I have some questions about Futures trading

jhatch

New member
Hi all,

Please excuse my ignorance on the topic. I've been trading options for about 6 months now and I've recently become interested in trading futures such as /MES. With that in mind I have a few simple questions about trading futures on TOS:

  • Do I need to have a margin account? I currently have a cash account to avoid PDT.
  • It is my understanding that trading futures is similar to trading options in that you trade contracts, but my question is when I'm on TOS how do I view the futures contracts or is it simply you buy or sell from the active trade tab?

Thanks for taking the time to read, again excuse my ignorance I looked on youtube etc and came up empty handed.

Thank you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

madeinnyc

Member
@jhatch ....I'm a futures trader, I trade the /NQ via the /NQH20. To answer your question, yes, there is a margin requirement to trade futures, however, the PDT rule does NOT apply to futures trading. On the second point, if you look next to the "Monitor" tab, you'll see "Trade" tab. Just hover over the tab and a drop-down menu will appear. Select "Futures Trader" and that will take u into the main setup. You can also just click on the Trade tab and right below you see: "All products" Forex Trader & Futures trader....just select Futures trader. Hope this helps!
 

jhatch

New member
@jhatch ....I'm a futures trader, I trade the /NQ via the /NQH20. To answer your question, yes, there is a margin requirement to trade futures, however, the PDT rule does NOT apply to futures trading. On the second point, if you look next to the "Monitor" tab, you'll see "Trade" tab. Just hover over the tab and a drop-down menu will appear. Select "Futures Trader" and that will take u into the main setup. You can also just click on the Trade tab and right below you see: "All products" Forex Trader & Futures trader....just select Futures trader. Hope this helps!
Thanks or the reply! Ok so I follow you so thus far, I guess the one thing I'm confused on is on the futures trader I see where I can buy/sell at a price of 2963 for MES for example what is the price per contract? Is the price of a single contract $2963? Again thank you for your time.
 

madeinnyc

Member
Those are the Micro Emini S&P Futures. U have to remember that you're buying them on margin. However, your maintenance margin may change depending on if you're only trading during the cash hours or holding overnight. I would call customer support at TD Ameritrade to have then walk you through the margin requirements before trading that particular instrument.
 

markos

Well-known member
VIP
Those are the Micro Emini S&P Futures. U have to remember that you're buying them on margin. However, your maintenance margin may change depending on if you're only trading during the cash hours or holding overnight. I would call customer support at TD Ameritrade to have then walk you through the margin requirements before trading that particular instrument.
@madeinnyc thanks for the proper response. @jhatch if you have only been trading options, trading futures is a whole different animal. I can't imagine being caught locked out, limit down. As mentioned, TDAmeritrade has videos and live TV during the day. they have great education. While on this site, have you gone through the tutorials on this site? We have some excellent things in there. Go slow, happy trading. Markos
 

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