Trading futures and futures options involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of principal. Futures and futures options transactions are intended for sophisticated investors, are complex, and are not appropriate for all investors. For more information, please read the Risk Disclosure Statement prior to applying for a futures account. You can also view the E*TRADE Futures LLC Financial Information and Disclosure Documents.
Each futures trade is $1.50 (per side, per contract, plus exchange fees), excluding bitcoin futures trades, which are $2.50 (per side, per contract, plus exchange fees). In addition to the per contract, per side commission, futures customers may be assessed additional fees, including applicable futures exchange and National Futures Association fees, as well as brokerage charges for execution of non-electronically traded futures and futures options contracts. These fees are not established by E*TRADE and will vary by exchange.
The amount of initial margin is small relative to the value of the futures contract. A relatively small market movement will have a proportionately larger impact on the funds you have deposited or will have to deposit, which may work against you as well as for you. You may sustain a total loss of initial margin funds and any additional funds deposited with E*TRADE to maintain your position. If the market moves against your positions or margin levels are increased, you may be called upon by E*TRADE to pay substantial additional funds on short notice to maintain your position or your position may be liquidated at a loss by E*TRADE and you will be liable for any resulting deficit.
With respect to self-directed, individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), you should understand that trading futures or options on futures is speculative in nature and subject to risks that may be greater than those of other investment vehicles in which retirement funds may be invested. You must determine whether trading futures in your IRA is advisable based on your specific financial circumstances, your risk tolerance, the number of years until your retirement, and other factors. You should consult a professional advisor to determine if futures trading, even on a limited basis, in your IRA is consistent with your financial goals.