Tomorrow I am getting a closer look into mini-sized grain futures. It was introduced by CBOT in 2007 and since then it gained a lot of traction increasing volumes and interest. Ag minis mirror their respective contracts - corn, wheat and soybeans; however there are a few nuances to point out.
The main is the margin requirement. This could be the main drive force which could drag you into grain minis. The mini-sized contracts are 1/5th the size of the standard one; which means while there are 5,000 bushels of corn or wheat in standard contract, as to trade a mini one, there is only 1,000 bu per contract. Thus there is less equity needed to open or to hold a position. This makes the minis attractive to test trades or to hold positions over night which could be too risky with real size ags.
If a tick move in standard grains is $12.50, in mini grains it would be $1.25.
On the contrary the volumes in mini-sized grains is dramatically less than in normal ones and it could only appeal to those who like very slow paced markets. The most unpleasant thing is the spread, which for standard grains is as less as one tick, seldom two, but in minis it could be up to 3 to ticks which makes mini-sized grains quite hard or almost impossible to day trade but could be good for swing trades.
Ninja Trader is well known for its easy-to-use automated trading strategies. There are many traders who use some quite complicated automation; however I am a beginner in that and currently playing with it as to get deeper into it. Here the most useful is shown as how to set up profit target and stop loss.
From the DOM simply need to select strategy --> Custom and from there set profit and loss targets and save the strategy. After that you can select this strategy and once entry trade executed, the exit targets are automatically set as well.
Corn is the most less volatile and trendy instrument among grains and that is why it makes it so appealing to trade. There is still not that much alogs involved there and more human interaction, physical commodity supply and demand, weather conditions and other commodities influence such as ethanol for instance.
I'm testing Ninja Trader for a week already and more I trade more I like it. Design looks quite appealing to me and rather cyberpunk I can say.
A lot of people who are into futures trading are fond of Ninja Trader platform. So here I go and am going to give it a try.
I haven't been using that many platforms for the past ten or so years being a trader. When I began trading I started with CFDs on MT4 platform, trading mainly SPX and DAX. After that I had a short period with options and OptionMonster, trading options on AAPL, QQQ and SPY. And only after that I got hooked on futures trading and especially grains - ZC, ZW and ZS. I've been using FireTip platform from Ironbeam which still I like quite much especially the older version reminding me of some retro computer trading of late 80s and early 90s - the time I'm a quite big fan of. I think it was the best time for trading where computers only helped people and traders were in the center of this industry; however with computer science developing and going further into trading business, algos entered among us which led traders to seek more sophisticated programs so to say, i.e. platforms, to use as to trade. I heard that NJ platform offered quite good not algo but pre-set strategy trading which to provide better execution and fills. What I've been struggling to get from FireTip is good execution, so now I am testing my trading strategies in Ninja Trader as to see how it works out.
Apart from that NJ design is quite cyberpunk which appeals quite a bit to me.