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Quick Start Guide
Host FAQ
  » Welcome
  » Search
  » My Saved Trades
  » History
  » Now It’s Your Turn
  » About Host & Seasonals
  » Notes on the Best of Host
  » Important Notes About Spreads
  » Definitions
 
BEFORE YOU BEGIN


PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS PROGRAM

Dear Trader:

Thank you for your interest in our outstanding seasonal software. To the best of our knowledge, there is NOTHING available to the trading public (as well as many professionals) that even comes close to this program. At the click of a few keys you have access to over 1,000,000 key date seasonal trades and spreads in stocks and futures. You can search the extensive historical database by date of entry, P/L ratio, historical % of time correct, by market and by month. You can view the trades you have selected in spreadsheet form and/or in chart form. And you can refine your searches within categories in order to select the trades you want.

Although HOST is an incredibly POWERFUL, state of the art program, it is not a guaranteed "holy grail" sure-fire road to riches tool. It can only work as well as you can. In other words, if you're a poor trader, undisciplined, disorganized, gun shy, or poorly capitalized, this program may not help you, no matter how good it may be. The bottom line is, of course, the TRADER and not the METHOD or the SYSTEM. The trader is clearly the weakest link in the chain. The trader causes good systems to work poorly. The trader is the force that can cause a system to perform well or to regress to the mean (or worse).

In order to improve your potential with HOST, you must do the following:
  • Read, learn and study the accompanying HOST directions contained in these pages.

  • Use good sense when following trades from HOST. Do this by using confirming indicators, trend indicators, and timing methods.

  • Manage risk and limit risk. If the potential loss from a trade, given its percentage stop loss as shown on the HOST trade rules is too high given its current price, then pass on the trade or use an option or an options strategy.

  • Be sure you are sufficiently capitalized to take the trades that interest you. Being undercapitalized will often result in losses you might not otherwise have to suffer since you may not have the margin to stay with a trade to its conclusion.

  • Trade a balanced portfolio. No one can follow all the seasonal trades. Instead of attempting to trade too many times, focus on an unduplicated, uncorrelated portfolio of markets that will spread your risk. Diversification is one of the cardinal rules to successful trading!

  • Above all, have the discipline to play your own game. Don't jump out of winning trades too quickly by reacting to news or to advice and information superfluous to your trades.

These rules, when combined with an understanding of how to use this program will benefit you greatly in the short run as well as in the long run. Remember that profitable trading requires several important inputs, only ONE of which is an effective trading methodology.

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QUICK START GUIDE

Welcome
Welcome to High Odds Seasonal Trades (HOST) On-Line. You made a WISE decision that can pay off for you in profits.

HOST is the most comprehensive, most thoroughly researched, most advanced seasonal trading software we know of. Use it correctly and you'll have the EGDE over other traders.

We've made finding the trades you're looking for in HOST extremely easy. These quick start instructions will have you on your way in no time.

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Search
Once you've logged into HOST, you'll find yourself on the Saved Trades page. If you are just getting started you will not have any saved trades just yet. But soon you will. You can easily navigate to the search page for any of the modules you are subscribed to by clicking on the Search Trades link in the banner and then choosing the module you want to search from the drop down menu.

Each module of SeasonalTrader.com has a single search page. All searching for trades in the given module is done from this search page.

Once you arrive at the search page, begin by selecting the market or markets that you would like to search. To select more than one market (or stock), hold down the Control (Ctrl) key while making your selections or just click and drag with your mouse to make contiguous selections.

Once you've selected the markets (or stocks) to search, the next set of options allow you to specify a range of dates for the start date of the trade. You can search for trades with start dates that fall within a certain month (or months) or within a specific date range. The search options default to Search By Month. If you want to search a date range instead, click in the Date Range radio button and specify a range of dates to search. Note that the Date Range option is NOT a start and end date for the trades. The Date Range option will return any trades that start within the given date range.

Now that you've selected your contracts and your start date range, you can further refine your search via the following Search Detail fields.
  • % Wins: Only return results with a % wins greater than or equal to this value.

  • P/L Ratio - Only return results with a profit to loss ratio greater than or equal to this value.

  • Stop: Set a maximum value for the stop that you wish to use on the trade. Stops for Commodities and Stocks are in percentages (e.g., 1, 2, etc.). Stops for Spreads are points and vary by spread.

