"It is rare that I endorse other people in the trading business. Yet, I have known Steve Briese and the Insider Capital folks for many years, dating back to the early 1980s when we both lived in the land of the lakes and mosquitoes, Minnesota. During that time I have come to view Steve as the authoritative word on understanding the CFTC Commitments of Traders data. What I love about Steve is that he does the work I would do, the way I would do it, if I had to analyze the data. Steve looks for major signals and is not twisted here and there by minor week-to-week changes. I believe that COT data brings another piece to the mosaic I try to assemble to make big bets. I highly recommend the COT service from Insider Capital.

-Peter L. Brandt, Factor LLC

    (Click book cover  to order from Amazon)

    From the back cover:

    "I have followed Steve Briese's analysis for two in trading the commodities markets. His methods and conclusions from COT data are fact based and often properly contrarian. In today's world, where commodity hedge funds have become even larger players, Steve Briese's work assumes an even higher importance level for commodity market participants, individual and professional alike."

    —Brent R. Harris, Head of PIMCO Real Return and Commodities Desk; Chairman, PIMCO Funds


    Steve Briese, Editor

    Bullish Review

    As a US Army helicopter pilot during two tours in Vietnam, Steve was awarded the Bronze Star, three Air Medals for Valor, the Soldier's Medal, and the Distinguished Flying Cross .

    Steve began is trading career in 1973, buying silver futures at 3.97. In 1974 at the bottom of the stock bear market, he watched is grandfather select stocks using 3 simple rules:

    1. Solid dividend paying record.

    2. Currently yield of 8% minimum.

    3. Price having doubled during the last bull market.

    In 1988, Steve retired from the construction business and began writing Bullish Review of Commodity Insiders  based on the Commitments of Traders report he discovered in 1974. He hired couriers to pick up the printed reports in New York and Chicago and rush them to his doorstep. Later, Steve led a letter writing campaign to get the CFTC to release reports more frequently than once a month and electronically. You can now get these reports weekly at the CFTC's website. (But, you're better off getting them from Steve (for free).

    In 1997, when the CFTC announced proposed registration requirements for broadcasting market opinions on the Internet, Steve joined a group of five newsletter writers and sued the CFTC in federal court. His landmark First Amendment victory assures your unfettered access to the kind of material you find on Steve's website (and thousands of others).

    In 2001, when Florida's First District US Congressman quit in the middle of his term, Steve ran to replace him in a special election. Steve's strength was his wife Jeannette, 5 college-age kids and a 5-year-old granddaughter working on the campaign. Alas, owing to not enough votes, Steve lost for lack of votes and returned to researching and writing about markets.

    In 2010, after Brittish Petroleum (BP) decimated their waterside home near Pensacola Beach, Steve and Jeannette struck out for Europe and have been using Malta as a jumping off point for travels in Europe.

    Market Technicians Association 1997 Best of the Best Awards

    From Steve's Peers:

    • "No one else that I know of has been so right on so many markets so consistently. The 'reading between the lines' and recognition of special situations is particularly impressive."

    --Peter Rehmer,Elliott Wave International

    • "Your service is one of the very few of many that I receive which is really worth reading. What I particularly like is that it is interpretive--based on your insights and experience. You are a thinker rather than a system follower."

    --David S. Fuller,Fuller Money Letter

    • "A voice of reason out there among all the crazy people. Keep up the good work."

    --Bill Fleckenstein,Fleckenstein Capital Management

    • "I suggest you write or call Steve for a copy of his newsletter (Bullish Review). It's one of the few publications I read and study regularly."

    --Jake Bernstein,MBH Commodity Letter

    • "If you want to become a more knowledgeable trader, then take a good look at what this newsletter [Bullish Review] provides in the way of data and commentary."

    --Thom Hartle,Stocks & Commodities Magazine

    • "Steve does not advertise his service--but he is well known by some of the best traders in the country who closely follow his astute comments."

    --Dr. Alexander Elder  Financial Trading Seminars 

    • "You write an insightful newsletter. It is one of the few in the industry I truly respect."

