Free Futures Data

Discussion in 'Data Sets and Feeds' started by opmtrader, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. Hello Fellow Traders. I've recently compiled some futures data into yearly files and posted them on my website. This should help those of you who are interested in backtesting from having to compile many individual daily files into continuos files. These files will allow you to sort and isolate particular contracts and contract months. I hope this will be useful to some of you. I've learned a great deal from the members of these forums and I look forward to learning and contributing more in the future. The address is below:

  2. Thanks! I'm just taking a look at it now. What's your opinion on continuous adjusted data? I've only started looking at futures, but it seems there a great deal of contention as to the effectiveness of adjusting for the rollover, and the best way to do it.

    Does anyone know where one could read a thorough treatment of the topic and it's implications?
  3. Great question. I hope I can provide a good answer. As you know continuous data is essentially an average of all the contracts at that time. This sounds great until you realize that you could never actually get those prices. Also you will find that that file has no daily range so if you are creating a system that liquidates on stops your stops will certainly lie outside the price reported on that day thus creating a totally unrealistic trading scenario. Personally I built a system using continuous data and stops that worked unbelievably well, it compounded into the trillions of dollars over a 30 year period, but realized too late that this performance was primarily related to compuonding the positive errors of the unrealistic stops. In my opinion just don't use it especially for shorter term systems where these problems would be compounded.

    As for what to do, I am still grappling with this problem. I believe you must test each individual contract and carry over the signals of your system if it is still in a trade at the end of the contract period. Also you should be trying to roll your system on to each front month as to capture the most dramatic periods of movement, if this is the aim of your system. I've attached a graph of 1996's Corn contracts to give you an idea of the dramatic differences between contract prices and to illustrate what impact those differences could have on your system.

    One last thing, don't get too discouraged about data mistakes. I wasted about 6 weeks using continuous data before I had realized what I had done. At the same time I had just finished reading Mark Ritchie's book God in the Pits, highly recommended, and then reread his interview in New Market Wizards and found that he had wasted six months using continuous data when he built his systems. Hope this wasn't too long of an answer. Best of luck.