  • Duration: Set a minimum and/or a maximum value for the number of days that you wish to be in the trade.

  • Order Type: Restrict the trades returned to only be trades where you are Long the market or trades where you are Short the market.
Once you've entered all of the parameters for your search, click on the Search Now button at the bottom right of the page.

After a short period of time (usually a minute or less), HOST will display all of the trades found in the system that match your parameters. If there are more trades than will fit on one page then paging controls are available at the top and bottom of the page.

The trades are initially sorted so that the best trades in the system are at or near the top of the results. Our definition of the "best trades" are those with the highest % Wins, largest P/L ratio, largest average profit per trade and the smallest stop.

You can resort your results by clicking on any of the column headers in the table of trades. Alternately clicking on a column header will toggle the sort between ascending and descending.

If you find that your search has returned too many trades for you to easily navigate, then it is best to refine your search by clicking on the "return to search" button at the top of the page and refining your initial parameters.

There is also a "Filter" feature on the results pages. If you have searched on more than one contract, you can filter your results to focus on any one of the contracts that you searched on. Just choose the contract of interest from the Filter drop down menu and then click on the Refine Search button.

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My Saved Trades
Once you've found a trade in HOST that you are interested in, you can easily save the trade to your Saved Trades. From the Search Results page, simply put a check in the checkbox on the right hand side of the trade that you want to save.

Then at the top or bottom of the Search Results page, choose the folder from the trades folder drop down menu that you want the trade saved to and click on the Save button. You can even create a new folder from the results pages by typing a new name in the Creae a new folder field and then clicking on Add. The new folder will then be available in the trades folder drop down menu and ready to receive saved trades.

To view your saved trades as well as manage folders and reorganize your saved trades, click on the My Saved Trades link in the banner navigation. Saved trades folders for all modules are accessible from this page.

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History
Every trade in HOST has its own History page. Just click on the History link on the right hand side of any trade on the Search Results page and you will get a pop-up window that shows key historical and statistical details for each trade.

The History page shows the performance of the trade for every year of its history. It shows key performance statistics as well as annual and cumulative performance charts for the history of the trade.

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Now It’s Your Turn
That’s all there is to it. We told you it was easy. You’re ready to get started.

We hope that you’ve also taken the time to read the very important Before You Begin section above. There is no substitute for patience and discipline in profitable trading. You now have access to a tremendous trading tool and one that is 100% objective and strictly defines your risk up front. Use it well and use it wisely.

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Host FAQ


About Host & Seasonals

Q: What is HOST?
A: HOST is a library of Key Date Seasonal Trades in commodities, commodities spreads and stocks. You can access the trades in HOST by date, month, market, % of time correct, or by market. Various combinations of searches are possible using HOST’s state of the art search features.

Q: What is a Key Date Seasonal Trade?
A: A Key Date Seasonal Trade (KDT) is a trade that enters a specific contract, spread or equity on given dates using a specific stop loss.

Q: How did you find the KDT's?
A: HOST uses a sophisticated computerized search engine that studies millions of combinations of entry and exit dates for active U.S. futures markets and for hundreds of equities. The program identifies high odds seasonal trades that are then filtered for various additional factors such as accuracy, drawdown, number of losing years in a row, and length of trade.

Q: Will the KDT's continue to repeat their historical performance?
A: Not necessarily. A KDT is not perfect. It merely represents what has happened historically. Therefore it is NOT a guarantee of what will occur in the future. On the other hand, if you believe that history repeats, then you will likely find the KDT's in this program highly useful. Of course, there is no guarantee that any of the KDT's in this program will produce profits, however, our experience has shown that seasonality is valid and that the KDT's are well worth your consideration.

Q: Why do some markets contain more years of history than others?
A: Some markets, such as crude oil and heating oil, have only been trading for a relatively few number of years as futures contracts. Other markets, such as the meats, have been trading as futures contracts since the 1960's. This is why some markets have more history listed in the trades than do others.

