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Fees associated with Futures Contracts


What are the fees associated with futures? Stocks and ETFs seem very straightforward, paying a $7 commission with an expense ratio prorated for however long you hold the asset. But since futures are so new to me, I start hearing about all these trading platforms and expenses and technologies and get so completely lost. Can you help walk me through the things I need to trade futures and all the fees/commissions associated with them? For example if I buy one contract of corn, what are my costs/fees for this? Do the fees vary based on what I am buying?


We understand that this may be a bit overwhelming. Some of our competitors have “all in one” solution where they have platform, brokerage, and data feed. Since we are an Independent Introducing Broker, we may be a little more flexible and create combinations that maybe suited to each individual trader.

Let us explain the costs associated and the different components.

  1. Platform cost. There maybe a cost associated with the platform which you may choose to use, for example Sierrachart could be for guys that want to utilize Volume Profile. On the other hand, those who want to utilize C# for programming, may use something like MultiCharts because they want to develop automated programs. On the other hand, you may choose to utilize something very basic for execution like R Trader or Market Delta cloud that have no cost and are basic order entry executions that may satisfy most traders. We carry large variety here:

  2. Exchange Cost. Every Futures contract has a cost that comes from the exchange directly and they are different from one sector to another. For example, a stock index cost maybe different from energy, and/or metals, etc.

  3. Technology Routing Fee. This is the fee which is charged to deliver your order to the exchange. For example, you may choose to use the Rithmic Technology over obe of the platforms. They charge a per transaction fee. Other technologies that charge are CQG and Trading Technologies.

  4. Commissions. This is the cost that the broker charges for his/her services on a per transaction basis.

Some brokers bundle some components and present it as one items. Some break it down.
In some circumstances the routing fees are included in the cost of the platform per month, and do not appear as an item on your statement.

This may seem a bit overwhelming, however once we help you with the best platform suited towards your needs, you will have a transparent environment of costs.

Thank you again for your question.

Matt Z
Optimus Futures


Thanks Matt. What would you suggest for someone like me Who wants the absolute simplest as possible? I am not looking to do any programming or in-depth analysis, just looking to get involved in a number of different markets using futures and leverage, and do long-term trend following. What would you suggest for that being as simple as possible and preferably as least expensive as possible ?

In addition to your recommendations can you give an example of the fees and costs of everything? You gave a great explanation of everything but I would love to see an example using actual numbers so I can get an idea of the actual costs to trade futures, since I am so new to this.



Sure we recommend one. There is no need to repeat the word leverage because all futures contracts are leveraged.
If you are looking for a free platform and expect to have long term holds, consider “OEC Trader”](

An example of cost of let’s say contact of Gold Futures :
1.45 clearing
.50 commissions
.50 routing
.01 NFA

All examples are subject to change and your price may be more or less depending on volume and circumstances.