What Are Managed Futures?

The term “managed futures” refers to a 30-year-old sector made up of commodities trading advisers, or CTAs, who are professional money managers. Before they can offer themselves to the public as money managers, CTAs must register with the US government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC). CTAs must also pass an FBI background check and present detailed disclosure documentation (including with annual independent audits of financial accounts) that are examined by the National Futures Association (NFA), a self-regulatory monitoring organization.

What is the definition of a managed futures strategy?

  • Managed futures are a type of alternative investment that consists of a portfolio of futures contracts that are professionally managed.
  • Managed futures are commonly used by large funds and institutional investors as a portfolio and market diversification alternative to traditional hedge funds.
  • The market-neutral method and the trend-following strategy are two popular approaches for trading managed futures.
  • Market-neutral strategies seek to profit from mispricing-induced spreads and arbitrage, whereas trend-following strategies seek to profit from going long or short based on fundamentals and/or technical market signals.

Is it wise to invest in managed futures?

Managed futures ETFs are the most popular way to earn positive returns regardless of the stock market’s direction (up or down in aggregate pricing). For some investors, these ETFs are not ideal investments, but they can be utilized prudently as part of a diversified portfolio or as a short-term hedging strategy.

Are managed futures and hedge funds the same thing?

Managed futures strategies can only trade exchange-cleared futures, options on futures, and forward markets, whereas hedge funds can trade a wider range of markets, including individual equity and fixed income assets, as well as over-the-counter derivatives on such securities.

Managed futures are a type of asset class.

Managed futures are a type of alternative asset class (or strategy) that has performed well in both bull and bear markets. CTAs can earn alpha by combining professional management with a wide portfolio of futures contracts.

Is futures trading riskier than stock trading?

What Are Futures and How Do They Work? Futures are no riskier than other types of assets such as stocks, bonds, or currencies in and of themselves. This is because the values of futures, whether they are futures on stocks, bonds, or currencies, are determined by the prices of the underlying assets.

What exactly is a CTA investor?

Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) are professional investment managers that invest in exchange traded futures and options, as well as over-the-counter forward contracts, to profit from movements in the global financial, commodity, and currency markets.

The fundamental advantage of CTAs’ investment programs is their portfolio construction technique, which allows investors to participate in numerous global market sectors at the same time, including foreign exchange, energy, metals, interest rates, equity indexes, and commodities. Please view the pie chart below for further information.

Managed Futures investments are those made using a CTA because the CTA may manage each client’s individual account, placing trades directly on the client’s behalf, much like a personal investment manager.

How do you go about purchasing managed futures?

A managed-futures mutual fund or ETF may be the simplest and most cost-effective approach to include managed futures into your portfolio. You can acquire access to a group of managed-futures assets in a single vehicle by investing in funds. Without having to interact directly with a fund manager to make investment decisions, you can effortlessly diversify.

The main distinction between managed-futures mutual funds and managed-futures exchange-traded funds is how they are exchanged. ETFs, like stocks, trade on a stock exchange; mutual fund prices are settled once a day at the end of trading. ETFs can also save money on taxes because the underlying investments are often rotated less frequently, resulting in fewer capital gains tax events.

Pay attention to the investments made by managed-futures funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) when analyzing them. Examine the underlying investments to determine which sectors are covered, then examine how this aligns with your diversification requirements, risk tolerance, and investing objectives.

After that, think about the price. The expense ratio is the most important cost to consider when investing in a mutual fund or ETF. Your cost ratio is a proportion of assets that represents how much you’ll pay to hold the fund each year. Ideally, you should seek out funds with lower expense ratios, as this will result in cheaper expenses.

Finally, look at the fund’s past performance to get a feel of how well it has performed for investors in the past. Just keep in mind that past performance isn’t always indicative of future results.

What exactly is a CTA investment?

A commodities trading advisor (CTA) is a person or company who, for a fee or profit, advises others on the worth of or suitability of trading futures contracts, options on futures, retail off-exchange currency contracts, or swaps.

NFA Members are required for all registered CTAs who manage or exert discretion over customer accounts or give commodities trading advise based on, or adapted to, commodity interest, cash market holdings, or other conditions or characteristics of specific clients.

The requirements for exemption from CTA registration are outlined in CFTC Regulation 4.14, which include:

  • Advice was given to 15 or fewer people in the last 12 months, and the entity does not normally advertise itself as a CTA; or
  • Entity is CFTC-registered and provides advise only as a sideline to its business or profession; or
  • Advice is given that is not based on or tailored to the specific trading account or trading behaviour of a customer.