The Individual Futures Group (IFG) is a popular choice for charting because it's a quick and easy way to view multiple current contracts of your selected market(s) without having to choose them individually. This is a good alternative to selecting "Normal" contracts that is especially useful when multiple symbols are being charted simultaneously. The charts that display are "Normal Futures Charts," which are unadjusted, non-continuous data series for individual futures contracts.
To create a set of Individual Futures Group charts, begin by selecting the futures market or markets and making other common charting selections as described in the "Futures Charts" topic.
From the center region of the Selecting Data Series screen, click the "IFG" tab, which is second from the left (see below). Our example shows a selection screen for CBT Corn, CSI #9, symbol C.
Contract Months To Include
If you have entered only one symbol, your first customizable setting is the Contract Months To Include:
The selections represent the list of delivery months that UA will use in selecting contracts for your Individual Futures Group. It does NOT select these months for charting automatically. The typical selection is to leave this entry as it is, without changing it.
The default selections (those initially marked with an X) are the delivery months UA's Market Specs Factsheets identify as "normal" trading months. These are the active contracts that are normally traded over the course of the year. They are the ones listed as "V" (for valid) in the Active Months field of the Market Specs. Other months may be available. For example, the Market Specs may list some months as "S" (for switching month). If you want to add other months besides the active ones or delete selected months, click the box over the month. Click [All] at right if you want every possible contract to be available.
When multiple symbols have been entered, all normal, active contracts will be selected automatically, and you will not have the choice of identifying alternative months.
Selecting Individual Futures Group (IFG) Settings
The "IFG" screen shows the settings you may customize for your set of IFG charts:
You'll need to select the appropriate response for each of the following:
Enter the number of nearby contracts you want to chart for each of your selected markets. If you prefer, you may select a number from one to ten from a menu by clicking the arrow at the right of the box and clicking your selection:
As contracts grow near (or nearer) to their expiration month, they move into the window for inclusion in the Individual Futures Group charts, which is determined by this value. An Individual Futures group might include all contracts, the five nearest contracts, or perhaps just the nearest one or two.
Keep in mind that if you have chosen multiple symbols, each selected contract represents multiple charts. The number of charts that can be charted simultaneously is subject to the charting limit specified as Memory Cache Size in UA Preferences.
Include Cash: If you would like the cash price automatically included as an additional chart (where available), check the "Include Cash" box by clicking it.
When charting from an Individual Futures Group, you must identify when contracts will be added or deleted from the list of selected markets through the "Rolling" settings. The are:
Day from start of month - Enter the date of the expiration month (or other month, if identified below) when the contract that is closest to delivery should be omitted from the list of charts. For example, 1 means the contract should be dropped on the first day of the month. 15 means that the lead contract is dropped on the 15th of the month.
Months Prior - This points to which month the "day from start of month" (above) refers. 0 indicates no months prior, so the date listed above is in the expiration month. Use 1 for the month before the expiration month, 2 for two months prior, etc.
Detrending is not recommended for IFG contracts. Be sure to adjust the date range and post processing settings (if desired) as described in the "Futures Charts" topic before finishing your selection.