Futures trading can be an attractive investment option for some people. It is a type of investment where investors try to take advantage of trading futures contracts. These are contracts that are made by producers of a certain commodity with a dealer which involves the obligation of delivering a certain amount of a certain commodity for a specified period of time in the future. The commodities that such futures contracts trade can include grains such as wheat, corn to other produce such as lumber, livestock, cattle, coffee and even orange juice. There are also futures contracts for precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum.
What makes futures trading quite attractive is the high level of investment leverage that it offers. Investors can invest just as little as ten percent of a futures contract’s value in order to have the opportunity to trade it. This allows investors to trade futures contracts using lesser investment capital for trading larger valued contracts.
Futures contracts usually have standardized amounts of the commodity that they involve. For example, if an investor holds a future contract for wheat, he usually holds a value worth 5,000 bushels. Trading the contract would be dealing based on the value of the 5,000 bushels of wheat.
Although futures contracts only require a fairly small investment (usually ten percent of the contract value, known as the margin), investors should still think before taking or buying a futures contract. Beginner traders should first try to establish that they can afford to trade such a contract. Traders should consider if they have enough margins to cover the contract as well as if they have what it takes to trade and deal a sizable move in prices that can go against their position.
It is also important that beginner traders try to establish a system of risk and reward when trading for a particular commodity. There are many factors that may affect the position of the trader in different futures contracts since they can involve a variety of commodities. Traders should have a good idea on how to handle their position in order to make money in futures trading. A good way to do this is to establish a stop loss feature on traded futures. This simply means that the investors establish a certain price range wherein the contracts may stop trading in order to preserve profits from the trade or to minimize the possible losses.
Beginner traders should also consider spreading their trading from a variety of commodities instead of only dealing on one. If one has the capital to afford in trading five futures contracts, it would be wise to have the contracts involve a variety of commodities. This way the risk may be spread over a varied number of commodities, thereby providing a more or less stable position when one of the commodities suffers a decrease in price value. Dealing with only a single commodity in this case can considerably increase the possible losses.
Beginner traders should only try to risk about five percent of their trading capital on futures contracts. The reason for this is because, one can also easily lose considerable capital in futures trading. It is wise for traders to only invest the amount that they are prepared to lose.