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Frequently Asked Questions


The U.S. Treasury 30-Year Bonds don't have an E-mini future - why is your site called E-mini Bonds?

When a lot of traders think about trading financial futures they think mainly about trading the E-mini futures, in particular the S&P 500 E-mini. I have nothing against trading E-mini futures, but I think the bonds are an under-rated future to trade! By calling my site E-mini Bonds I'm hoping to attract the attention of traders that are considering E-mini trading - perhaps they'll agree that the bond futures are great to trade!



I'm a little unsure of what you're speculating on when you trade 30-Year Bond futures - can you explain?

Yes. When you trade 30-Year Bond futures you are speculating on what the price of a 30-Year Bond will be at some point in the future. If you're new to futures or 30-Year Bonds refer to my new to futures trading page.


As an example, if it's July 2010 and you are trading the September 2010 contract then you are speculating on what the price of the 30-Year Bond will be on a specific day in September (the actual day is not important as you will have already moved to the next contract by the time that day is reached - see the last question for more details).



Can I trade the 30-Year Bond futures outside the regular stock market hours?

Yes. The trading hours for the 30-Year Bond futures are 5:30 pm to 4:00 pm the next day, Sunday to Friday (U.S. Central Time). Because the 30-Year Bond does not (in theory!) depend on what the stock market is doing, the bond price can move quite nicely after hours. The actual bonds are traded via an 'open outcry' between 7:20 am and 2:00 pm, Monday to Friday (U.S. Central Time), so this is the period where you see the most volume.


I do not live in the U.S. so I take trades outside of regular hours all the time. Often I will take trades late evening my time, which corresponds to very early morning in the U.S. See my blog for some outside-hours trades caught on video.



Is it really possible to make a daily income only trading for a couple of ticks?

Yes! The 30-Year Bond futures are relatively unique in that they have quite a large tick price: $31.25. A two-tick profit, after commission, would be approximately $60 per contract. Trading five contracts would produce a daily income of about $300, so a weekly income of about $1,500. Trading 10 contracts would produce a daily income of about $600, so a weekly income of about $3,000.



Do I need NinjaTrader to use your system?

No. My system signals can be identified using common indicators that every trading platform has. I will teach you how to set up your charts and identify signals. If you do have NinjaTrader, however, then you will be able to download my indicator free of charge. The indicator plots everything you need, including the trade signals and the entry price to use. Learn more about my indicator here.


NOTE: My system uses tick charts, so if you don't use NinjaTrader you'll need to ensure your trading platform supports tick charts, and that you can adjust the number of ticks-per-bar on a chart to any value. There are some trading platforms that have only preset tick values.



Do you offer a guarantee with your system?

One of the biggest reasons traders fail is due to lack of discipline, or trading with real money when they are not ready. My system will produce multiple signals a day that are good for two ticks or more, however I have no way of knowing if you are following my system with discipline and that you have practiced adequately before trading with real money. Because of this it is impossible to offer a guarantee.


Be cautious of sites that offer guarantees - double-check what they are promising. There are no guarantees in trading!



What is the commission when trading the 30-Year Bond futures? What is the margin requirement?

Every broker is different so you will need to check with your broker for the exact commission rate and margin requirement. As a guideline, I personally pay $3.12 commission per contract and my broker offers me a $500 intraday margin. Send me an e-mail if you would like to know which broker I use.



When do the 30-Year Bond futures contracts rollover? That is, when should I start trading the next contract?

The 30-Year Bond futures are a little more complicated than regular E-mini futures. Luckily, however, there is a simple answer to this question. Firstly, the bond futures have a 'Last Trading Day'. As the name suggests, this is the last day a bonds future contract can be traded. It is the seventh business day preceding the last business day of the delivery month. For example the September 2010 contract (ZB 09-10) can be traded until seven business days before the last business day of September, so until September 21 2010.


Although there is a last trading day, traders move to the next contract much earlier than this. The reason is because of what's known as the 'First Notice Day'. This is the first day that a buyer of a futures contract can be called upon to take delivery of the underlying asset. For bond futures this is the last business day of the month preceding the current contract month.


To summarize all of that, most traders will switch to trading the next contract on the last business day of the month preceding the current contract month. For example most traders will switch from trading the September 2010 contract to the December 2010 contract on August 31 2010. You can check out the 30-year bond product calendar here. You should move to the next contract on the First Notice Day.



U.S. Government Required Disclaimer - Commodity Futures Trading Commission


Futures trading involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for every investor. The valuation of futures may fluctuate, and, as a result, clients may lose more than their original investment. Prices in the underlying cash or physical markets do not necessarily move in tandem with futures prices. In no event should the content of this correspondence be construed as an express or implied promise, guarantee or implication by or from E-mini Bonds that you will profit or that losses can or will be limited in any manner whatsoever.
Past results are no indication of future performance.
Information provided in this correspondence is intended solely for informational purposes. Information is in no way guaranteed. No guarantee of any kind is implied or possible where projections of future conditions are attempted.


CFTC RULE 4.41 - HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.