Derivatives Trading: A Comprehensive Guide

In the global financial system, derivative markets play a significant role. While derivatives can be complicated, they are modern versions of behaviors that have existed for thousands of years, such as individuals betting on each other or farmers agreeing to sell their harvests in advance as a form of insurance. Individual traders have access to a wide range of markets thanks to derivatives trading, which allows them to speculate on whether the price of something will rise or decline. Traders must, however, have a thorough understanding of derivatives markets, as well as the many types of derivatives and derivative products accessible. Let’s take a closer look at what derivatives trading entails.

Derivatives Trading And Derivative Market

A derivative is an investment that is based on the value of another asset,’ says the definition. A derivative is a contract between two or more parties that is based on a financial asset as the underlying asset (or set of assets). Traders use derivatives to bet on the future price movements of an underlying asset without having to buy the item outright in the hopes of making a profit. Traders and businesses also utilise derivatives for hedging purposes, to reduce risk associated with another market position they have acquired. The assets used to form the basis of derivatives trading are diverse, allowing traders to take positions on currencies, commodities, stocks, indices, bonds, and interest rates, among others.

Importantly, derivatives allow traders to speculate on whether a stock’s price will rise or fall in the future by allowing them to take both long and short positions on it.

Learn How To Trade Derivatives

There are two ways to trade derivatives. The first is over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, in which the contract terms are privately negotiated between the parties engaged in an unregulated market (a non-standardised contract).

A regulated exchange that offers standardised contracts is the second way to trade derivatives. The exchange can then function as a middleman, allowing traders to avoid the counterparty risk associated with uncontrolled OTC transactions.

There are numerous derivative products, each with significant differences that traders must be aware of. The following is a list of some of the most commonly utilised derivatives by traders:

  • CFDs (contracts for difference): CFDs are agreements between two parties to pay the difference in the price of an asset between the opening and closing of a position.
  • Options: Traders who buy or sell options have the right (but not the responsibility) to buy or sell an asset at a specific price and within a specific term.

Types Of Derivatives Market

Derivatives come in a variety of forms that can be traded. These all have distinct properties that distinguish them from one another, and traders employ them for a variety of reasons. Both forward and futures contracts, types of commodity

derivatives, are used to speculate and trade on an asset’s future price changes or as a hedging strategy. Options allow traders to protect themselves against price drops, whereas swaps are intended to protect against risks such as debt, currency changes, and commodity price fluctuations.

The following is a list of the most common types of derivatives market:

  • Forward Contacts: A forward contract is a contract between a buyer and a seller. Both parties agree to trade an asset at a later date for a price agreed upon The contract is settled on the agreed-upon future date, when the buyer pays for (and in certain cases receives) the asset from the seller at the agreed-upon price, and the gains and losses are realized based on the underlying asset’s price movement between the contract’s start and finish dates. These are exchanged over-the-counter (OTC), with the terms negotiated confidentially between the parties involved.
  • Futures contracts: Futures contracts are derivatives of forward contracts and share many of the same properties as forward contracts. Futures contracts are distinguished by the fact that they are standardized, traded on exchanges, and subject to a daily settlement mechanism. This means that the parties to the contract settle daily over a predetermined period of time, with the party who has lost money paying the party who has won money on a daily basis.
  • Option Contracts: Contracts in which one party has the right (but not the obligation) to buy or sell an asset to the other at a predetermined price at a later date. A put option is one in which one party has the opportunity to sell an asset under the terms of the contract. A call option is when one party has the opportunity to purchase an asset from another.
  • Swaps: Swaps are a completely new type of derivative in which two parties exchange cash flow or a variable associated with numerous assets.

Hedging – Derivatives Trading Examples

Hedging is a kind of risk management. For example, hypothetical baking company Baker Corp buys and uses a lot of flour to make its goods. However, if the price of flour rises in the future, the company is concerned that its margins would be squeezed. Baker Corp decides to sign into a contract with a flour supplier, promising to acquire 10 sacks of flour for Rs.1500 each in six months.

Baker Corp now has a secured supply of flour at a predetermined price, shielding it from any potential increases in flour spot prices over the next six months. As a result, the provider is confident that it will be able to sell its future supply at a fixed price, limiting any potential drops in the spot price of flour.

