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 cryptocurrency 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 Futures LLC (“E*TRADE Futures”) and will vary by exchange. E*TRADE Futures may participate in U.S. futures exchange rebate programs pursuant to which E*TRADE Futures may receive remuneration based on the quantity or volume of orders submitted or trades executed by E*TRADE Futures customers on such exchanges.
Futures margin, also known as a “performance bond,” is the amount of money you are required to deposit in your account to open and hold a futures position. Unlike margin trading in the equity market, futures margin is not a loan. The amount of initial margin (i.e., required upfront capital) is small relative to the notional 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 your initial investment, any additional funds deposited to maintain your position, or potentially amounts exceeding your initial investment or the prior days’ minimum regulatory requirements, and which may require you to deposit additional funds into your account to satisfy any resulting debits. If the funds in your account drop below the minimum regulatory requirement at any given time, you may be called upon to pay substantial additional funds on short notice to maintain your position or your position may be automatically liquidated at a loss and you will be liable for any resulting deficit. As a general matter, E*TRADE Futures does not permit physical delivery of commodities or digital assets. Customers that hold futures to maturity may be subject to immediate liquidation including at a loss and appliable fees.
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.