Futures Basics

Commodity pool operators is the general partner responsible for overseeing a commodity pool.

A commodity trading advisor (CTA) is a trading professional that manages futures and or options accounts for investors. The CTA is required to register with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

More and more investors are moving into exchange-traded funds to track the change in commodities frequently traded on the futures markets. One such ETF, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), has now grown to contain nearly $50 billion in assets, making it one of the largest ETFs on the market.

A futures clearinghouse allows one to close out positions in the futures market without having a real buyer or seller on the other side.

Futures hand signals make the futures pit much more efficient in the midst of the chaos in the pits.

The futures trading pit is where futures contracts are traded using the open outcry system for buying and selling contracts.

A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell a contract sometime in the future. Futures contracts have been around in tradable markets for hundreds of years and can date back as far as rice grain futures in Japan.

Limit down is the maximum amount a futures contract can move in one trading day. Limit downs have been put in place to prevent markets from collapsing on themselves. Many markets will halt trading in a contract or slow down the flow of orders until the price backs away from the limit down level.

A managed futures account (MFA) is an alternative investment strategy where an investor allows a professional money manager known as a commodity trading advisors (CTA) to invest funds in the global futures markets.

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