Q: Why are some KDT's on HOST less "accurate" than KDT's I've seen published by others?
A: The simple answer is that some sellers of seasonal information and historical data DO NOT include as many years in their study as HOST does. At times they base seasonals on as few as seven years of history. This distorts the percentages and gives a false or misleading picture of reality. HOST uses more years of history than any other provider of seasonal information. While other studies may seem more accurate, they are, in reality illusions that could cost you dearly. Still another difference between the seasonals in HOST and the work of other seasonal researchers is that HOST provides a stop loss for every trade. This will lower the percentage of time a trade has been correct, but it will reflect a more realistic picture. If stop losses were excluded from the KDT's the percentage accuracy would be higher. But this would fail to reflect how traders really trade. And it would also distort the risk inherent in futures trading.

Q: Are there other types of seasonal studies?
A: Yes, there are a number of other avenues to conducting seasonal research and to determining seasonals. These include monthly cash seasonals, daily seasonals, weekly seasonals, weekly spread seasonals, as well as intraday seasonals. Visit our Products page for more information.

Q: Why make this information available to the trading public if it's so good?
A: This is another valid question. The simple answer is that the information on HOST is only as good as the traders who use it. The information in and of itself is merely a reflection of history. It is only a historical study, but a highly detailed and analytical one at that! If you're a bad trader, one without discipline, then HOST will likely not help you because you will find ways to break the rules that are provided herein. Information is only as valuable as the individual who uses it. When you bought HOST, you did NOT pay for the Holy Grail, but for solid historical and statistical research. The value of HOST will be a function of how you use it.

Q: Is HOST a trading system, a trading method, or a timing method?
A: In actuality HOST can be all or the above or none of the above. In its purest form HOST trades are historical data. They merely indicate what has happened in the past. They DO NOT predict the future. On a broader scale, however, the KDT's in HOST likely reflect intrinsic seasonal moves within circumscribed periods of time in each of the markets. Hence, HOST is somewhat of a fundamental indicator as opposed to a technical indicator. When combined with risk management principles HOST can develop into a trading system or method, but this is up to you.

Q: Are you concerned that too many people knowing these trades will affect the markets?
A: NO. There are over 1,000,000 trades in HOST. The odds of all traders who have the HOST software making all 1,000,000 trades, or the odds of many traders making the same trades on the same day are small. The simple fact of the matter is that most traders do not have the discipline to trade HOST or any other method consistently.

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Notes on the Best Use of Host

Q: How do I begin using HOST?
A: It’s easy. Once you have logged in, read the Before You Begin and Quick Start Guide sections of this FAQ. Then just browse through the different features. Practice is the key to effective use.

Q: Since there are so many trades on HOST, how can I find the best ones?
A: It's not necessary to try and find the best ones. Try to find trades with reasonably high percentages and reasonably high profit/loss ratios. Then, from among these, consistently trade a balanced portfolio of several markets. Picking and choosing markets every time is not a good procedure. Most traders seem to pick and choose incorrectly.

Q: Do some markets work better than others?
A: There is no firm answer to this question. This is more a function of time than of market. There are times of the year during which some trades are more likely to be correct than others. You can discover this by working with the HOST sorting features.

Q: Your KDT's list a percentage stop loss for flat (non-spread) positions. Can you explain what this means?
A: All flat position (non-spread) KDT's carry a specific stop loss. The stop loss is expressed as a percentage of the price on the day of entry. As an example, consider the following: You enter a long Dec Gold on the close of trading 8/26 at $600. Your indicated stop loss on the KDT printout is 5%. To calculate the stop loss you take 5% of $600. The result is $30. You subtract $30 from $600. You get $570. The stop loss you will use on gold is $570 CLOSE ONLY. If you have a short position in gold at the same price then your stop loss would be $600 PLUS the $30, or $630, CLOSE ONLY.

For more on stops for spreads, see the Important Notes About Spreads section below.

Q: How did you arrive at your stop loss thresholds
A: For every trade in HOST we evaluated the trade for 9 or more different stop thresholds. We then filtered the trades and kept the best stop level for any trades that had identical results. For example, if two trades had identical entry dates, exit dates and performance statistics but one trade used a 2% stop and the other trade used a 4% stop, we only kept the trade with the 2% stop.

Q: What if a given exchange will not accept a CLOSE ONLY stop loss?
A: If an exchange does not accept a CLOSE ONLY order you must either wait until 3 minutes before the close of trading and act accordingly if your stop loss has been penetrated OR you must WAIT until the close of trading and act accordingly on the opening of the next day if your stop loss has been penetrated according to the KDT rules.

