Fundamentals of Futures & Options / Series 3 Exam Course (2-Days)


For almost three decades, 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 fast-paced, two-day course includes lecture from an engaging instructor with real-world expertise and class discussion supported by 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. The course 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.

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, and 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 will find the course highly beneficial. Lastly, the course covers all the test topics of the Series 3 Exam, the basic proficiency standard for industry professionals.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate

Registration Options

575 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022
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 register online, please contact the IFM at 202-223-1528, or via e-mail at