Fundamentals of Futures & Options / Series 3 Exam Course

Fundamentals of Futures & Options / Series 3 Exam Course


For more than 30 years, IFM has consistently provided learners with a solid foundation and understanding of futures and options markets and trading including terminology, risk management, pricing, and basic trade strategies.

This two-day course includes lecture from an engaging instructor with real-world expertise and supported by class discussion, practice exercises and educational materials. The course fee includes two must-read industry books - Futures and Options and the Guide to U.S. Futures Regulation. The fee also includes a 6-month subscription to PassMaster is a comprehensive, Web-delivered educational program that helps students customize and streamline study time.  PassMaster consists of two distinct components  — a Tutorial with test questions and answers and an Series 3 Exam Simulator for NFA candidates.

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

Anyone requiring an in-depth understanding of futures and options markets, their institutions and their participants.This includes prospective markets users (asset managers, pension fund managers, commercial commodity producers and companies that provide food, agriculture, financial, energy and industrial products and other corporates.)

The course highly beneficial for those who support trading, compliance, information technology, risk management, operations, marketing, sales, supply and distribution, treasury and accounting, as well as, regulators and policy makers.

Lastly, the course covers all the  topics of the Series 3 Exam, the basic proficiency standard for industry professionals. The course fee also includes Web-access to PassMaster, our unique tutorial to enhance your learning and comprehension of the content, and a Series 3 exam simulator that offers unlimited practice tests for exam candidates.

Level: Fundamental to Intermediate



The IFM is monitoring the continuing developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Based on the information currently available, there are no plans to postpone or cancel any scheduled IFM courses.

We appreciate that the decision whether to attend a course is a personal one. As the situation is fluid, circumstance may change. If so, you may reschedule your course date or cancel registration without financial penalty. We also encourage you to monitor the advice of local public health authorities, visit the CDC website for additional information, and follow the WHO’s Travel Advice for news and recommendations on how to protect yourself from infection.

Registration Options

1 New York Plaza, Ste 4300, New York, NY 10004
Class Size
Registration is limited to approximately 15 participants to promote student participation and interaction.

Please arrive 30 minutes before the course to clear security and enter the building. Complimentary morning and afternoon refreshments are provided. Lunch on own.
Group Discount: 10% of any registration with 3+ participants. To take advantage of this discount, please contact the IFM at 202-223-1528, or via e-mail at

If you are unable to complete your online order, please contact the IFM at 202-223-1528, or via e-mail at International orders require us to quote you an exact fee before process your order.