As far as I know there are no specific “learn to be a futures trader” college courses. Please ignore all the internet gurus who will promise you riches if you take their (insert multiple thousand dollar course here).
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That said, I believe there are business and mathematical courses which may prove useful in trading futures. Now, would I specifically go out of my way to take each of these, or go back to school for them? No. But if you are kicking around the idea of futures trading (or any trading honestly), some of the ones below are courses I’ve taken in the past which have been some help
Again, none of these courses will make you an ace trader. None of them are specific to trading. The skill sets learned though in them can help with some aspects of trading.
This would be my top recommendation. Having a basic understanding of statistics will help you analyze both what is happening in the market, as well as your own trade performance.
Focusing more on the performance side, I personally am looking at my win-loss ratio, the standard deviation of my results, comparing ratios between products, time frames, and more. None of this is super in depth stats. Having a simple understanding though is definitely a help.
Economics – Micro and Macro
Again, this course won’t specifically make you an ace trader. Having an understanding of how the world works though will definitely help you. Even things as simple as you hear someone say “inflation is expected to increase next year” will now have new meaning to you.
You’ll also get into interest rates, supply and demand, game theory and much more. I personally find economics fascinating, and I do believe at a high level economics will help anyone understand the market a bit better.
Hear me out. You may have heard that long term successful traders treat their trading as a business. In order to track your profit and loss, having a basic understanding of accounting will go a long way. Tracking expenses, recognizing your revenue, and even more important, putting all this information in a useful, neat Profit and Loss Statement.
You could take it one step further and dive into some metrics. You’d find this more in a Financial Analysis course, but I won’t break that out separately. Looking at your income generated on your capital, tracking increases and decreases in financial performance, and more.
Other Disciplines – Computer Science and Psychology
I mainly focused on courses I’ve been through myself. Obviously the entire world of computer science would be a great avenue to go down, especially if you plan to get into algo trading and building trading models.
A side avenue would be psychology, though honestly I’m going to say just a basic understanding of psych would suffice. Focus your psych studies more on trader specific psychology.
Just a few recommendations of mine. I took all these types of courses during college so it’s not like I went out of my way to seek them out, but they have proven to be useful decades later. Again, it’s not like taking Macro Economics has made me a top gun trader. But having an understanding of interest rates, supply and demand, inflation and how global economic changes impacts the market does give you a little bit of a leg up on the guy who barely knows what a bid and offer is.
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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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