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Trading futures - capital requirements, margins and costs

Hi,

I'm looking to potentially start trading futures contracts. I had a few questions and was hoping someone with experience trading this could help out:

  1. I'm assuming the only broker I can trade futures with through QuantConnect is IB, is that correct? Will it be possible to trade futures via paper trading at some point?
  2. What is your experience of trading contracts with zero open interest - is this possible to do? If so, how much worse are the trading costs? Of course there's no one correct answer to this, but I'm looking for pointers. How does volume and open interest generally affect trading costs?
  3. My impression of futures trading is that it requires quite a lot more initial capital compared to CFD trading (which is what I'm used to). Given I can't trade in anything less than 1 contract at a time, I will need anywhere between $500-$5'000 in initial margin (from looking at various different contracts). Am I correct in this assumption? Is there any way I can get away with posting less margin?
Best,DouglasĀ 
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The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation or endorsement for any security or strategy, nor does it constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services by QuantConnect. In addition, the material offers no opinion with respect to the suitability of any security or specific investment. QuantConnect makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the views expressed in the website. The views are subject to change, and may have become unreliable for various reasons, including changes in market conditions or economic circumstances. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. You should consult with an investment professional before making any investment decisions.


Hi Doug,

I can address your first question and confirm that, yes, Futures trading is only supported by Interactive Brokers and we currently don't support Futures or Options paper trading. We anticipate enabling that feature in the future but I can't give you a definite estimate.

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The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation or endorsement for any security or strategy, nor does it constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services by QuantConnect. In addition, the material offers no opinion with respect to the suitability of any security or specific investment. QuantConnect makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the views expressed in the website. The views are subject to change, and may have become unreliable for various reasons, including changes in market conditions or economic circumstances. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. You should consult with an investment professional before making any investment decisions.


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The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation or endorsement for any security or strategy, nor does it constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services by QuantConnect. In addition, the material offers no opinion with respect to the suitability of any security or specific investment. QuantConnect makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the views expressed in the website. The views are subject to change, and may have become unreliable for various reasons, including changes in market conditions or economic circumstances. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. You should consult with an investment professional before making any investment decisions.


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