor said, “you know sometimes I’m going in and layering in”- on a strategy that all indications suggest he did not create nor develop. In another, he said “we’ll try to close them by end-of-day but sometimes we’ll hold them over”. No sir, you will not try to close them at the end of the day because you aren’t making those trades. You can tell this by simply looking at the ID and then going to the C2 to pull up the original system which was a different developer. Two systems were shown produced by other developers. This allowed the trader to imply he developed profitable strategies when he never did. Can you guess what happened to his actual strategy? It isn’t performing very well. Now, I like to see the best in everyone– and this trader really seems genuinely passionate from his other videos– but this is just poor and unethical. I cannot see any other explanation then trying to pass off other traders track records except to get sign ups to his unproven system. Of course, perhaps there is some other explanation– perhaps the trader is able to override the base system or add some value– but seems a stretch.

Another trader, a really rude and nasty YouTube trader, who again I think might actually have some value to offer– had a bad start on one of his systems. What he did was rename his system to “test” to hide it. However, it shows up because the original ID was promoted in his YouTube videos. It was clearly not a test system and C2 keeps a history of the name changes. The simplest explanation is this trader started producing a track record, had a bad start, and tried to hide it.

Again the point of my blog is not to out cheats, nor to attract any negativity whatsoever, and I really do prefer to see the best in everyone. However, I hope this serves as a warning against naively believing in track records.

And, I do know some are always looking for an excuse–regardless of cheats– if you aren’t trading well then it is still your responsibility.

About the Author

The author is passionate about markets. He has developed top ranked futures strategies. His core focus is (1) applying machine learning and developing systematic strategies, and (2) solving the toughest problems of discretionary trading by applying quantitative tools, machine learning, and performance discipline. You can contact the author at curtis@beyondbacktesting.com.