    • --Glen Ring,Trends In Futures


    From Subscribers:

    • "There cannot be anyone in the advisory business that writes and produces anything as well as you. Every issue is a pleasure to read."

      • --Fred Purvis,Hedge Fund Manager

    • "Thanks for so candidly sharing the knowledge you’ve gained with blood, sweat and tears."

      • --Rick Rennie
    • "You are an excellent technician. I learn a lot from you."

      • --Craig Shepard
    • "Newsletters are invaluable--usually early--but sometimes very timely--seldom wrong."

      • --Colin Walker
    • "I have paid thousands of dollars for advice and help in trading. None of them have been as helpful or as profitable as your advice. Thank you! Thank you!"

      • --Elaine Ferguson
    • "I appreciate your accurate, profitable analysis as well as your approachable manner. Please keep going for 20 years!"

      • --Larry Hearin
    • "Your sincerity and dedication to helping traders along this difficult road is very apparent and much appreciated. Thank you. "

      • --Richard Reese
    • "You are impressive in what you know and what you show."

      • --Robert Swain
    • "Your doing a great job

      • --Melvin Lerner, M.D.
    • "Even though I immediately recognized the value of your cycles work and Bullish Review, it has taken me 2-3 years to be able to actually use this information in my trading. I read two or three other letters, but now I rely predominantly on your information when trading!"

      • --S.L. Schueler

    • "Your service is excellent, and I value it highly. It is the most intelligent and insightful analyis I have found on the commodities markets."

      • --J.A., New York

    • "I run a small trading company on the floor of the CBOT...Your grain commentary is unbeatable on a longer-term basis."

      • --M.K., Illinois

    • "I enjoy and make excellent use of the newsletter. The circumspect point of view and unpretentious tone make the reading and analysis so much easier than many letters which are grounded in a fixed position on a market."

      • --C.J., Connecticut

    • "Very good and keenly insightful. Bullish Review provides a good analysis versus just the raw data which I could and have misinterpreted."

      • --S.R., Georgia

    • "Bullish Review is the backbone of my trading. The rest must work with BR or I get rid of 'em. BR gives me an edge. I don't tell anybody about it. Trading friends of mine tell me they receive the COT numbers when released. I ask them what they mean. They don't know! Nothing is indispensable; however, BR is one of my most useful tools. A lot of hard work and intellect are reflected in each issue."

      • --S.E., Oregon

    • "I highly appreciate the valuable information of your Bullish Review, as well as the conceptual idea of your letter...I personally would like to thank you for giving such insight!

      • --B.F., California

    • "Excellent commentary--the reader can tell that the writer trades and cares about the market."

      • --J.S., Ontario Canada

    • "Steve's comment come from years of market analysis , often making astute technical comments and observations many professionals would miss. His work is educational and functional."

      • --M.S., Texas

    Thank you for your excellent analysis every week! My trading is having my best year ever - after 30 years!!

    --Gary M.


    The Commitments of Traders report is used to find special situations in futures markets--commodities, currencies, financials, and stock indexes. Steve Briese is the acknowledged expert when it comes to interpreting this weekly report. He has been doing this successfully for 40 years and has published his advice in Bullish Review since 1988. Let's see how he has done on recent record moves. 

    COT SIGNALS CAN ALSO BE APPLIED TO MANY STOCKS, MUTUAL FUNDS, AND ETF'S that are highly correlated to futures markets. Steve lists many of these in the second half of his 2008 book, "The Commitments of Traders Bible" (Wiley).

    Click here to get a 55% discounted introductory price to Bullish Review... 

    Or continue reading...

    Gold prices have plunged more than 35% as this is written. GOLD TOPPED ON September 6, 2011. One week before, this article appeared in Barron's:

    Were you expecting a major top? Not many were. Another thing I like about Steve is he does not seem to have any axes to grind. He is not a perenial bull or a permabull. (Nor a gold bug.) He is just about trading major price trends for profit. In gold, this means buying when commercials are overwhelmingly long and selling when they are selling in bull-market-ending numbers. (BTW, I do not consider the COT a timing tool--except in Steve's hands!)

