I’ve been asked several times about futures trading and opening accounts in Canada. The reality is there are not nearly as many options available for affordable futures trading brokerages in Canada. Below are my recommendations.
Based on my review of their website and also having talked to several of you Canadian traders out there, GFF Brokers always comes highly recommended. They are a low-cost futures and forex introducing broker.
With a variety of software options available, low minimum deposit and ultra-competitive margins, I think GFF Brokers is worth a look.
GFF Brokers Does Accept Canadians
It says so right on their site, as well I’ve heard from many Canadians who use GFF Brokers.
Not Just For Canadians – For Futures Traders Worldwide
While my site tends to be a bit more Canada-based, for everyone else you are also able to work with GFF Brokers! Reach out to them and find out how they can help you open a futures brokerage account. I think you’ll like their friendly staff who is eager to help out futures trader. GFF Brokers goes the extra mile to make every trader a top priority.
Note that GFF Brokers is located in the United States and operates as an Introducing Broker (IB). The information I’ve provided is not meant for United States residents.
For margins I like to look at the Ultra Bond (UB), 30 Year Bond (ZB)and Emini S&P (ES) and Emini Nasdaq (NQ). While I trade the treasuries I realize most people trade the equity indices. Keep in mind these are the current margins and are subject to change.
- Ultra Bond UB: $2,000
- 30 Year Bond ZB: $500
- E-Mini S&P ES: $660
- E-Mini Nasdaq NQ: $880
Personally I would say these are more than fair and very competitive. While I don’t trade any micros, for under $100 you can have access to any of the micro products.
GFF Brokers doesn’t have a specific minimum deposit. That said, you need to deposit enough to actually trade. Keep in mind you need to cover commissions, monthly data fees and the most important margins on the products you plan to trade.
Knowing the products you trade, how many contracts typically and what the margins are should give you an idea of where to start with a deposit. GFF Brokers can also help you determine what would be suitable based on your specific situation.
GFF Brokers offers quite a few options for software. They actually list over 25 options on their site. You’ll find plenty of big name trading software popular in the trading community.
Interactive Brokers is a larger brokerage, with over 2,400 employees. They service traders worldwide, including Canada. Interactive Brokers offers trading of a wide range of products, from stocks to etf’s to of course futures contracts which is what I’m most interested in. They are more of a catch-all brokerage.
I can’t say Interactive Brokers is the best option for a newer futures trader. With high account minimums, large margin requirements and very limited software options, I can’t say they are my first choice. They are a choice available for Canadians though.
For margins I’ll compare the same products. I personally trade the UB and ZB, and I know a lot of traders like ES and NQ. Again, these are current as I write this, and subject to change.
- Ultra Bond UB: $15,141
- 30 Year Bond ZB: $8,247
- E-Mini S&P ES: $15,158
- E-Mini Nasdaq NQ: $21,045
Interactive Brokers has a $10,000 USD minimum balance to open an account.
Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with Interactive Brokers options. I’m not entirely clear if you can plug in third party software, but from what I could tell on their site the options are a client portal, Trader Workstation, a mobile option and then API’s to plug in custom software. No mention at all if you want to use other third party software.
Futures and forex trading contains substantial risk and is not for every investor. An investor could potentially lose all or more than the initial investment. Risk capital is money that can be lost without jeopardizing ones’ financial security or life style. Only risk capital should be used for trading and only those with sufficient risk capital should consider trading. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Hypothetical Performance Disclosure:
Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations, some of which are described below. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown; in fact, there are frequently sharp differences between hypothetical performance results and the actual results subsequently achieved by any particular trading program. One of the limitations of hypothetical performance results is that they are generally prepared with the benefit of hindsight. In addition, hypothetical trading does not involve financial risk, and no hypothetical trading record can completely account for the impact of financial risk of actual trading. for example, the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading program in spite of trading losses are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results and all which can adversely affect trading results.
You can read more here: Risk Disclosure
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