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How to Mitigate Risks Using Future and Options Markets

Trading means buying and selling assets like stocks, currencies, or commodities within short or long time frames to capitalize on market fluctuations. While it offers the potential for major profits, it also has inherent risks, including the possibility of substantial financial losses. Addressing and mitigating these risks is crucial for achieving monetary stability and freedom.

Investors and businesses can transform potential threats into manageable opportunities by effectively acknowledging the aspects of the future and options. This article highlights how to mitigate risks using these powerful financial instruments. Understanding these strategies can help safeguard your financial goal and turn market volatility into an advantage.

Future and Option Risks

Mitigating Risks with Futures

Price Stability

One of the primary risks businesses face is volatility. For instance, a manufacturing company that uses steel as a primary input might be vulnerable to sudden price surges in the steel market. Such fluctuations can disrupt budgeting and financial planning, leading to potential financial instability. By entering into futures contracts for steel, the manufacturing company can agree to purchase steel at a set price on a specific date. This ensures that even if steel prices skyrocket, the company will still pay the agreed-upon price.

Investment Diversification

Investors often face the risk of their portfolios being too concentrated in a single asset class. The entire portfolio could suffer significant losses if that particular market experiences a downturn. Futures contracts provide a powerful tool for diversification and spreading risk across different asset classes. They can use it to gain exposure to various asset classes, including commodities like oil and gold and currencies like the euro or yen. For example, if the stock experiences a downturn, gains in commodity futures offset those losses.

Speculation Control

Speculation is an inherent aspect of financial markets, where traders take positions hoping to profit from price movements. It introduces substantial risks, as markets can be unpredictable. By taking an opposite position in the futures market, traders can offset potential losses from unfavourable price changes in their existing positions. For example, a trader holding a large quantity of wheat might be concerned about potential price declines. The trader can fix a selling price by selling wheat futures, ensuring that if gains in the futures position offset the market price drops, the losses on the physical wheat.

Managing Risks with Options

Protective Puts

A potential decline in the stock price leads to significant financial losses. A protective put is an effective strategy to mitigate this risk. By purchasing a put-on stock they own, investors can secure the right to sell these stocks at a predetermined strike price. For example, an investor holding shares of a company may be concerned about a potential downturn in the stock’s price. Buying a put ensures the investor can sell their shares at the strike price. This strategy acts as an insurance policy, capping the losses and providing peace of mind.

Covered Calls

Covered calls are a popular strategy among investors looking to generate additional income from their existing stock holdings while managing risk. This involves selling call options on stocks they already own. For example, if an investor owns shares of a stable, slow-growing company, they can sell call options on these shares. The income from the option premiums enhances overall portfolio returns. If the stock price surpasses the strike price, the investor should sell the shares at the predetermined price.

Strategic Flexibility

This offers remarkable strategic flexibility, allowing investors to tailor their risk management approaches to their needs. Strategies such as straddles, strangles, and spreads can be designed to profit from various market conditions. A straddle consists of acquiring both a put option and a call option with similar strike prices and expiration dates. Additionally, a strangle consists of buying a call and a put with different strike prices. Spreads, however, include buying and selling options at various strike prices or expiration dates.

Future and options markets offer indispensable tools for mitigating risks in the volatile world of finance. With their inherent flexibility, options provide various strategies to hedge against potential losses. So, take the plunge, learn about them, and harness the potential of these markets to secure your financial well-being.

Shitanshu Kapadia
Shitanshu Kapadia
Hi, I am Shitanshu founder of I am engaged in blogging & Digital Marketing for 10 years. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, knowledge and help people in managing money. Please note that the views expressed on this Blog are clarifications meant for reference and guidance of the readers to explore further on the topics. These should not be construed as investment , tax, financial advice or legal opinion. Please consult a qualified financial planner and do your own due diligence before making any investment decision.