Stocks & Commodities V. 31:7 (50–52): Product Review: Unfair Advantage by Technical Analysis, Inc.

Stocks & Commodities V. 31:7 (50–52): Product Review: Unfair Advantage by Technical Analysis, Inc.
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Product Description

Product Review: Unfair Advantage by Technical Analysis, Inc.

Unfair Advantage

CSI Corporate Headquarters

200 West Palmetto Park Rd., Suite 200

Boca Raton, FL 33432


Phone: 800 274-4727, Fax: 561 392-8663

Email: (sales); (support)

System requirements: Most Windows operating systems supported

Product: Supplier of end-of-day and historical data for worldwide financial markets

Price: A wide variety of packages are offered, such as North American Futures ($33.54/month or $313/year) or US Stocks and Indices ($33.25/month or $285/year)

The primary objective of Unfair Advantage (UA) is to allow you to export end-of-day (EOD) quotes to third-party software. You store the data on your disk in a compressed format and then convert it to a format that the third-party software can use. The compression is so efficient that it lets you get by with as little as one gigabyte (GB) for US stocks and indexes, and only requires two GB for options. Much of the data goes back 20 years and some of it 60 years. CSI (Commodity Systems, Inc.) prides itself in its accurate data, which is why companies such as Yahoo Finance! use CSI to provide EOD quote data to users.

UA includes charting but it is not equipped with all the bells and whistles you find on full-featured products. Several techniques are available to create continuous commodities contracts, and UA covers all of the world’s major markets. If you are looking for a costcompetitive and accurate EOD datafeed, this is the product you want.

Commodities contracts

If you have a brokerage account that allows you to trade commodities, you can probably get quotes on a limited number of contracts, such as those trading on the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange). If you want to backtest commodities, you’ll want to create a “continuous” contract. Commodities contracts usually have a limited life because there is a delivery date involved. A continuous contract allows you to have a price series that is longer than any single contract. UA has several techniques for creating continuous contracts for commodities traded on exchanges all over the world. The tabs at the top of Figure 1 such as nth nearest, perpetual, back-adjusted, and Gann are all different techniques for creating a continuous price series.

One note about terminology: When UA refers to a series, it is talking about a series of individual contracts that have been linked together to create a single continuous contract. Two terms that any commodities trader needs to know are open interest (OI) and volume. Open interest refers to the number of contracts currently being held, and volume refers to the total number of contracts bought and sold. The differentiation is important because it can signal buyer expectations versus liquidity. A useful technique in creating a continuous contract is to start using the next contract when the OI on that next contract equals the OI on the previous contract. This process of going from one contract to the next is called rollover.

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