Demystifying Discount: A Deep Dive into Futures Trading

Futures trading can be an exciting and potentially lucrative investment option. However, for beginners, it can also be overwhelming and complex. One important aspect of futures trading is understanding discount strategies. The objective of a discount strategy is to lower the cost of the trade while still maintaining exposure to the asset being traded. In this article, we will discuss different discount strategies that traders can use to mitigate the risks of futures trading discount.

The first discount strategy we will talk about is the use of spreads. A spread is a simultaneous purchase and sale of two different but related contracts. The intention of this strategy is to profit from the price difference between the two contracts. For example, if a trader believes that crude oil prices will rise, they could purchase a June crude oil futures contract while simultaneously selling a July crude oil futures contract. The trader makes a profit if the price difference between the two contracts widens.

Another discount strategy is the use of options. Options are contracts that give traders the right but not the obligation to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price and date. Options can be used to hedge against potential losses or as a speculative investment. For instance, a trader who thinks that the price of gold will go up could purchase a call option. If the price of gold does go up, the trader could exercise their option to buy gold at the predetermined price and sell it at a higher market price.

Another popular discount strategy is called the yield curve trade. This strategy involves taking a position in two different contracts with different maturity dates. The objective is to profit from the difference in interest rates between the two contracts. For example, a trader could buy a December Treasury bill and simultaneously sell a March Treasury bill.

Another discount strategy is known as buying on margin. This strategy allows traders to buy more futures contracts than they can afford by borrowing money from a broker. Margin trading can be risky because losses can be magnified as well as gains. However, many traders use margin trading to amplify their profits.

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The last discount strategy we will discuss is the use of stop-loss orders. A stop-loss order is an automatic order to sell a contract if it falls below a certain price. Stop-loss orders can be used to limit potential losses. For instance, if a trader buys a December corn futures contract at $5.00, they could set a stop-loss order at $4.80. If the price of corn falls below $4.80, the contract will be automatically sold, limiting the trader’s potential losses.


Futures trading is an exciting investment option that carries its fair share of risks. However, traders can mitigate those risks by making use of different discount strategies. In this article, we discussed five popular discount strategies used by futures traders: spreads, options, yield curve trades, buying on margin, and stop-loss orders. By using these strategies, traders can reduce their trading costs, minimize their losses, and maximize their profits. Before using any of these strategies, make sure to do your research and fully understand the risks involved. Happy trading!

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