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Managed Futures

In this article, We learn about “Managed Futures “.Let’s Go!

Managed Futures Strategy is an alternative investment approach that involves investing in a portfolio of professionally managed futures contracts.

A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell an asset at a set price at a future date.

Managed futures strategies can be used to trade a variety of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities.

These strategies are typically executed by commodity trading advisors (CTAs) or professional hedge funds, which use a systematic, rules-based trading approach to exploit price trends and market inefficiencies.

Managed futures offer investors the potential for diversification, non-correlation to traditional assets and the ability to profit in a variety of market environments.

What is a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA)?

Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs) are professional asset managers who specialize in trading a variety of financial and commodity markets using a systematic, rules-based approach.

CTA manages client assets (usually within managed futures funds) by employing a variety of trading strategies to generate returns in different market environments.

CTA primarily trades futures contracts, which are standardized agreements to buy or sell a specific asset at a predetermined price and date in the future.

These contracts can be based on a variety of underlying assets, including commodities (such as agricultural products, metals and energy), currencies, equities and fixed income instruments.

CTAs are generally regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and must also be registered with the National Futures Association (NFA) .

These regulators ensure that CTAs adhere to strict ethical and professional standards, maintain transparent reporting practices, and act in the best interests of their clients.

Key Features of Managed Futures Strategies

  • Diverse Asset Classes: Managed futures strategies trade multiple asset classes, including commodities, currencies, equities, and fixed income. By diversifying across multiple markets, managed futures can help reduce portfolio risk and capture a wider range of opportunities.
  • Systematic Trading Approach: Managed futures funds typically rely on a systematic trading approach, using quantitative models and algorithms to identify trading signals and execute trades. This rules-based approach helps remove human emotion and bias from the decision-making process, resulting in more disciplined and consistent investment decisions.
  • Active Risk Management: CTAs and managed futures funds place a strong emphasis on risk management, utilizing techniques such as position sizing, stop-loss orders, and portfolio diversification to manage risk and protect capital.

Benefits of Managed Futures Strategies

  • Portfolio Diversification: Managed futures strategies have historically had low correlations with traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds. This uncorrelation can provide valuable diversification benefits and help reduce overall portfolio risk.
  • Potential for Absolute Returns: Managed futures strategies aim to generate positive returns regardless of market conditions, which makes them attractive to investors seeking absolute returns rather than relative performance.
  • Adaptability to market conditions: Managed futures funds use a systematic approach that can adapt to changing market conditions, allowing them to profit from a variety of market environments, including trend and non-trend periods as well as high and Market volatility during low periods.

Challenges of Managed Futures Strategies

  • Complexity and Expertise: Managed futures strategies can be complex and require a deep understanding of quantitative methods, market dynamics, and risk management techniques. This may make them more suitable for professional and institutional investors rather than individual investors.
  • High Fees and Costs: Managed futures funds typically charge relatively high fees, such as management fees and performance-based fees, compared to other investment vehicles. Additionally, the frequent trading associated with managed futures strategies can result in higher transaction costs, which if not managed well, can erode returns.
  • Short-Term Underperformance: Managed futures strategies may experience periods of short-term underperformance, particularly during periods of low market volatility or sudden market reversals. Investors must have a long-term perspective and patience to benefit from the potential advantages of managed futures strategies.


In summary, a managed futures strategy is an alternative investment approach focused on trading diversified asset classes through a systematic, rules-based approach.

This strategy offers the potential for portfolio diversification, uncorrelation to traditional assets, and the ability to profit in a variety of market conditions.

However, managed futures can be complex and require expertise to implement effectively.

Additionally, investors must carefully consider fees, costs, and the potential for short-term underperformance when evaluating managed futures strategies.

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