Futures Discovery: Regulation & Do You Need to be Registered

Hi, and welcome to Episode 6 of Futures Discovery at John Lothian News. I am your host, Corties Draper. Like you, I’m no expert, but in this program we’ll embark on the fascinating world of futures and learn from top professionals in the field.

Today, we’re diving head first into a crucial topic that affects every trader’s journey in the world of futures trading – “Regulation & Do You Need to be Registered.” Buckle up as we unravel the intricate web of rules and regulations that shape the landscape of the futures market.

Let’s kick things off by addressing a fundamental question:

Why does regulation matter?

Well, the futures market is a dynamic arena with immense potential, but like any powerful tool, it requires proper handling. Regulation serves as a protective shield, safeguarding the integrity of the market and ensuring fair play for all participants.


Our first stop on this regulatory journey is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the guardian of commodity futures and options markets in the United States. The CFTC works tirelessly to prevent fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices.

Through advanced surveillance systems, real-time monitoring of trading activities, and enforcement of comprehensive regulations, the CFTC aims to maintain fair and transparent markets. The agency encourages whistleblowers to report fraudulent activities, cooperates with other regulatory bodies domestically and internationally, and actively engages in educating market participants about compliance.

Using market intelligence, data analytics, and technology, the CFTC conducts investigations and takes enforcement actions, including fines and legal measures, to deter and address potential wrongdoing. This multifaceted approach underscores the CFTC’s commitment to upholding market integrity and protecting the interests of participants in the dynamic landscape of the futures market.


Next, we have the NFA, the National Futures Association, which has a pivotal role in the futures market, acting as a self-regulatory organization with the authority to establish and enforce rules for its members. The NFA plays a crucial role in investor protection, ensuring the registration and compliance of individuals and firms engaged in futures trading, and conducting thorough background checks to maintain market integrity.

The association contributes to rulemaking, covering aspects such as sales practices and financial reporting and fostering fair practices within the industry. By providing a platform for dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation, the NFA offers an efficient means of resolving conflicts.

Actively involved in education and outreach, the NFA strives to inform market participants about regulatory compliance and best practices. Through market surveillance, collaboration with regulatory bodies, and audit and examination processes, the NFA maintains a vigilant watch on market activities, preventing fraudulent and manipulative practices and contributing to the overall health and integrity of the futures market.

But here’s the million-dollar question – do you need to be registered? The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem. The NFA mandates registration for individuals or firms engaged in certain activities. For instance, if you’re soliciting orders, managing accounts, or even providing advice on futures trading, registration is likely required. However, if you’re trading for your own account, the situation might be different.


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Corties Draper

Roosevelt University student, CBOT Clearing Corporation Foundation Honors Fellow and captain of the Roosevelt football team

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