    GOLD & Briese COT Index 2008-2013

    Bullish Review Sept. 9, 2008 GOLD: "[Commercial] buying has boosted the COT Index to 98%, a major buy signal." 

    Bullish Review June 12, 2010 GOLD: "This is the first buy signal in gold since the October 2008 market bottom...This buy signal should mark a nearby end to this pullback and quickly move prices to new highs. "

    Bullish Review January 24, 2011 GOLD: "Major buy signals have not been every-year events during the gold bull market. There have been just nine signals since April 2001. Results show odds heavily in favor of bulls at this juncture."

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    Here is another example. Cotton just made an historic round trip, first rising 188%, then declining 58%, all within the course of 12 months. Bullish Review subscribers were not left out. I like the way Steve combines COT signals AND signal failures with weekly chart patterns for entries.

    Bullish Review March 14, 2007 COTTON: "If still long, I will suggest once more that you consider banking profits. In any case, please do not get caught up in the bullish news. News is always bullish when prices are rising to record levels. If the February 25 low is taken out it is a sure sign that the market is no longer bullish."

    Bullish Review June 14, 2010 COTTON: "The current buy signals come at an ideal cycle point. Both the major and intermediate cycles are in up modes, with the short-term trading cycle in a down mode. This pattern identifies a bull market correction [now ending]."

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    Stock Indexes have had two bull runs separated by a nasty bull market. Steve was one of the first to see the 2003-2007 bull market beginning... 

    Bullish Review March 28, 2003: "The Commitments figures for March 25 show commercials net long in both S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures. This is the first commercial foray since last June into net long territory in the NASDAQ, and the first time since the last bull market peaked in the S&P! We don't think traders dare ignore the current commercial buying interest because it could signal a significant recovery."

    This started a four year bull move, with the public and advisors becoming more and more bullish. But by October 2007 commercials were not buying it, they were selling, triggering a major COT sell signal. To overcome the nearly universal bullishness, Steve printed bearish advice for 52 straight weeks following the sell signal. The markets eventually lost more than half their value.


    Then on March 16, 2009, Steve noted significant new commercial buying in Bullish Review: " If we knew for how long and how much commercials were going to buy, we could pretty closely guesstimate the likely extent and duration of this rebound. What we can say is that commercials are holding a huge net short position at a good profit, providing the potential for an extended recovery"

    That recovery lasted three years and three months until August 2011.

    On July 18, 2011, Steve issued a "STOCK INDEXES SPECIAL SITUATION" that took up two pages of the newsletter, and ended with this timely advice:

    Bullish Review "Aggressive bears may want to use the current signal to establish anticipatory short positions using stops above the May price peak. A break of the June low would be the unambiguous signal for bulls to abandon long positions, moving short or flat."  

    Notice how commercial buying came in at the end of this chart, just after a 21.6% price plunge! If you wish you had received this kind of timely advice in your trading career, and do not want to miss the next major move, now is the time to join the smart money, whose latest moves are highlighted in each Monday's Bullish Review.

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     It all began in 1987...

    Black Monday 1987 may not look like much on a long-term S&P 500 chart today, but if you were there, you will never forget the surreal hour after hour unprecedented volatility, panic and decimation. Seemingly no one was prepared for this market crash.

    But this is not entirely true. The smart money -- commercial hedgers -- actually prepared for a downturn two months ahead of the the crash, triggering a sell signal in Commodity Insiders market letter in mid-September 1987. At that time, the Commitments of Traders was a monthly report, issued on the 11th or 12th of the next month. Among subscribers to Commodity Insiders was Steve Briese, and it was this signal that convinced him to buy the newsletter, COT Indexes, and research from Curtis Arnold, the pioneer in Commitments analysis. Steve began publishing Bullish Review in March 1988, and the COT continued its magic in predicting major market turns.

    In 1991, following a three month correction, commercial insiders began heavy long accumulation, triggering a major buy signal, which was followed by a 43% rally into year-end...where commercial selling triggered a major sell signal that augured in a 10-month, 10% correction.