Q: Why do some trades have a 100% stop loss?
A: These are trades that, in effect, have no stop loss. To trade them in this way would not be a good idea since you have unlimited risk. However, you can trade many of them with futures options which have a defined risk if you are buying puts or calls.

Q: What should I do if a market is closed on the indicated entry or exit date?
A: If a market is closed on the indicated entry or exit date, then enter or exit on the CLOSE of business the next trading day.

Q: Should I ALWAYS get in and out of trades on the indicated entry and exit dates?
A: This is something you will need to decide for yourself. The KDT's and their histories were derived using the exact dates shown. Hence, the results you will experience by using an earlier or later entry or exit will not necessarily reflect the KDT rule as it was historically tested. We suggest using timing indicators as an adjunct to the KDT ideal entry and exit dates. Using a timing indicator to enter or exit KDT's earlier or later may assist you in improving the overall results. Note however, we do not have solid evidence to support this contention.

Q: Why get out of a winning trade just because the KDT exit date says to do so?
A: This is a valid and worthwhile question that has two answers. The first is that it makes good sense to ride a profitable trade. For all we know, the trade may continue to make money and getting out too soon may cut the profit short. IF you DO keep the trade beyond the exit date, then MAKE CERTAIN YOU USE A TRAILING STOP loss to protect the profit you may have. KEEP RAISING the trailing stop loss accordingly, as long as your trade continues to make money.

Q: Can I use futures options instead of futures to trade the KDT's?
A: The answer to this is a qualified YES. You may do so as long as you avoid deep out of the money options. In fact, the best strategy is to use options that are close to the money or those which have relatively high deltas.

Q: Can I share my log in and password codes with others?
A: We ask you NOT to do so for your own good. You paid good money to gain access and the information rightfully belongs to you. We monitor the number of logins by each user as well as the length of time users are on line. We reserve the right to ban any user from our site if we feel, for any reason, that passwords are being shared with others who do not have the legal right to access this information.

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Important Notes About Spreads

Q: Do stops on the SPREAD KDT's work the same way?
A: NO! PLEASE NOTE THAT THE STOP LOSSES FOR SPREADS ARE CALCULATED DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY ARE ON FLAT POSITIONS. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! The stop loss shown for spreads is in POINTS or CENTS. For example, for meat spreads the indicated stop loss is 400 points. For grains the indicated stop loss is 30 cents.

Q: How should I enter the HOST spread trades? Can I use market orders?
A: Many spreads are thinly traded. Using market orders is NOT a good idea. You are best off using limit orders. In other words, place an order at a particular price and attempt to get filled. If you do not get filled then you may "chase" the market a bit. The same holds true for market exit on spreads. Work with your broker in placing such orders. While the procedure here is somewhat more complicated and involved than with flat positions, I think that it will be well worthwhile in terms of your price executions.

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Definitions

Q: What is the Profit/Loss Ratio? How is it computed?
A: the Profit/Loss Ratio (P/L ratio) is a ratio that compares the average winning trade with the average losing trade. A P/L ratio of 1:1 means that the average of all the losing trades is the same as the average of all the winning trades. A P/L ratio of 10:1 means that the average winner will be ten times the size of the average loser. Clearly, a higher P/L ratio is better than a lower P/L ratio. But don't let the P/L ratio be your only guide to finding trades. Historical accuracy and drawdown are important as well.

Q: What is "drawdown"?
A: Drawdown is the maximum successive decrease in equity from an equity peak. In other words, drawdown measures how much cumulative profit declined from a high in total profits. This is important since it will give you an idea of how volatile a KDT has been. Many times the best trades occur AFTER a period of large drawdown.

Q: What is "upswing"?
A: Upswing is a term coined to describe the opposite of drawdown. It tells us how much a market has moved up in cumulative equity before it turns lower. This is an important figure since it tells us how consistent a KDT has been in the past.

Q: What is the Daily PF?
A: The daily PF is the “daily profit factor”. This figure is only relevant when comparing several trades in SIMILAR MARKETS. In other words, in markets that have the same dollar value per tick. The higher the PF, the more money the trade has made, on average, on a daily basis. PF can help you decide between several trades in the same market that tend to occur at about the same time.

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