Commodity futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell a specific quantity of a commodity at a specified price on a particular date in the future. Commodities include metals, oil, grains and animal products, as well as financial instruments and currencies. With limited exceptions, trading in futures contracts must be executed on the floor of a commodity exchange.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the federal government agency that regulates the commodity futures, commodity options, and swaps trading markets. Anyone who trades futures with the public or gives advice about futures trading must be registered with the National Futures Association (NFA), the independent regulator for anyone who trades futures with the public.
Before you invest in commodity futures, check to make sure the individual and firm are registered and whether they are the subject of any disciplinary actions. Use the NFA’s Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC).
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission
CFTC is the federal regulator of commodity futures. Its website provides alerts, education and tools related to commodity futures.
- National Futures Association
NFA is the non-governmental regulator for anyone who trades futures with the public. Its website offers numerous educational resources for investors, as well as information on how to file a complaint and check out a salesperson or firm.
- Securities and Exchange Commission
Get an overview of commodity futures from the federal securities regulator.
- Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC)
Before you invest, use BASIC to get CFTC registration and NFA membership information and futures-related regulatory and non-regulatory actions.
- Commodity Pool Fraud
Learn more about how to recognize and avoid fraud related to commodity pools.