From free to fee
Moving to a paid subscription
It's been 18 months since I started publishing fx:macro in March 2022. Since then, this humble project has grown to almost 6,000 readers. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of it thus far.
As much as I loved offering fx:macro for free, the significant amount of time and effort required would make keeping it free forever a pretty expensive endeavour for myself. Therefore, full access to fx:macro will require a paid subscription from September 16th.
I know, a lot of you are short on time, so here are the basic facts. Below, you'll find more background information.
Going forward, there will be two newsletters:
The paid premium edition of fx:macro will contain the entire research package you're familiar with by now. It will cost 39 € per month. If you’re a student, reach out to me via email for a discount.
The lite version will be free and always provide something valuable from the premium newsletter, something useful and/or some educational content that hasn’t been part of the newsletter so far. It will be quite a bit shorter than what you're used to from me, and easy to digest. A lot of you will see a bit of brevity as a positive anyway. And it will be worth your while, I promise.
The newsletter you're currently reading will continue as fx:macro lite, the free edition, while the premium content will be hosted over at ConvertKit. You can sign up by clicking this button:
A bit of backstory and how we got here
fx:macro is the result of my preparation for the trading week ahead. When I started out, my main goal was to improve the quality of my analysis and the processes behind it. I decided to publish to hold myself more accountable, and I was hoping for some feedback. Surprisingly, people liked it.
Over time, I added different things to the newsletter either because I got the idea from somewhere or someone, or because I realized that I needed a particular thing. One great example is the Central Bank Overview: I used to go back and forth between the calendar, notes I took in Evernote, and previous editions of fx:macro to find the information I needed about the last central bank meetings. Now, it's all neat and tidy in one place, and it's always up to date.
This brings me to the main point: I'm still the first reader of fx:macro every weekend, and each time I'm happy that it exists! That means I'm actually reading through it before I'm looking for potential trades. Not every bit every time, of course, but I'm using it like any reader would as a basis for my macro view, trade ideas and to know what's going on overall - to be in the market.
What others have to say about fx:macro
Here are a few tweets that mention fx:macro:
Here are a few fellow writers on Substack who recommend fx:macro to their readers:
- by Eliant
FX Macro's weekly is Harkster HQ's first port of call on a Sunday morning. It delivers an in-depth analysis of macro developments, CB comments, sentiment and cross-asset analysis. The summary section (chart of the week below) is an incredibly succinct snapshot of all the relevant macro drivers for each G10 currency. (Harkster,)
Here's what you will be getting with the premium edition of fx:macro
The premium version of fx:macro will be published on the weekend, usually on Saturday. It will include access to all of the research pieces (see below for more details):
Market Analysis and Outlook, and Weekly Review
Central Bank Speaker Recap, Central Bank Overview, and Meeting Preps before events
Intraday Seasonalities and Commitment of Traders Reports
The pieces of the whole
By now, fx:macro is a package of several different pieces, each of which can be used more or less on its own. If you've been a reader for a while, you probably know most or all of them already. For the sake of completeness, I'll introduce all of fx:macro's parts in the following sections.
Market Analysis and Outlook
This is the centrepiece of the whole thing: a comprehensive look at markets from different angles. Here's is what's in it:
A summary of the overall macro situation and each G8 currency with bullish and bearish arguments listed,
Correlation tables for the major asset classes to quickly gauge which asset class is driving what,
The economic calendar for the week ahead, colour-coded for each currency and whether the expectations for each release are better or worse than the previous release, and
A 360º view on markets: indicators of growth and inflation, long- and short-term interest rates, market expectations of central bank decisions, equity sector performance, sentiment and positioning, a summary of the Commitment of Traders report, credit spreads, volatility and vol indexes, market breadth and more.
The whole report is usually about 20-30 pages long, and even after just reading through the summary table you have a pretty good understanding of where markets are currently standing. Here's what the PDF looks like:
This report contains summaries of the week's relevant events. Here's what I cover every time:
G8 central bank statements and projection materials that are released with them
Central bank meeting minutes, and
This allows you to read through the important parts of the major macro releases.
The report also contains the relevant economic data that was released each day of the week for the G8 economies and how the different currencies reacted:
Central Bank Speaker Recap
This report contains summarized comments from every G8 central bank speaker that hit the microphone during the week. Depending on how much is going on, this can be from a single page to four pages long. It's a great resource to stay up-to-date on central bank chatter. Here's what it looks like:
Central Bank Overview
This PDF is designed to be a quick reference guide to the last relevant central bank decisions, statements, meeting minutes, projection materials, post-meeting press conferences, and market reactions. It contains this information for every G8 central bank and it's updated as soon as new material is released.
