About Futures Trading

How futures trading began

In the United States, futures trading began in the mid-1800's as a way to bring together producers and users of grains and cotton. Today, the CME Group in Chicago is the largest futures exchange in the world; its stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


What is a futures contract?

A futures contract is an obligation to buy or sell a specific quantity of a certain commodity or asset on a future date at an agreed upon price. Because the terms of futures contracts for each commodity or asset are standardized (i.e. same quantity, quality, delivery), they can be traded on an exchange. The only variable is the price.


How futures trading works

Futures trading occurs on federally regulated exchanges, which facilitate the place where buyers and sellers trade as well as post-trade clearing. In futures trading, the buyer and seller create a new contract with each trade, the number of contracts that can be created is limitless. 


How can I start trading futures?

RJO Futures offers a variety of services to let you choose which type is best for your trading plan.

  • Full Service Account: Your RJO Futures commodities broker will work with you to develop a complete trading plan based on your ideas, experience and goals.
  • Self-Directed Account: For experienced traders that use their own market analysis to make trading decisions and manage risk for themselves. 
  • Managed Futures Account: For those who do not have the time to spend monitoring the markets or if you want to remove the emotional component from your trading decisions.


Futures Trading Education & Resources

We also have a substantial Learning Center that provides our clients with a library of articles, guides, webinars, trading resources, and a trading terms glossary for those just starting out. Take a look at our Futures Market pages to help you get your feet wet and daily Futurescast to help you stay current on the markets.


Introduction to Spread Trading

Introduction to Futures Trading Guide

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RJO Futures | 222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1200 | Chicago, Illinois 60606 | United States
800.441.1616 | 312.373.5478

The risk of trading futures and options can be substantial. Each investor must consider whether this is a suitable investment. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Trading advice is based on information taken from trades and statistical services and other sources that RJO Futures believes to be reliable. We do not guarantee that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. Trading advice reflects our good faith judgement at a specific time and is subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that the advice we give will result in profitable trades.

This material has been prepared by a sales or trading employee or agent of RJO Futures and is, or is in the nature of, a solicitation. This material is not a research report prepared by RJO Futures Research Department. By accepting this communication, you agree that you are an experienced user of the futures markets, capable of making independent trading decisions, and agree that you are not, and will not, rely solely on this communication in making trading decisions.

Distribution in some jurisdictions may be prohibited or restricted by law. Persons in possession of this communication indirectly should inform themselves about and observe any such prohibition or restrictions. To the extent that you have received this communication indirectly and solicitations are prohibited in your jurisdiction with registration, the market commentary in this communication should not be considered a solicitation.