Contracts that require buyers to purchase and sellers to sell an asset (financial instrument or physical commodity) at a specified price at a specified future date. At tastytrade, we use futures to scalp, hedge and give us an overall sense of market activity.
On the institutional side, large corporations use futures to hedge themselves against rising or falling prices in products they use often. For example, airline companies may purchase oil futures to lock in a price in which they purchase their fuel. Farmers may sell corn futures to lock in a price in which they can sell their crop.
Behind options, futures are the second fastest growing product of the financial space. Ten percent of retail accounts are approved to trade futures. We use futures because investors can get up to 16 to 1 leverage, making them a great tool for hedging while making excellent use of capital. They also have a low transaction cost and great delta efficiency, making them a great tool for pure directional plays. Unlike with options, futures are open past the close. This allows investors to participate 23 hours a day, five days a week.
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