Corporate / Group Training
4.9 (11 Reviews)

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

10 hours
10 hours
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Course description

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

Gain a solid understanding of the world of derivatives such as futures, options and swaps markets from trading and mechanics to terminology, risk management, pricing, and basic trade strategies and regulation.

This instructor-led virtual 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 industry textbooks - Futures and Options and the Guide to U.S. Futures Regulation.

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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
  • Asset managers
  • Pension fund managers
  • Corporates
  • Legal and compliance staff
  • Support and IT staff
  • Exchange personnel

Training content

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

Course delivery details

This IFM course is delivered in 2-hour sessions per day on five (5) consecutive days. 

Note: This course includes an advance reading assignment.


  • Early-bird Discount: $525 (Enroll 30 days prior to start of the course date.)
  • Standard Enrollment: $625

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. 
  • Group Discount: 10% off any registration with 3+ participants from same organization.

Certification / Credits

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.  The course fee also includes a subscription to IFM's Series 3 PassMaster, a highly effective learning software that includes "flash card" questions and answers and unlimited timed tests.

Why choose IFM?

Nonprofit educational foundation founded that offers top-quality education at the lowest cost

Qualified instructors who have real world working experience at major films and regulatory agencies

IFM instructors are passionate to share the knowledge gained from real world working experience at major firms and regulatory bodies


Average rating 4.9

Based on 11 reviews.
Write a review!
24 Jan 2022

Great instructor, good use of time. Very knowledgeable about the subject matter.

24 Jan 2022

Instructor was fantastic. Open to questions and answers not only from their content but also on general questions on markets.

24 Jan 2022

Would recommend because it helps and walks you through a lot of things that we are going to face in the exam.

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The Institute for Financial Markets
2001 K Street N.W., Suite 725
20006 Washington, DC

The Institute for Financial Markets (IFM)

The Institute for Financial Markets (IFM), established by in 1989 is a nonprofit educational foundation.  The IFM is an affiliate for the FIA, the leading global trade organization for the futures, options and centrally cleared derivatives markets. The IFM works to...

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