Introduction To Futures and Options

National Futures Association

Opportunity & Risk

An Educational Guide To Trading Futures and Options on Futures

National Futures Association is a congressionally authorized self-regulatory organization of the United States futures industry. Its mission is to provide innovative regulatory programs and services that protect investors and ensure market integrity.

NFA has prepared this book as part of its continuing public education efforts to pro- vide information to potential investors. The booklet provides a necessary overview of the opportunities and risks in trading futures and options on futures by presenting impor- tant information that investors need to know before they invest.



Learn about the futures and options markets with a variety of courses designed to help you at each stage of your trading journey. Whether you are brand new to the derivatives market, or an experienced trader looking to sharpen specific skills, our courses will help you deepen your knowledge and improve your understanding of our markets.


1. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” ~ Mark Twain

2. “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.” ~ John Maynard Keynes.

3. “I never buy at the bottom and I always sell too soon.” ~ Baron Nathan Rothschild

4. “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” ~ John Maynard Keynes

5. “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.” ~ Warren Buffett

6. “It is not our duty as speculators to be on the bull side or the bear side but upon the winning side.” ~ Jessie Livermore in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

7. “The  principles of successful speculation are based on the supposition that people will continue in the future to make the mistakes that they made in the past.” ~ Thomas F. Woodlock

8. “It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It was always my sitting tight. Got that?” ~ Mr. Partridge in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

9. “They say you never grow poor taking profits. No, you don’t.  But neither do you grow rich taking a four-point profit in a bull market.” ~ Jessie Livermore in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

10. “Remember that prices are never too high for you to begin buying or too low to begin selling.  But after the initial transaction, don’t make a second unless the first shows you a profit.” ~ Jessie Livermore in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

11. “A loss never bothers me after I take it. I forget it overnight. But being wrong – not taking the loss – that is what does the damage to the pocketbook and the soul.” ~ Jessie Livermore in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

12. “If a man didn’t make mistakes, he’d own the world in a month.  But if he didn’t profit by his mistakes, he wouldn’t own a blessed thing.” ~ Jessie Livermore in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

13. “The man who is right always has two forces working in his favor – basic conditions and the men who are wrong.  In a bull market bear factors are ignored.” ~ Jessie Livermore in Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator


14. [What advice would you give the novice trader?] – “First, I would say that risk management is the most important thing to be well understood.  Undertrade, undertrade, undertrade is my second piece of advice.  Whatever you think your position ought to be, cut it at least in half.” ~ Bruce Kovner in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards

15. “There is probably no class of trades with a higher failure rate than impulsive trades.” ~ Jack Schwager in Market Wizards

16. [What is the most important advice you could give the novice trader?] – “Trade small because that’s when you are as bad as you are ever going to be.  Learn from your mistakes.” ~ Richard Dennis in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards

17. “The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses.  If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.”  ~ Ed Seykota in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards

18. “Charting is a little like surfing.  You don’t have to know a lot about the physics of tides, resonance, and fluid dynamics in order to catch a good wave.  You just have to be able to sense when it’s happening and then have the drive to act at the right time.” ~ Ed Seykota in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards

19. “I have two basic rules about winning in trading as well as in life: (1) If you don’t bet, you can’t win.  (2) If you lose all your chips, you can’t bet.” ~ Larry Hite in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards

20. “Perhaps the most important rule is to hold on to your winners and cut your losers.  Both are equally important.  If you don’t stay with your winners, you are not going to be able to pay for the losers.” ~ Michael Marcus in Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards

21. “Lose your opinion – not your money” ~ Unknown

22. “In the markets there is nothing wrong with being wrong, but there is enormous wrong with remaining wrong.” ~ Marty Zweig

23. “The hardest trade is often the best trade” ~ Unknown

24. “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.” ~ Warren Buffett

25. A good gardener spends 10% of time planting seeds, and 90% pulling weeds ~ Unknown


26. The impulsive trader asks: “How much money will I make if I’m right?” The objective trader asks: “how much money can i lose if I’m wrong?” The latter question is much more important to your trading success ~ Robert Prechter

Walt’s RecommEnded READING

For Beginners

For Experienced Traders

   For those interested in charting


About Us

The Breitinger & Sons difference

Paragon Investments, a subsidiary of Pinion Risk Management LLC, (dba Breitinger & Sons) is a family-operated business devoted to agricultural and financial commodity futures trading and brokerage. In 2012, Walt Breitinger, his sons and staff joined with Paragon Investments to further enhance the offerings available to their clients.  We are in this business because analysis of worldwide political and economic events can be extraordinarily fascinating and financially rewarding.  Our goal is to combine our interest in the natural, physical, and social sciences into a matrix which helps assess supply, demand, and price trends of natural resources.

Breitinger & Sons

Paragon Investments, a subsidiary of Pinion Risk Management LLC 
360 Indiana Ave, Ste C
Valparaiso, IN 46383

800-411-3888 (FUTURES)

Futures and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Clients may lose more than their initial investment. Past performance is not indicative of future results. This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell, nor does it provide any recommendations in regard to the market. Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness.

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