    It was 1995 that the stock index charts began taking on a whole new scale -- the one we are familiar with today. Commercials were there to signal the start, just ahead of a price breakout from a year-long sideways consolidation. Talk about timing! 

    1997 and1998 each saw significant corrections. But commercials did not just call the market tops, they also triggered COT buy signals at each market bottom.

    There were dire predictions ahead of the millenium New Year. Despite the fact that the calendar switched with nary a hiccup, commercial insiders were major sellers in December 1999, triggering a major sell signal, that led to a three year bear market.

    Commercials signaled not one, but all 3 major tops in late 1999 and early 2000.


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     Legal Insider Information

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's comprehensive breakdown of who owns what in the futures markets is legal inside information, which makes the U.S. Futures the most transparent markets in the world. If you trade, you need to know what the COT report reveals.

    You can monitor this report yourself at www.CommitmentsOfTraders.ORG, where Steve provides free COT charts and free COT data—and not just partial teaser files, the whole shebang from 1983 to the most current report is provided free. Why would Steve provide data and charts free when every other source charges for this? Principle. He believes in a level playing field and the COT report provides it. (When you get his book you will understand why you should not get your data anywhere else—let alone pay for it.)

    The key to using the COT report to uncover markets with mega-move potential can be described in once sentence: Follow the lead of the large commercial hedger. You may read other advice, such as “follow the large speculator” in older trading books. Certainly the trend-following funds move markets. However, they are almost always fully invested in the wrong direction at important market turns.

    Commodity markets were invented by commercials in order to transfer their inventory risk to speculators. We have been at the mercy of these market insiders ever since. But by knowing what commercials are up to—by following their actual market manipulations through the COT report—you can pinpoint major trend changeshort coveringer analysis method will detect.

    Strong claim?

    Why would some of the biggest traders and money managers in the world subscribe to Bullish Review?

    UBS Securities    PIMCO Capital Group    Cedar Partners    Cooperfund     Solaris Capital Advisors   Wexford Capital   H G Wellington   Fly Trading   MBF Clearing    Tudor Investment Corp.    TradeLink Llc    Hellman Jordan     Beanpot Financial    DCM Funds    Haroon Group    Northwestern Mutual Life    FTC Capital    Philip Securities    Harris Bosch Capital Management    Paschal Capital Advisors     Fortress Investment Group     Friedberg Mercantile Group    Red Rock Capital Management     Charles Schwab     Credit Andorra     Penn Mutual Company     Templeton Financial Group     Jory Capital Management   Toby Crabel     Deutsche Bank    Thorium Asset Management    Union Bancaire Privee    Met Life  Morgan Stanley       Capital Group Research     Robert Jenkins Trading    Tano Capital    The Leuthold Group   

    It's really quite simple. Bullish Review provides original research and insights not available anywhere else. Every expert has a niche. Steve's 40-year experience in analyzing the COT report allows him to uncover trading opportunities long before conventional fundamental and technical analysts become aware of them.

    After reading Steve's book—or even his Subscribers Guide—anyone can tell when large commercial hedgers are bullish or bearish. This is the conventional analysis. And it might be enough of an edge to make you profitable, because these market insiders catch market extremes about two-thirds of the time.

    Steve's subscribers, of course, demand more. And he delivers, or he would not have readers who have subscribed continuously for 25 years! They expect to be advised when commercials are likely to be wrong. Some of the biggest and fastest moves are tipped off by the COT. This is where Steve's analysis may make a big difference in your trading results. Let me give you an example.

    In the Fall of 1998, Steve invited futures traders to a series of seminars in six U S cities . He called this the "Turning Point Tour" and hundreds of traders heard him predict a:

    "major  bottom in the oil complex due in December 1998 to be followed by a generational-type bull market.”

    It may be difficult now to understand how incredulous this forecast sounded in 1998, when oil prices had fallen 74% over the previous eight years to nearly $10 per barrel, and in the process brought gloom and doom to the oil industry. Prices bottomed exactly as Steve predicted, on Dec. 11, 1998.

