You can count on RJO Futures to supply you with information you need about the markets, trading strategies and trading best practices all based on our decades of focusing on serving the futures trading community.

We encourage you to download any and all of the following guides to gain the knowledge you need to become the best trader you can be. And, don’t hesitate to contact one of our RJO Futures brokers with any questions you might have. They’ll be happy to help you understand more about trading futures.

Save yourself some trouble. If you’re looking for multiple educational guides, just request one now and then have your RJO Futures broker send any of the others you’d like in one convenient email.

Getting Started in Futures Trading

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Get a good foundation to begin building your futures trading efforts with this introductory guide to the futures markets.

In the Futures 101 section, you’ll learn what a futures contract is (and isn’t), how futures trading works on regulated exchanges and how margin is determined in these leveraged instruments.

Count on a clear explanation of how futures can diversify your holdings and protect them from an adverse market move.

Plus, see real-market examples of how the value of a contract and your profit or loss changes as prices move.

Ideal for the trader just beginning to explore the futures markets.

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Starting from the beginning is a good place to start, and that’s what you’ll get in this introductory guide to trading options on futures.

You’ll learn and understand the top reasons traders choose options on futures, including the ability to define the amount of risk they take, use leverage in a responsible way and generate income against outright futures positions. You’ll also learn the differences between the three ways to liquidate an options position offset, exercise or expiration.

Keep this handy resource close by to understand both options terminology including strike price, intrinsic value and time value and how to read an options quote in a trading platform.

Ideal for any trader taking the first step toward trading options on futures.

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Managed Futures offer a strategic complement to equity and bond portfolios by providing distinct advantages:

  • Diverse Sources of Returns: Unlike traditional stocks and bonds, Managed Futures introduce a unique avenue for potential gains, enhancing portfolio diversity.
  • Expertise Access through CTAs allows investors to benefit from:
    • Leveraging the expertise of Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) to navigate the global futures markets.
    • Gaining practical exposure to futures trading with the guidance of professional money managers, who bring a wealth of knowledge and strategic insight.

Ideal for anyone looking to learn more about professionally managed accounts.

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If you have experience trading stocks, this guide can help you take the next step on your trading path commodity futures. Developed from a stock trader’s point of view, this guide explains how the futures markets work in terms that will ring a familiar bell.

Check out the big, full-page table that compares futures and stocks side-by-side in 10 different areas. In the FAQ section, you’ll get straightforward answers to some tough questions about why to choose a broker that specializes in futures, contract deliveries and the risk involved in trading futures.

This guide is ideal for the stock trader who wants to know:

  • Why trade futures?
  • What is a futures contract?
  • How does futures trading work?
  • Who uses futures and why?

Next Steps in Futures Trading

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Experienced traders know that managing risk is one of the most important factors in becoming a successful futures trader. This guide gathers these best practices into a single, usable reference.

You’ll discover the six keys to mastering risk management leverage, position size, risk capital, market diversification, market volatility and stop orders and get ideas on how to implement them in your own trading.

Learn how trading strategies are an integral part of risk management, including use of support and resistance levels. Most importantly, you’ll see how different trading approaches can produce similar results if executed with discipline.

Plus–an 8-step checklist for managing futures trading risk you’ll want to have front-and-center as a reminder.

This guide provides solid information and advice for any trader from novice to old pro.

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For traders entering the futures market, it’s essential to grasp its benefits and risks. This guide highlights key strategies to refine your trading skills for better outcomes such as:

  • Embracing Market Volatility
  • Understanding Market Features

Avoid common pitfalls, such as not having a trading plan, and engage in continuous learning. Understanding market orders and seasonal effects and employing strategic approaches will set the foundation for your trading journey. Ideal for anyone looking to expand their futures trading knowledge.

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Avoid learning all the lessons from the school of hard knocks first-hand. Instead, embrace this guide to recognizing the Top 20 do’s and don’ts of futures trading!

Culled from years even decades of experience from both traders and brokers, these tips are the best of the best in helping you stay on the straight and narrow with your trading. Best of all, it’s advice you can trust from RJO Futures, which has specialized in service futures traders for 100 years.

Do you have a trading plan? Do you know the best way to place an order? Do you take profits? How about letting emotions trump your plan? Or, letting a winner turn into a loser? Learn about all these tips and more in this complimentary guide.

Ideal for all traders.

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Take a page out of the playbook of many pension funds and learn why adding exposure to the futures markets in your retirement plan could work for you.

This guide clearly discusses the restrictions involved with adding futures to a retirement plan. It also provides an outline of the benefits this asset class can provide, such as diversification. Finally, review a few guidelines to help you decide whether that is even sensible, based on your goals.

Whether you own an IRA or a 401(k) or both you’ll learn the questions to ask yourself and your tax advisor in deciding whether futures markets, either outright contracts or a managed futures program, should be part of your retirement plan.