Central Bank Crib Sheets and Meeting Preps
These reports are published before central bank events. They contain:
A summary of what happened at the last meeting(s): key points from the rate decision, the statement, projection materials like the dot plot, press conference, and meeting minutes
An economic calendar with the important data that was released since the last central bank statement.
A summary of every central bank speaker's comments since the last meeting.
It's designed to have the most important things in one place before going into a central bank event: what did they do last time and what happened since then that might influence their decision.
You can see what the report looks like in the following screenshots:
This is a chart pack with about 100 charts that show how different currencies and assets performed, on average, throughout the day over the last 30 and 100 days, respectively:
Commitment of Traders
I cover the COT report in the Market Outlook but for a deeper dive, I use this PDF. It contains the legacy COT data as well as the newer disaggregated datasets that were introduced in the early 2000s. The charts I include contain the raw data as well as a version of the COT-Index introduced by Larry Williams that looks at net positions for the different market participants on a basis relative to the total open interest over the last year:
The research pieces are created on different days of the week before they are sent out as one package on Saturday, and they all take a different amount of time and effort to produce. The bottleneck is the Market Analysis: I write it on Saturday and it takes about six hours or so. To cut it short, this means that not every weekend will feature every piece. I plan on exceeding the following numbers of published pieces on a rolling 52-week basis, but this is the minimum of what you can expect:
Market Analysis and Outlook: 35
Weekly Review: 45
Central Bank Speaker Recap: 48
Central Bank Overview: 48
Central Bank Meeting Preps: every G8 central bank meeting
Intraday Seasonalities Report: 48
Commitment of Traders Report: 48
So far in 2023, I've published every single week for a total of 35 issues.
The price is 39 € per month. That's very reasonable and affordable for most: about 1 € per day and probably a fraction of what you're risking on a single trade. Not to mention converting the price into hours and comparing that to how much time it will save you. If you’re a student, send me an email for a discount link.
The future direction of fx:macro lite, the free newsletter you're reading right now
As I mentioned above, my main goal is to provide something valuable and useful every week for free. This is what you can expect:
Something from the premium edition, e.g. one week it might be the Central Bank Overview or the Meeting Prep for an upcoming central bank meeting, another week it might be the Market Analysis.
Occasionally, I'll publish the full weekly premium content on here, too.
Something useful, e.g. a website, tool, or article that helps you become better at trading.
Some educational content, my thoughts on trading-related concepts, what I’m working on, etc.
I want to keep it short and neat because nobody needs another long newsletter that's not jam-packed with information. fx:macro lite will be published on Sunday.
I plan on using Substack's referral program in the future so you can earn access to the paid version of fx:macro by referring others to fx:macro lite.
Why I'm not hosting the paid newsletter on Substack
First of all, I'm very grateful to Substack because their platform allowed me to start out this project for free and with minimal knowledge or hassle. Also, from a technical point of view, their product is great. Take the editor, for example. You as the readers don't see that but for me as a writer it's essential. I've tried other platforms, and their editors would not allow pasting images from the clipboard directly into the editor or glitch out on long posts - both of which are bad for the long and chart-heavy material I put out.
That being said, Substack lacks in other areas that become important when you build a business around a newsletter. For example, you can't sell any products on Substack besides a newsletter subscription, and the metrics they show you are woefully incomplete. You can't even see how many subscribers unsubscribed, let alone get more information about them.
Another factor is that I don't want to be dependent on any platform too much. The editor is a good example again. If I can't write my newsletter anywhere else just because everyone else's editor sucks then I'm not really independent. That's one of the reasons why I moved to PDFs instead of long-form emails. Being platform-independent is crucial to me, so being on a second platform makes a lot of sense.
But the most important thing is the price. Substack takes 10% of the revenue while other platforms take a flat fee upfront. So, depending on revenue, Substack could be ten times more expensive than an alternative like ConvertKit. Ten times. I know the arguments for the different pricing models but it remains a hard sell to me.
As I wrote above, I'm very grateful to Substack, and I like their product. The free newsletter will continue to be published here, and depending on how things go, the paid version might be in the future.
You're still here…
That's great, I hope you'll stick around and enjoy my content!