Stocks & Commodities V. 26:6 (41): Futures For You by Carley Garner

Stocks & Commodities V. 26:6 (41): Futures For You by Carley Garner
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Futures For You by Carley Garner

With margins at or near all-time highs, how should a small speculator approach commodity trading?

Very carefully. The futures exchanges have effectively doubled, even tripled, if not more, the margin required to hold many popular futures contracts. It wasn’t that long ago that the margin on a full-sized corn futures was near $400; now, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) requires that you have at least $2,025 in your account before putting on a contract. As a result of the margin increases, many of the small speculators feel as if they are being squeezed out of commodity trading.

However, there are affordable ways to get involved in the markets. In the case of the grain complex, the mini contracts have suddenly become very attractive. A few years ago, it was difficult to make enough money trading mini–grain futures to make up the transaction costs, let alone give traders the adrenaline rush or profit potential that many are yearning for.

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