Futures vs Options: What's Best for You in 2023? • Gasoline (2023)

buy or sellStocks or ETFsit is simple. Place a market or limit order and wait for the trade to be executed. You control the shares you buy. You can also control stocks through futures and options, each with their own advantages.


  • Key Takeaways: Futures vs. options
  • What are futures?
  • What are the options?
  • Futures vs Options: Similarities
  • Futures vs Options: Differences
  • Best Online Futures Brokers
  • The best online option brokers
  • Final Thoughts on Futures vs. options
  • frequent questions

Key Takeaways: Futures vs. options

  • represent futuresa sale that will take place in the future. It is a contract that the purchase will be sometime after the current period.
  • the options arethe ability to buy or sell shares. Options are divided into call and put options, which we explore below.
  • Futures and Optionsthey have their similarities, but they are triggered in different situations.

What are futures?

The purchase or sale of a share is done in real time.Futures trading is a contract to buy or sell in the future.

A futures contract has a buyer and a seller who agree to buy or sell an asset at a specific price on a specific day. The asset canloco, a currency, or even an index like the Dow Jones Industrial Index. A common use of futures contracts is to eliminate price volatility in commodity markets.

OVolumeVonfuturesThe contracts can be an indication of where the price or index will go in the short term, but there are some subtleties to understanding future volume. Another element must be taken into account, called “open interest', which is a measure of how many orders were not fulfilled because the price fell short of the price of those orders.

trade my futures

For example, rising volume combined with rising open interest can confirm a trend, while rising volume and falling open interest suggest a sell-off. Futures contracts are traded on futures exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME); S&P 500 futures have the largest volume of futures contracts to date, followed by the 10-year T-Note, 5-year T-Note, Crude Oil and Corn.

Futures contracts can represent almost any index or commodity, but some indices and commodities generate more interest and therefore more trading opportunities.

What are the options?

You may remember the term "derivatives" from the 2008 economic crisis; More specifically, you may remember "mortgage derivatives."optionsare also derived. TOA stock option is a derivative because it is not the stock itself, but rather an option to buy or sell the stock..

The fact that options are called options should not be overlooked. Unlike other types of trading, there is no obligation to buy or sell the underlying security. There are two types of options that allow you to bet on either side of the trade.

the purchase option

Athe purchase option isan option to buy at a later date. It's a bit like browsing your favorite store and selecting an item to stock, but there is a fee to stock the item. This fee, called the premium, is the cost of the options contract. It makes sense that there is a fee because when you buy the option, you didn't buy the item.

However, you can control that item, in this case inventory, for a small fraction of the acquisition cost of the inventory.

put options

AThe put option is an option to put at a later date. Put options can be used in a variety of investment strategies, including betting on a market downturn, but one of the most common strategies is to use put options as a simple insurance policy. Put options can hedge your downside potential when the market takes a nosedive. Let's say you bought shares of an S&P 500 Index ETF (SPY) for $250.

If you buy put options on these shares for 10% less than their purchase price of $250, you can limit your loss to $25 per share if the share price falls more than 10%. Of course, you have to pay a premium for this option and the option is only good for a limited time.

It's like insurance in that sense: you only pay if you need it, but you may never need it. Also, just like insurance, if you want continued protection, you'll need to renew your policy or, in this case, buy more puts. Check out our guide on the subject.best option strategiesfor more.

trading options

Buying an option is, well, optional. You do not need to complete the second half of the trade, that is, buy or sell the security at the option price, and this applies whether the option is a call or a put.

However, selling an option can create an obligation to buy or sell it. Most investors are option buyers, also known as option buyers.caller andholder set.

Sellers of options, called callers or put writers, are the people or organizations that write the option contracts and collect the premiums.

Futures vs Options: Similarities

  • No margin, no service.Futures and options trading requires margin accounts. this does not excludeIRAcomplete, but a third-party custodian must be set up for the account, an additional hurdle. For retail traders, an individual (margined) brokerage account is most commonly used, which also helps separate retirement investing from more exotic businesses, such as futures or options trading.
  • insurance used.Both futures and options can be a simple form of insurance, either to keep prices within an understandable range or to protect investment positions to the downside.

Futures vs Options: Differences

  • Contract dates affect trading.Futures contracts only allow the underlying asset to be traded on the date specified in the contract. Options can be exercised at any time prior to the expiration date of the option.
  • Options are optional.Futures and options also differ in the requirement to place a trade. Futures are a trade, if they hold. In most cases, the futures contract is sold before the expiration date, so the trader doesn't have to carry 1,000 barrels of oil, live cattle, pork belly shoulders, or whatever is being traded. . does not need to be trained. If there is no business or investment reason to exercise the option, the option may lapse, the only cost being the contract premium.

Best Online Futures Brokers

Interested in trading futures? Take a look at the online brokers below to get started.

  • NinjaTrader Numbers

    More details

    better for

    Advanced Futures Trading

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    securely via the NinjaTrader website

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  • trading Post

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    general evaluation

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    securely via the TradeStation website

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  • Tradovate

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    better for

    high volume traders

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    securely via the Tradovate website

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The best online option brokers

Are you interested in trading options? Take a look at the online brokers below to get started.

  • Tasty

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    education options

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    securely via the Tastyworks website

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  • Webbull

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    better for

    intermediaries and investors

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    securely via the Webull app

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  • TD Ameritrade

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    (Video) Advanced Options Trading Strategies | #oiltrading #optionstrading

    better for

    option management

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    securely through the TD Ameritrade website

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Final Thoughts on Futures vs. options

Futures and options are similar in many ways, but they are often used for different purposes. A futures contract is the vehicle of choice for many active traders looking to profit from the ups and downs of the market.

Because of better liquidity, futures bid-ask spreads are typically tighter than options, an important consideration when margins are tight and doubly important when you're working with a limited amount of money in your trading account. Of course, if you have an industrial interest, futures are also useful for managing the cost of commodities.

Options are a great way to insure your investment, hedge your losses, or simply speculate by betting on the rise or fall of a stock, index, or commodity price. More sophisticated options trading is also available for investors who want to combine call and put options, or even create a "synthetic" position that behaves like actual ownership of the underlying asset.

Ready to start trading futures or options? Check out Benzinga's Top Picksbest futures brokersor theThe best brokers to trade options.

frequent questions


What is the difference between options and futures?


A futures contract involves an agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a specific time in the future at a specific price. An options contract gives the buyer the right to purchase the asset at a fixed price.


Can you make more money with futures than with options?


Futures rise faster and use more leverage than options to increase your overall return.

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