Ed wrote me an email asking how he can trade the SPY Crisis Strategy. He likes the idea, but the problem is that his account balance is too small. He was under the impression that he can only participate with a futures account.
That was true several years ago. Luckily, the brokers have wised up and offer traders many more options. SPY is the ETF based on the S&P 500. ETFs are technically “Exchange Traded Funds”, but you can think of the SPY as a stock. You would place SPY trades in the same way that you buy or sell any stock in your brokerage account. Wikipedia offers a great ETF explanation if you’re new to the concept.
The returns that I posted for the strategy assumed that you were trading SPY without leveraged. If you’re a forex or futures trader, there are a few options available:
Forex traders can inquire if their broker offers index CFDs, especially if you want to trade the idea from MetaTrader. A CFD stands for “Contract For Delivery”, but don’t worry. Your broker has no desire or interest to make deliveries on oil or the S&P 500 CFDs. CFD is a legalistic creation where the broker promises to deliver the object traded on a certain date. In reality, the contract is perpetually rolled 2 days into the future. The position allows you to hold the spot price of the S&P 500 without needing to purchasing any stocks or resorting to the futures market.
The best option for futures traders are the e-minis (Symbol: ES). You should trade the front month contract for all signals. This is certainly the most efficient way to trade the idea. The only reason I stuck with the ETF is that I don’t have to dive into messy backtesting assumptions with continuous contracts and rolling open positions.
NinjaTrader is a great option regardless of the instrument that you trade. It’ll handle any market that you select: CFD, futures or the ETF.