Futures contracts are derivative instruments that allow investors to speculate on the future price of an underlying asset. Futures contracts are traded on exchange-traded platforms and are often used by forex investors to hedge against price movements in the underlying asset.
In the United Kingdom, futures trading is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA imposes specific rules and regulations on firms that offer futures contracts to UK investors. These rules are designed to protect UK investors from potential risks associated with futures trading.
The most important rule for UK firms offering futures contracts is holding client money in a segregated bank account, ensuring that client money is protected from being used to pay off the firm’s creditors if a firm becomes insolvent.
Another important rule for UK firms offering futures contracts has a risk management system in place. This system must be designed to identify and manage the risks associated with futures trading.
Finally, UK firms offering futures contracts must also provide their clients with information about the risks associated with futures trading. This information must be provided clearly and concisely so that investors can make informed decisions about whether or not to trade futures contracts.
Why UK traders are investing in futures
Futures contracts offer UK traders the opportunity to speculate on the future price of an underlying asset. Investors often use this type of trading to hedge against price movements in the underlying asset.
The UK’s most popular type of futures contract is the FTSE 100 index future. This contract allows UK investors to speculate on the future direction of the FTSE 100 index, which is a mix of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Another popular type of futures contract is currency futures and interest rate futures. These contracts allow UK investors to speculate on the future value of a particular currency or interest rate.
How UK traders can get started in futures trading
UK traders can get started in futures trading by opening an account with a broker that offers this type of trading. Many online brokers offer futures contracts as part of their product offerings.
When choosing a broker, comparing the fees and commissions is essential. Some brokers may charge higher commissions for futures contracts than other investments. It is also essential to check the account’s terms and conditions to ensure no hidden fees or charges.
Once an account has been opened, traders will need to deposit funds into the account. The amount of money required will depend on the broker and the type of contract traded. After the funds have been deposited, traders can start buying and selling futures contracts. Most brokers offer a web-based platform that traders can access from a computer or mobile device.
The web-based platforms brokers typically offer a range of features, including real-time quotes, charts, and news. Some platforms also offer educational resources to help traders learn about futures trading.
What are the risks of UK futures trading?
Futures contracts are complex financial instruments that carry a high degree of risk. UK investors should only trade futures contracts if they are comfortable with these risks.
The most significant risk associated with futures trading is the potential for loss. Unlike other investments, such as stocks and bonds, there is no upper limit on losses in futures trading, meaning that investors can lose more money than they have invested in a single trade.
Another risk associated with futures trading is the potential for margin calls. A margin call occurs when the value of an investor’s account falls below a certain level. If this happens, the broker may require the investor to deposit more money into the account to cover the losses.
Lastly, UK investors should be aware of the risks associated with currency futures contracts. These contracts allow investors to speculate on the future value of a particular currency. However, currency values can fluctuate rapidly, and investors could lose money if they are not careful.
The bottom line
Despite the risks involved, UK traders continue to invest in futures contracts due to the potential for high returns. Futures trading can be complex. Investors can choose to trade futures on their preferred underlying assets, ranging from forex to stocks. Regardless of the instrument they choose to trade, they should ensure they have a solid understanding of how futures work so they can minimise their risk of losses.