Ideal for investors with IRA and 401(k) retirement plans.

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Jumpstart your futures trading journey with the Futures Trading Starter Pack from RJO Futures. This essential pack is designed to lay a solid foundation for your trading endeavors:

  • Comprehensive Learning Material: This includes three free guides: Introduction to Futures Trading, Technical Analysis Trading, and The Top 20 Do’s and Don’ts of Trading Futures.
  • Build a Strong Foundation: Understand the basics and protect your investments with structured guidance.
  • Accessible Expertise: These guides, compiled by knowledgeable brokers, are offered for FREE to help you begin with confidence.

Dive into futures trading armed with the fundamentals to navigate the markets more effectively.

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Embark on your options trading journey with the Options Trading Starter Pack, tailored to demystify the complexities of trading options on futures:

  • Introduction to Options on Futures Trading: Learn essential terms like strike price, intrinsic value, time value, and how to interpret an options quote.
  • Options Trading Strategies: Discover how to design an options strategy that aligns with your market outlook—bullish, bearish, or neutral—and your predictions on market volatility.
  • Weekly Options: Understand the nuances of evaluating the risks and rewards of your chosen strategies, including insights into incorporating weekly options into your trading plan.

With three comprehensive guides offered by RJO Futures, you’re set to begin with confidence, equipped with the fundamentals of options on futures trading.

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Avoid the critical mistakes in this business of trading. Be a student of the markets and focus on mastering the basics of trading for profit while managing risk. Most amateurs take unlimited risks for limited gains, this is not a good business strategy. Learn from the mistakes that you make in the market and be persistent. Trading with a proven strategy can reduce these critical errors.

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RJO Futures’ comprehensive ebook – Trading Opportunities for Busy People – helps traders to navigate the time constraints and pressures of modern life.

Achieving a good work-life balance, while also trying to identify good trading opportunities and execute them effectively, sometimes seems nigh on impossible. In this guide, we show you how to get the best out of your time in the market with specific, easy to follow graphic examples, drawn from our many years of trading experience.

Futures Trading Strategies

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Whether you’re new to trading or just need a refresher course, this guide provides the ground-floor basics of technical analysis tools and techniques. With easy-to-understand explanations and clearly marked illustrations using real market charts, you’ll want to refer to this guide again and again.

After a short course in the who, what, when, where and why of technical analysis, this guide starts at the beginning with trendlines, then moves on to recognizing chart patterns that can indicate either a continuation or change in the trend.

End the mystery about candlestick patterns with explanations and examples of 10 popular formations. Finally, learn about market sentiment and momentum and how to apply any of several popular market studies, including Bollinger Bands, MACD and RSI.

Ideal for traders of any level of experience.

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Custom-design an options strategy to fit your market outlook bullish, bearish or neutral or your outlook on market volatility. This guide goes beyond the basics to help you understand how to evaluate a strategy’s risk as well as its reward.

Find the strategy that’s right for you by choosing from the “Strategies at a Glance” table at the beginning of the guide. Start with your market outlook. Then hone in on your strategy based on the risk you’re willing to take and the potential reward.

Then, learn more about the strategy and see a graph of how an example strategy’s position value both when the position is initiated and when it expires.

Ideal as a follow-up guide to “Introduction to Options.”

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Many traders gravitate toward spreads because they often are less risky, have more attractive margin requirements and can be more predictable than an outright futures position.

This guide explains the basics of trading spreads. You’ll learn:

  • What defines a spread trade
  • How spreads are quoted
  • Four types of spreads
  • How spread profits and losses are calculated
  • Pros and cons of using spreads

Clear examples show the five ways each spread trade you enter can make or lose money, so you’re prepared for whatever happens in the market. Plus, you’ll have no more confusion about the differences between intramarket, intercrop, intermarket and intercommodity spreads!

Ideal for traders who like to minimize risk and appreciate the slow and steady approach.

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Dive into the dynamics of the futures market, primarily distinguished by two participant types: hedgers and speculators. “Hedging” signifies the strategic pursuit of risk mitigation through counterbalancing investments, especially relevant in futures trading:

  • Core Focus: Explore agricultural markets, the fundamentals of hedging with futures and basis, and advanced futures and options hedging strategies.
  • Hedging Explained: Defines how hedging protects investors by offering a detailed walkthrough of various hedging strategies tailored to minimize potential losses.

This guide equips you with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of hedging within the futures market, fostering informed decision-making for your investment strategy.

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Discover the advantages of Weekly Options with RJO Futures, a versatile tool that mirrors standard options, differing only in their shorter expiration period. This unique feature presents benefits for traders:

  • Cost Efficiency and Flexibility: Enjoy lower costs due to reduced time value for near or at-the-money strike prices, allowing for more strategic, budget-friendly trading moves.
  • Enhanced Market Participation: With low margin requirements, traders can maintain positions in volatile markets that were previously inaccessible.

