Futures trading is a contractual agreement between a buyer and seller on a specific price for a commodity such as gold, oil, or orange juice at a specified date in the future. The buyer of a futures contract is taking on the obligation to buy and receive the underlying asset when the futures contract expires. For this reason, futures trading, especially in IRAs, is often speculative, and the contract is sold before expiration. Still, it can also be used for hedging against the market or industry. Most futures traders have no intention of taking delivery (personal ownership) of an underlying commodity and are simply in the market to take advantage of price swings.
Commodities are a big part of futures trading, but it’s not all about corn, lumber, soybeans, and metals. You can trade futures on stock exchanges by buying contracts in the S&P 500, the DOW Jones, and Bitcoin. Unlike the stock market, futures trading is nearly 24/7. The market starts on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET and closes at 4:15 p.m. on Friday. Times may vary by commodity/stock exchange. Some start at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday and close at 5 p.m. ET Friday.
Types of Futures
- Self-Directed Trading
- Trade futures with a self-directed account (for the experienced trader).
- Managed Accounts
- Let a professional money manager (Commodity Trading Advisor) do the trading for you.
- Automated Accounts
- Automated trading programs able to execute orders at high-speeds following trading algorithms.
Benefits of Investing in Futures With Your IRA
- Building for Retirement
- Most Americans do not want to rely on Social Security.
- Earnings Growth
- The gains within self-directed IRAs and other plans accrue on a tax-free or tax-deferred basis to benefit you when you retire.
- Tax Deductions Can Be Taken on Contributions to Your Self-Directed IRA
- While this does not apply to Roth IRAs—most contributions to other retirement plans and self-directed IRAs are eligible deductions on your income taxes.
- Roth Self-Directed IRAs Are One of the Most Beneficial Retirement Plans Available
- All contributions are made after tax, but the earnings grow on a tax-free basis provided that certain requirements are met.
Futures Trading in IRA Process & Timeline
Midland’s Role Once the Futures Trading Account is Open
All trading will be done with the FCM. Midland is responsible for all cash flow record-keeping related to the IRA-owned trading account. Whenever you are looking to add additional funds or remove funds from the futures account, it will need to flow through your Midland account. Midland handles the ongoing tax reporting for contributions & distributions of assets held in your Midland retirement account.
Important to Note: Trading accounts must be held in title by the investor account: Midland Trust Company as Custodian FBO Client Name Client Account Number.