Mason Dean Capital | The Future or Futures and Forex Trading

Futures Trading

Hedgers Vs. Speculators

There are two basic categories of futures participants: hedgers and speculators. In general, hedgers use futures for protection against adverse future price movements in the underlying cash commodity. The rationale of hedging is based upon the demonstrated tendency of cash prices and futures values to move in tandem. Hedgers are very often businesses, or individuals, who at one point or another deal in the underlying cash commodity. Take, for instance, a major food processor who cans corn. If corn prices go up. he must pay the farmer or corn dealer more. For protection against higher corn prices, the processor can "hedge" his risk exposure by buying enough corn futures contracts to cover the amount of corn he expects to buy. Since cash and futures prices do tend to move in tandem, the futures position will profit if corn prices rise

enough to offset cash corn losses. Speculators are the second major group of futures players. These participants include independent floor traders and investors. Independent floor traders, also called "locals", trade for their own accounts. Floor brokers handle trades for their personal clients or brokerage firms.

There are two basic categories of futures participants: hedgers and speculators. In general, hedgers use futures for protection against adverse future price movements in the underlying cash commodity. The rationale of hedging is based upon the demonstrated tendency of cash prices and futures values to move in tandem. Hedgers are very often businesses, or individuals, who at one point or another deal in the underlying cash commodity. Take, for instance, a major food processor who cans corn. If corn prices go up. he must pay the farmer or corn dealer more. For protection against higher corn prices, the processor can "hedge" his risk exposure by buying enough corn futures contracts to cover the amount of corn he expects to buy. Since cash and futures prices do tend to move in tandem, the futures position will profit if corn prices rise enough to offset cash corn losses. Speculators are the second major group of futures players. These participants include independent floor traders and investors. Independent floor traders, also called "locals", trade for their own accounts. Floor brokers handle trades for their personal clients or brokerage firms. For speculators, futures have important advantages over other investments: If the trader's judgment is good. he can make more money in the futures market faster because futures prices tend, on average, to change more quickly than real estate or stock prices, for example. On the other hand, bad trading judgment in futures markets can cause greater losses than might be the case with other investments. Futures are highly leveraged investments. The trader puts up a small fraction of the value of the underlying contract (usually 10%-15% and sometimes less) as margin, yet he can ride on the full value of the contract as it moves up and down. The money he puts up is not a down payment on the underlying contract, but a performance bond. The actual value of the contract is only exchanged on those rare occasions when delivery takes place. (Compare this to the stock investor who generally has to put up at least 50% of the value of his stocks.) Moreover the commodity futures investor is not charged interest on the difference between the margin and the full contract value. In general, futures are harder to trade on inside information. After all, who can have the inside scoop on the weather or the Chairman of the Federal Reserve's next proclamation on the money supply? The open outcry method of trading - as opposed to a specialist system - insures a very public, fair and efficient market. Commission charges on futures trades are small compared to other investments, and the investor pays them after the position is liquidated. Most commodity markets are very broad and liquid. Transactions can be completed quickly, lowering the risk of adverse market moves between the time of the decision to trade and the trade's execution.


Futures vs. Equities


Day traders will experience many benefits from trading futures contracts like the E-mini S&P 500 and the E-Mini Nasdaq 100.

No Downtick Rule
With Futures there are NO downtick and/or short sale rules as found in day trading equities. No boxing of positions and no bullets. You can instantly short anytime at any price.

24 Hour Market Access
With Electronic Screen traded E-Mini Contracts you can access the market during regular equity trading hours, after hours and during the night. This makes trading news easier as many news events happen after 3:00 pm and late in the afternoons.

Pay Fewer Taxes
Commodities are taxed differently than securities. The net gain or loss from trading commodities is reported on schedule D (capital gains and losses); 60 % of the amount is taxed as a long-term capital gain and 40% is taxed as a short-term capital gain. Active Securities Traders have all gains taxed as short term vs. commodities traders who have the above treatment.

Easy To Trade
E-Mini’s are to day traders like trading one symbol, one ECN (namely ISLD), really fast. No 10 different ECN’s, no market makers, and no specialists..

More Leverage
You can control more exposure with the same capital than in equities.

Lower Cost Commissions
It costs an average of $5-$9 per ticket to actively trade equities, compared with futures where it is $1.26 to $2.00 per ticket — less than half the price.

Commodity Trading Involves Substantial Risk of Loss. Prior to investing you should read the risk disclosure statement provided with the account application.