NOVICE SPECULATOR: An
by John Sweeney
One observation I made when starting technical analysis was that there were relatively few bits of data
to work with: price, volume, and open interest for a given futures contract and its related contracts and
indices. Thus, any "black box" I constructed to forecast price action would be dependent on these inputs.
I didn't want to repeat others' work (perhaps poorly), so my first thought was simply to find the advisory
service which had best exploited each one of these variables—or a combination of them—and sign up. I
figured years of experience would beat my novice's analysis.
I soon learned that almost all advisory systems are predicated on price action alone. The focus is natural
since most people intend to take their profits on price movement, not volume or open interest. The result
of this focus is a dearth of folks who integrate price movement with other "primary" data; open interest,
One exception to this at the time was the COMMODEX system, which is unique in its long history of
application, use of volume and open interest along with price (through two moving averages), and a
completely mechanical application. It is a fully disclosed system, too, which meant I wouldn't be working
with a mystery machine. It covered every commodity in which I was interested and it gave daily signals, a
feature I thought important at the time. The price was right and I signed up the same day I got my
monitor, computer and printer!