Questions and Answers
I'm having trouble finding my way around Unfair Advantage's
online manual. The index is somewhat helpful, but it doesn't give me all the
information I would like. Do you plan to add a Table of Contents?
The online manual's Table of Contents was lost through a
technical glitch that has been corrected. We regret the inconvenience and are
grateful to the customers who called it to our attention. If you can't access
the Table of Contents in your version of the UA manual, please visit our
website and download the latest upgrade.
Unfair Advantage does not appear to express half-point values
for certain commodities such as CME Lean Hogs and Eurodollar. Is this the case
and, if so, how can I see the full values?
At CSI, we emulate the exchanges' practice of not displaying
insignificant trailing digits for those commodities whose minimum tick is 2.5
points. For example, a CME Lean Hog price of 67.9 1/4 would be presented as
67.92 (the final 5 has been dropped). UA stores the full price values and
allows you to display them without truncation if desired. To do so, click
"Display as Decimal" on the "Displaying Data" tab of UA's Data Options. The
commodities affected by this truncation are: CME - Live Cattle, Lean Hogs, Pork
Bellies, Pork Cutouts, Feeder Cattle, Butter, Libor, Eurodollar, Mexican Peso,
S.A. Rand and Russian Ruble; MACE - Live Hogs and Live Cattle; Simex -
Eurodollar; and Matif - Rapeseed.
I use one third-party program for analyzing the stock data I
download from CSI and another program for commodity data. Is there a way to
separate the markets so I don't have to sort through both commodities and
stocks when I leave UA?
Yes. Although UA supports just one portfolio in which to
list all files created for export, you can direct the output directory for each
item or group of items in your portfolio. For example, when inserting stocks,
you can select any number of stocks together and specify one export folder and
format for the entire group. You can then switch the market type to
"Commodities" and, again, select any number of markets to be stored in a
different folder and format. When analyzing the data in your third-party
software, direct the program to the appropriate folder (or folders) and avoid
those folders holding data of the unwanted market type.
Incidentally, you can expedite your entry into another
program through the prompt "After Daily Distribution is complete execute the
command:_________________" on the Daily Distribution screen of Data Options.
Simply enter the path and filename of the executable file that launches your
analysis program and click [OK].
I liked the way UA used to automatically display the list of
commodities whenever I wanted to choose a series to chart or add to my
portfolio. Now I have to click the [.] (browse) button to display the list I'm
all for progress, but would you consider bringing back that feature?
It is at your fingertips! Go to the "General" screen of Data
Options and click the "Choose Markets from List" box to restore this feature to
I've been using UA for quite a while now and have read all
the "Unfair Advantage Tips" more than once. Can I turn this feature off?
Yes. This feature is included to help you get acquainted
with the software. Admittedly, its usefulness is short-lived for most UA
subscribers. When you've had enough, uncheck the "Display Tips at Startup" box
on the "General" screen of Data Options.
I would like to manually input my trading account balance
into UA so that I can view an equity curve of my trading record. Does UA allow
me to create and maintain a series with a "dummy" symbol?
Your idea for tracking your equity curve may be most quickly
handled through a spreadsheet. UA offers a massive database supplied and
maintained only by CSI. It does not allow for manual input of data series. We
plan to add an accounting module to UA that will include this and many other
capabilities. Watch this Journal for more information on the Trader's
Which continuous series gives the most accurate prices for
historical study of commodities?
In most analytical work, we have engaged Perpetual Contract®
data as our preferred choice. The constant time to delivery offers stability
and makes it possible to jointly analyze several markets under similar rules in
the same analytical environment. The industry norm seems to invoke use of the
backadjusted series because the current contract is easily identified with
current prices. There probably isn't any best way to view data historically.
Opinions seem to be strong about each of the many possible choices.