understand futures we must know what Derivative is. Derivatives are
financial contracts whose price/ value is dependent on movement of
price of one or more basic underlying assets [often simply known as
underlings]. Underlying asset can be share, index, interest rate, bond,
rupee dollar exchange rate, commodity, sugar, crude, oil, coffee etc.
– Futures are exchange traded contracts to buy or sell an asset in future at
a price agreed upon today.
Main features of
futures contract are:
No counterparty risk –
stock exchanges act as counterparty i.e. payment & execution
is through share exchange
Ample liquidity –
futures are much more liquid & their price discovery is transparent
Squaring Off – futures
contract can be reversed on screen of exchange unlike forward
contract where it can be reversed with only same counterparty.
Benefits of futures:
positions with less capital outlay
Easy to cut losses –
simply square off
Enables Short selling
if your view is bearish – without getting into any
How does futures work – an example
Bullish view – say
TATA STEEL trades at Rs. 3OO today & u expect it'll touch Rs
45O in one month – What would u do?
Buy TATA STEEL
shares at Rs. 3OO
Other option is to buy
TATA STEEL Futures – Advantage is that u pay only say 2O% of Rs. 3OO
[margins] & not full value.
As u can increase
your commitment approx. 5 times Returns multiply in derivatives
market as compared to Cash market
On daily basis Mark To
Market adjustment is made to your portfolio value which is either +ve
[when market value increases compared to purchase prices] or –ve [when
market value decreases compared to purchase prices]
Are there any risks?
multiply in same proportion as profits
Can this risk be
Squaring off of
position is allowed at any time
position can be done