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The Increasing Popularity of Managed Futures

Jeffrey L. Stouffer, Principal
Mercantile Capital Group
June 2011

Managed Futures as an asset class, has been gaining attention and popularity. This class of investments offer returns that have little or no correlation to the equity and fixed income markets.

A result of this increased popularity is the proliferation of investment vehicles that allow access to this unique asset class. The different programs that are available are designed to make entry into this group considerably easier than what historically has been an investment reserved for the wealthy investor.

The term ‘Managed Futures’ was coined as the description for hiring a trained, licensed, and registered professional to trade futures contracts according to a predetermined discipline outlined in a document. This professional is known as a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) and the program is detailed in the disclosure document. Historically, CTAs have required that a client present a high minimum amount of investable assets in order to hire the trading manager. These high thresholds have allowed direct exposure to the futures markets by those who can withstand the account valuation changes that are a direct result of the high degree of leverage and the compression of time associated with futures and options on futures trading.

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