    But very soon after the apparent bottom, heating oil moved to a new price low. This was followed by a minor rally into March 1999. At this point, large oil companies (commercial hedgers) started selling. Many analysts assumed this was a bearish sign. They were wrong, of course, but Steve got it right:

    We have posted minor CoT sell signals across [oil] the complex in this issue...A failure swing bottom has been confirmed by consecutive higher closes in Unleaded. We believe the picture for the entire complex is turning quite bullish and that long-term traders should be approaching these markets from the long side. Based on the patterns to-date, we can anticipate that any additional price weakness threatening market lows will be met by overwhelming Commercial buying interest.”--March 15, 1999 Bullish Review.

    A single crude oil contract gained $23,000 over the next year alone.


    You should remember June 2008. Oil prices were approaching $147. Goldman Sachs, who had predicted $200 oil in March, raised their target to $300! But there was one analyst who had a more realistic target for oil, but nobody could believe it at the time! Here is GreenLight Advisor's own recap their June 19, 2008 interview with Steve Briese:

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    There were not a handful of bullish analysts who, like Steve, called the beginning of the greatest  commodity bull market of all time in 1998. And 20 years later it was the same story. There was nary a bearish advisor in sight, when this Gene Epstein cover story featuring Steve's research appeared in Barron's March 31, 2008:

    "Briese’s analysis of commercial hedger positions leads him to believe that commodities in general were fully valued in terms of the fundamentals as of early September 2007. Based on the 24-commodity S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, that would mean about a 30% collapse from present levels. But, he adds, 'Given the tendency for prices to overshoot, commodity values could be cut in half before they stabilize.' Maybe it’s time to start listening to the smart money.”  -Steve Briese Mar 31, 2008

    The GSCI Commodity Index dived 65% by year end.

    (Barron's declined to print Steve's prediction of $30 crude oil, calling it  "too implausible." Implausible, maybe. Impossible? Oil prices hit $34.10 on Jan. 16, 2009.)

    By the time the top came on July 2, most of the Barron's readers had likely forgotten or discounted Steve's analysis, but Steve's clients got their own private warning of the commodity market top.

    The entire June 30, 2008 issue was devoted to the imminent end to the commodity boom.--JUST TO REFRESH YOUR MEMORY, THIS WAS 2 DAYS AHEAD OF THE COMMODITY MARKET TOP--The last paragraph read:

    "the risk on the long side of the commodity game now exceeds potential gains. Getting short may not be easy, but it could offer unusual profit potential. We recommend liquidating longs now (ahead of the crowd) and looking for short entry opportunities on signs of a breakdown." -- Steve Briese, Bullish Review, June 30, 2008.

    Commodity markets topped just two days following this advice.

    Then in September 2011, Steve just saved his subscribers from another commodity market plunge. The Sept 19, 2011, Bullish Review was devoted, once again to a commodity top, and carried this warning:

    "We finally have the COT sell signal we have been awaiting, in this case the COT-Fisher variety in the Continuous Commodity Index. Because the CCI is not actively traded, I combine net positions for the 17 underlying markets to arrive at a COT Index. The COT-Fisher sell signal is based on these composite net positions... As we saw in 2008, when we made the call two days ahead of the market top, commodity prices slide (fall) faster than they glide (rise)." Bullish Review Sept. 19, 2011

    Commodity markets plunged 10% just three days following this advice. I don't know anyone who called the two biggest tops in commodity trading history--and almost to the day each time!

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    Frankly, if you are still reading, and have not ordered Bullish Review yet, you are one tough sell. I could keep going all day. (Steve and I are both from Minnesota originally, and I have known him for over 30 years.) 

    As far as I know, Bullish Review is the only market letter exclusively devoted to analysis of the Commitments of Traders report for 25+ straight years. Steve tells me he spends about 12 hours reviewing each weekly release. This would be a huge time investment for most futures traders. If professional money managers use Steve's expertise instead of relying on in-house research, shouldn't you take the same advantage?

