The National Futures Association’s BASIC database received a major update for the first time since it was launched back in 1999. That is just twenty years and countless technology trends later. This version is a big jump from the old interface.
The update made the BASIC site more user friendly and much faster. It is also very mobile friendly. It is the same data as always, but just displayed better and faster.
The best new function is the way they represent the registration history of an individual. Below you will see my own registration. You can see where I changed firms several times and was not at the same firm for very long.
In 1990 I was registered with Gerald, Inc. I left Gerald in 1992 right before they were bought by one of their customers to form Rand Financial. I joined U.S. Futures & Options, Inc., owned by Bud Frazier. Then nine months later he died and the firm was toppled at the same time by the great Midwest floods of 1993 and a rogue broker. I joined LIT American, but they were being bought by First Options of Chicago. Eight days after I joined LIT, I moved to the LIT Division of First Options. Then less than two months later I became part owner of The Frazier Associates, Inc., partnering with a couple of long time associates of Bud Frazier’s. I stayed there from 1993 to 1997, until I discovered a $1 million problem with a client account of one of my partners. I then joined The Price Group for a run of 15 years, and it was there that I launched the John Lothian Newsletter, MarketsWiki and John Lothian News.
Take a look at the way the interface page looked before:
And look at the way the BASIC site looks today:
It is cleaner, easier and more intuitive in its layout.
Here is my own page:
And then the graphical way they display my registration history over time.
All in all, I think the NFA did a nice job of updating this database, especially the graphical registration representation.
I have always respected the way the futures industry has the complete registration history and compliance history of futures firms on its website. With their new design, they have made it more user friendly and faster, which should help their mission to inform the public about the parties they engage with to trade futures and swaps.