A brief summary of the main advantages and disadvantages of future contracts
Futures contracts in foreign exchange are different from currency forwards in quite a few ways. The first thing to realise is the a future is completely different to a forward.
A forward is mainly used for hedging currency exposure whereas a future (especially in foreign exchange) is used predominant (nowadays) for speculating.
Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of future contracts versus forward contracts:
Advantages of futures contracts
- Futures contracts have very low margin.
- Futures contracts are on exchange so somewhat reduce counter party risk
- The cost for trading futures are very low compare to currency forwards.
Disadvantages of futures contracts
- Some brokers may insist clients close positions before delivery
- Trade in lots of preset amounts that are inflexible for exact accounting
- Mainly traded on US based exchanges
- Not as flexible for accounting purposes
- Mainly a speculative product
- They trade in large amounts that cannot be partially closed
- You need to be a professional trader to get the full benefits
You may also be interested in these sections:
- Compare currency brokers
- What are currency forwards?
- Currency forward quotes
- FX forward pricing
- Currency forward rates
- Currency forward contract pricing formula
- Forward exchange contract advantages and disadvantages
- Advantages and disadvantages of future contracts
- Advantages and disadvantages of forward contracts and currency options
- Advantages and disadvantages of option contracts
- Advantages and disadvantages of money market hedge
- Business risks of forward contracts
- Advantages of futures and forwards
- Currency hedging forward contracts