    Bullish Review provides professional-level research in the two areas of market analysis conventional techniques often miss:

    • Fundamental Analysis: Who knows the fundamentals better than the trade? Much of what passes as fundamental information actually originates from the large commercial houses. Even assuming that the information is factual, do you know how to interpret it? Do you think commercials release actionable research before they take action on it? What we want to know is whether commercials think fundamentals are bullish or bearish and—this is the most important detail—at what price levels they are acting.

    • Sentiment: There are all kinds of sentiment measures available. Most are based on surveys; what traders say they are going to do. Why count on surveys when you can get a true reading of the market sentiment of large speculators (commodity and hedge funds) and small traders from their actual market positions, revealed by the COT report? This is gospel, not hearsay.

    Natural gas is a good example of using the COT data to gauge market fundamentals AND sentiment to your advantage. Many people assume that natural gas prices are no more predictable than the weather. To make matters worse, we now know that Enron and others manipulated natural gas prices in 2000-2001. Although at least 25 companies and individuals ended up paying $250 million in fines to the CFTC, this was little solace to California or the hundreds of natural gas traders torn up by commercial price manipulation. The next chart shows direct quotes from Bullish Review. The market manipulators could not hide from the COT report or Steve's analysis.


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    I mentioned before Steve Briese's seminar series in the fall of 1998. Why did he call it the “Turning Point Tour?” Today everybody is only too well aware of the greatest commodity bull market in history. But almost no one foresaw this possibility as the previous bear market was ending. Briese's seminar, filled with charts and facts and figures, was organized to focus his subscribers on the commodity market bottom that Steve's work convinced him was imminent. The actual price low in the CRB index occurred on February 26, 1999. This is what Steve wrote in Bullish Review on March 1, 1999:

    "CRB INDEX: This has been a long bear market in physical commodities. We have seen articles explaining why commodity prices may never recover. This is typical psychology at a long-term bottom. It is important that we don't get caught up in the bearish sentiment. Commercial buying has moved them to a record net long total in the 17 CRB component markets. This is a strong indication that bear markets have extended too far -- driving prices below fundamental value levels. While this does not guarantee prices will not be forced still lower, it tells us that the CRB is ripe for a reversal at any time.

    "Large Speculators (commodity funds) are holding a record net short total. They have been the real power behind this drive. Keep in mind, they are typically most heavily invested (in the wrong direction) at important market turns. Even Small Traders, who have maintained a net long balance during the last two years, have finally joined Large Specs in the net short category. This may be an indication of final capitulation to the bear trend. "

    How many advisors called the beginning AND the end of the greatest commodity bull market of all time? Ans: 1.

    Attentive readers may be aware that the Continuous Commodity Index is not included in the Commitments of Traders report. Whether you refer to this index by CRB, Reuters, Jefferies, or Bridge, it is the oldest tradable commodity index, but there are too few large traders holding positions for the CFTC to include it in the COT. No matter.

    Bullish Review has carried a COT rating for the CRB commodity index for more than 15 years. How? Steve found that by combining the reported large trader positions for the underlying futures markets in the index (currently 17), he could derive the same degree of fundamental and investor sentiment insight that was available for other futures markets. This is just one of the unique “sector” indicators Briese pioneered, and it was invaluable in identifying the beginning and the end of the biggest commodity bull market in history.


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    I don't want to give you the idea that the COT is only useful at major market turns. It is typically most effective at spotting repeated opportunities during long-term trends.

    Heating oil's initial rally out of the 1999 bottom provides a textbook example of the COT isolating real-time opportunities throughout a long-term move. These are direct quotes from Bullish Review issues.

    Keep in mind that this is an exemplary move. Don't expect the COT or any other tool to provide so many accurate signals at every turn during a single trending move. Nevertheless, if you had bought 1 contract at each buy signal in heating oil in 1999 and 2000, you could have closed them out for a gain of $103,000 at the COT sell signal on Sept. 11, 2000.


    Okay, LAST CHANCE:

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