Updated: Mar 7, 2021
It is that time of year again where we all get the notifications from our brokers/trading platforms reminding us it is time to roll into the new contract. What is roll over really,how should you go about rolling over and how does this effect your trading? All great questions that we are about to go over in!
What is Roll Over
For many of us who are simply day traders we don't have to worry about rolling trades into the new contract. For those traders who are taking a swing trading approach or investing approach to futures you will most likely have to roll your contracts into the new month. This means you/ your broker will simply close your position and roll it to the current price. Now with the Mini S&P 500 since it is a cash settled contract you do not have to worry about having 100,000 barrels of oil show up at your door if you do not roll into the new contract and your old contract expires. Most but not all brokers will automatically roll your position if you fail to do so yourself, be sure to contact your broker if you need to roll contracts/existing positions.
How to Trade
Each roll over is different, for this up coming roll over on December 18th 2020 we will be switching to the March ES contract this will look like ES 03-21 on NinjaTrader, each platform/broker will be slightly different but non the less you should be trading the March contract after the 18th if you do not switch before hand.
Next would lead us to exactly when you should roll over, as stated above each roll over is slightly different. My main roll for dealing with roll over is to always be trading the contract that has the most volume. At times the old contract or in this case the December contract 12-20 will hold more volume then the 03-21 contract, now at times the Monday before roll over is when the "usually" when the majority of traders/volume move to the new contract. At times it could take another day or two but most of the times it happens the Monday before.
The best way to keep and eye on the volume is to simply utilize the market analysis in NinjaTrader for both the old contract 12-20 and the new contract 03-21.
Once all the volume is in the new contract it is not recommend to go back and trade the old contract, if you open your charts and see very little movement with a handful of large bars either up or down there is a good chance you are on the old contract and need to simply move to the new contract.
Comment down below of how you like to deal with roll over!