Leverage Weekly Options’ flexibility in your trading strategy by requesting your copy of Trading with Weekly Options now.

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Our Trading Volatility with Options eBook, based off of the popular webinar, provides a solid and practical framework to help you effectively trade volatility by using options and futures. Volatility is a crucially important factor when it comes to pricing an option. Our guide is packed with specific, easy to follow graphic examples, drawn from our many years of trading experience.

Trading the Futures Markets

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RJO Futures’ detailed eBook – Trading E-mini S&P 500 futures contracts – highlights the advantages of thinking small. We outline the significant advantages of trading E-mini S&P 500 futures contracts, the world’s most popular index futures market. In this eBook, we demonstrate how the E-mini – which is one-fifth the size of the standard S&P 500 futures contract – provides a low margin, cash-efficient trading option.

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This guide delves into the multifaceted world of interest rates, uncovering the key factors that influence their movement. From central bank policies to global economic indicators, understanding these elements is crucial for informed bond investing:

  • Key Market Influencers: Learn how the Fed, inflation, demand for Treasuries, the yield curve, and the positioning of U.S. debt on the global stage impact interest rates.
  • Strategic Investment Decisions: Gain insights into understanding what market factors to watch for when making trading decisions with interest rate products such as Treasuries.

Equipping yourself with this knowledge can provide a solid foundation for making well-informed investment choices.

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Dive into the world of currency futures trading with RJO Futures through our guide, Trading Currency Futures. This resource is designed to clarify the complexities of currency futures, making it accessible to traders of all levels:

  • Foundational Knowledge: Learn about the origins, evolution, and mechanics of currency futures, including how to take long and short positions and interpret volume, open interest, and price trends.
  • Strategies and Tools: Understand the significance of standardization, margin, leverage, hedging, speculating, risk management, and technical momentum strategies in fostering a trading environment.

With RJO Futures, trade in some of the most liquid markets globally and benefit from our commitment to helping clients become successful traders. Seize trading opportunities in a market that allows round the clock trading across actively traded currency pairs.

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Unlock the potential of economic reports in influencing futures markets with RJO Futures’ Fundamental Reports Guide. This essential guide empowers traders to interpret crucial data, helping to navigate market trends with confidence:

  • Master Economic Indicators: Understand the significance of reports on existing and new home sales, durable goods orders, consumer, and producer price indexes, and more to grasp their impact on market direction.
  • Strategic Advantage: Discover how these reports reveal growth and inflation trends, providing insights for making well-informed trading decisions.

This concise guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to effectively use key economic reports and market indicators for strategic trading in the futures markets.

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RJO Futures positions itself as your all-encompassing futures trading broker, backed by extensive resources and research. Dive into the agricultural sector with direct access to key markets:

  • Wide Range of Agricultural Futures: Access a diverse portfolio including Corn, Wheat, Soybean, Feeder Cattle, Live Cattle, and Hog Futures.
  • Comprehensive Trading Support: Benefit from our resources and research to confidently navigate the agricultural futures market.

Explore agricultural futures trading with RJO Futures, where expertise and accessibility converge to empower your trading strategy.

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RJO Futures is your comprehensive brokerage hub for futures trading, offering various resources and research tailored to your needs. With direct access to vital energy markets, you can expand your trading portfolio:

  • Diverse Energy Futures: Trade in a variety of markets including Crude Oil, Heating Oil, Natural Gas, and RBOB Gasoline Futures.
  • One-Stop Trading Solution: Leverage our resources and research to make informed trading decisions in the energy sector.

Embark on your trading journey with RJO Futures, where access meets expertise in the dynamic world of energy futures trading.

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RJO Futures is your comprehensive solution for futures trading, offering an extensive suite of resources and research. Step into the metals market with direct pathways to pivotal trading areas:

  • Extensive Metals Futures Access: Engage with a broad spectrum of metals markets, including Gold, Silver, Copper, and Platinum Futures.
  • All-in-One Trading Platform: Utilize our in-depth resources and research to make well-informed decisions in the metals futures landscape.

With RJO Futures, you’re equipped with the tools and insights needed to effectively navigate the complexities of metals futures trading.

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RJO Futures offers a complete brokerage service for futures trading, enriched with valuable resources and research. Venture into the soft commodities market with access to a variety of sectors:

  • Diverse Soft Commodities: Trade directly in Cocoa, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, and Orange Juice Futures.
  • Comprehensive Trading Support: Leverage our extensive resources and research to confidently navigate the softs market.

Unlock the potential of the soft commodities market with RJO Futures, where expertise and direct market access combine to enhance your trading strategy.