The spot price of flour has risen to Rs.2000 per sack six months later, on the agreed-upon day. Baker Corp, on the other hand, pays the agreed-upon price of

Rs.1500 per bag, saving it Rs.500 per sack on the spot market. The supplier, on the other hand, has lost out by not being able to sell those sacks of flour on the spot market for a greater price.

Derivatives Trading And Leverage

Traders utilize derivatives to boost leverage in addition to betting on an asset’s price movement and hedging a position. This enables traders to take a greater position on key markets compared to the amount of capital they have available, increasing the scale of both possible profits and losses. Traders may, for example, utilize leverage to acquire a position on a stock at a fraction of the cost of the stock’s actual share price.

The rewards traders receive from trading derivatives are enhanced when a market is more volatile, as the price of the underlying asset swings more dramatically. As a result, as volatility rises, the value and cost of both puts and calls rises. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), for example, is used by traders to track how volatile particular financial markets, such as the Sample 500, are.

Derivatives Trading in India

Derivatives are financial assets or securities, that derive their value or price from an underlying asset or group of assets, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies. Derivatives trading is the place to be if you’re a seasoned long-term

investor or a savvy short-term speculator. Derivatives can be used to protect a portfolio of stocks, indices, or other investments from price changes or to profit from them. Gain exposure to larger assets by participating in low-cost futures trading in India in categories such as equity and currency.

The Prerequisites – Derivative Trading

To trade in derivatives, you’ll need a Demat account and an internet trading account, as previously stated. 5paisa allows you to register a free internet account in just a few minutes. Once your account is complete, you’ll need to fund it with enough money to purchase or sell derivatives on the stock market. The amount is proportional to the contract’s margin requirement. You can inquire with the broker about the minimum investment required to begin trading derivatives.

Strategies Of Derivative Trading

When it comes to derivatives trading, having a trading strategy in place to determine your entry and exit points is critical. Fixing a plan that is created to produce benefits, limit losses, and manage risk to the greatest extent possible is critical.

Short-term traders, such as day traders, try to profit from short-term price changes by following trends that emerge during the day in short durations. For short-term traders, there are various well-known tactics, such as scalping, in which traders try to profit on minor price swings before and after executing a trade. Long-term trading entails holding a position for an extended length of time. Long-term traders base their selections on fundamental analysis, which primarily considers how the market will look in the future. Long-term trading, or position trading, is a common approach that allows traders to hold a position for an extended length of time. Position traders aren’t concerned with short-term trend fluctuations because their focus is on the long-term goal.

Examine some of the most prevalent trading tactics available, which may be useful in developing your own trading strategy.

The Benefits of Derivative Trading

1. Hedging Your Risks

In the cash market, derivative trading allows you to hedge your position. You can buy a Put option in the derivative market if you buy a positional stock in the cash market. The value of your Put option will rise if the stock falls in the cash market. As a result, your losses will be low or non-existent.

2. Low Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Because derivative trading is primarily used to mitigate risk, the fees are lower than for stocks or debentures.

3. Risk Transfer

Unlike stock trading, derivative trading allows you to spread the risk across all parties participating in the transaction. As a result, your risks are significantly reduced.


Derivatives have grown in popularity because they are based on the monetary value of an asset rather than the physical asset itself, allowing businesses and individuals to trade stocks, currencies, and commodities without having to purchase them. This permits derivatives transactions to be centered on and paid in cash rather than needing to supply the physical asset.

Traders can also use leverage on derivatives markets, which allows them to take a considerably larger position compared to the amount of cash they must deploy, maximizing possible profits as well as losses.

Derivatives play an important role in the financial system for businesses because they operate as a type of insurance through the hedging process, allowing them to prevent negative price movements and limit losses regardless of the direction in which prices move.


Que.1 What is the meaning of derivative trading?

Ans. Traders who engage in derivatives trading speculate on the price behavior of a financial instrument with the goal of profiting without actually owning the asset.

Que.2 What are some examples of derivatives trading?

Ans. Spread betting, CFDs, and futures are examples of trading derivatives. Among traders, these are some of the most popular derivatives.

Que.3 What markets are available for derivatives trading?

Ans. Stocks, forex indexes, and commodities are among the financial markets and products that can be used to trade derivatives. CMC Markets offers derivatives trading on thousands of financial instruments.

Que.4 What is the best way for me to get started trading derivatives?

Ans. With our Next Generation trading platform, you may trade derivatives on thousands of financial instruments. You can examine a wide selection of trading tools, charting features, and order types accessible on our platform using our platform guidelines.