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CTA Spotlight: Opus Futures

August 15, 2018

Most often, you can see a CTA’s edge to be in their numbers and strategy. For Opus Futures, not only do they have an edge in strategy and numbers, but in hands-on experience and connections formed by Trading Principal, Dave Zelinski. 

Trader Profile

Opus Futures LogoDavid Zelinski is the Trading Principal of Opus Futures, LLC. The CTA registered January 20th, 2011 and started trading in March of 2011.The program’s primary focus is agricultural commodities, specifically grains, oilseeds, and livestock.

David started his career in the agricultural industry with Nesvick Trading Group, an IB in Memphis, Tennessee. David began as a Research Analyst, and studied balance sheets, weather trends, and growing conditions. He quickly found a passion for agricultural markets and trading. David also spent time working with several clients to help develop hedging and trade strategies.

Once David began trading his own capital alongside other clients, he knew he wanted to become a Commodity Trading Advisor.

Program Strategy

Opus Futures’ Advanced Ag Trading Program executes grain and livestock futures and options with over 90% of the programs’ exposure in grains. The program is fundamentally driven. David studies many markets concurrently and looks for price relationships between each commodity to identify opportunities.

Risk Management

Trades are reviewed on a daily basis in relation to leverage and margin-to-equity. One of the key philosophies of the trader is that positions must be justified every day. Once a trade has been placed, the entry (the buy or sell price) is not as important as the current market analysis. In other words, we ask, ” is the trade still working today and is there still a chance to profit from the trade?” In addition to margin-to-equity ratios, analysis of net delta positions for each commodity is considered daily.

Opus Futures’ Edge

While David did not begin his career in agricultural through traditional avenues such as growing up on farm, he has been able to develop a comprehensive perspective. In studying the needs of each component within the industry, it’s allowed David to be more effective at forecasting supply and demand across the globe. David has a robust network of farmers, traders, end-users, and exporters that he converses with daily. He also performs an annual crop trip which provides him with hands on knowledge of farming conditions while populating an ever growing database of information that can be relied upon from year to year.

Performance Capsule Stats

(January 2013 – July 2018)

Opus Futures, July 2018Minimum Investment: $100,000

Notional Funding: Yes

Margin: 7.38%

2018 YTD Return: -0.74%

Annualized Compounded ROR: 10.54%

Worst Peak to Valley Drawdown: -27.50% (1/14 – 5/14)

Program Start Date: March 2011

See CTA Database for tearsheet with program statistics from inception (March 2011).

Performance Capsule Stats as reported in the Autumn Gold Database. 

On a Personal Note

The firm’s name came to be one night over dinner. David Zelinski, along with a few partners, was enjoying a meal and finally came up with it. The inspiration was the bottle of wine they were sharing – Opus One.



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