Fundamentals of Futures & Options (& applicable to NFA Series 3 Exam)

Fundamentals of Futures & Options (& applicable to NFA Series 3 Exam)


Image: 2 booksFor more than 30 years, the IFM has provided attendees with a solid understanding of futures, options and swaps markets from trading and mechanics to terminology, risk management, pricing, and basic trade strategies and regulation.

This virtual instructor-led course is delivered in 2-hour sessions occurring over 5 days. Program is delivered by an engaging instructor with extensive real-world expertise, and the class discussion is supported by case studies, practice exercises and print materials. The course fee includes two must-read industry books - Futures and Options and the Guide to U.S. Futures Regulation.

Learning Outcome

After the course you will be able to:

  • Describe trading and uses of futures and be able compare and contrast futures to securities and cash market products.
  • Understand futures trading theory, basic functions, characteristics, pricing and terminology.
  • Interpret problems faced by those who are either long or short the market and understand how using listed contracts alleviates those problems by calculation of profit or loss with/without futures implementation.
  • Explain the principles of margins, offset, settlement.
  • Understand the strategy used in different order types.
  • Describe the nature of “basis risk” and how it may impact normally robust hedging results.
  • Describe the nature of future spreads as “relative positions”.
  • Identify the principles of hedging and cash-futures price relationships as well as the importance of the basis.
  • Understand the use of futures to hedge exposure to an underlying commodity or to speculate on a future price.
  • Enumerate the uses of stock-indexes, foreign exchange, energy, metals and other futures-based commodities.
  • Understand options nomenclature including premiums, exercise, assignment and settlement.
  • Describe option price determinants of option price and how they affect the option premium.
  • Understand use of option spreads to focus on a given market forecast; implementing vertical spread, horizontal spread, straddle, strangles, butterfly and condor strategies.
  • Compare futures and options on futures as risk management tools.
  • Understand portfolio management strategies and tactics using various futures and options products to modify the risk characteristics of a given portfolio.


Who Should Attend?

This virtual instructor-led course is suitable for anyone requiring an in-depth understanding of futures, options and swaps markets.

  • Prospective and new markets users
  • Commercial commodity producers and suppliers
  • Companies that provide financial, energy, industrial and food products
  • Money managers
  • Legal and compliance staff
  • New hires and interns
  • Industry vendors
  • Exchange personnel
  • Regulators and public policymakers
  • Support staff including IT, risk management, operations, marketing, sales, supply and distribution, treasury, and accounting
  • Series 3 candidates


Level: Fundamental to Intermediate

Duration and Format: Virtual instructor-led course is delivered in 2-hour sessions per day on five (5) consecutive days.  Note: This course includes an advance reading assignment.

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Series 3 Exam Candidates

This course is well-suited for those preparing for the Series 3 Exam — the National Commodities Futures Examination — which is basic proficiency standards established for industry professionals. The course covers all the market knowledge section (85 questions) of the Series 3 Exam and major aspects of the regulation section (35 questions). Additional test taking tips are covered at the end of the class. 



Qualify for a Discount?  FIA Member firms and their employees are eligible for discounts on courses. FIA members include more than 300 financial services firms as well as fund managers, commercial hedgers, global exchanges, technology vendors, and legal and other professional services providers. 

Registration Options

Virtual Live. 2-hour sessions on 5 days.
Class Size
Virtual Live. 2-hour sessions on 5 days.
Shipping of course materials for the course to a non-U.S. location is subject to an additional postage fee based on country location. For an exact quote, please contact us at 1-202-223-1528, or via e-mail at

FIA Member discounted rate will be applied at checkout: $495 Early-bird Discount | $595 Standard Fee

If you have questions or are unable to complete your online order, please contact the IFM at 1-202-223-1528, or via e-mail at