Commodity Brokers

A commodity is a good where there is a demand, but there is no variance in price across the market. For instance, crude oil is priced the same across the market, no matter who produces it. The price is universal. However, a car is not considered a commodity because its value is based on a number of things including its brand, its available options, and where the car is being sold. Many brokers offer commodities trading, though some will only offer trading and investing in commodity ETFs or commodity related stocks. Following are some brokers that offer various levels of support for those who may want to dabble in commodities.



open account
  • Trade agricultural commodities, energy contracts, currencies, energy, equities, interest rates and metals.
  • tradeMONSTER allows for all kinds of futures trading including direct buying and selling of commodities and commodity ETFs.
  • Commodity ETF offerings include ETFs for REITs, currencies, and precious metals.
  • Has an easy to use online platform designed to create a simple and effective trading experience for futures traders.
  • Offers access to thousands of free articles, webinars, and live events designed to advance your futures trading strategy and to help you become more profitable.
  • Twitter integration gives tradeMONSTER traders the ability to interact with other commodities traders and to learn from each other.
Stock Trades Options Base Options Contract Minimum Deposit Broker Assisted Fund Trades
$7.50 $0.00 $0.50 $2,000.00 $7.50 $0.00 - $15.00


open account
  • Futures investing is made possible through one of the first and most respected commodities brokers in the industry.
  • Trade index, metal, grain, energy, interest rate, currency, housing, food & fiber, and livestock & dairy futures, with support for both beginners and advanced traders.
  • OptionsXpress offers a comprehensive commodities trading education through the use of interactive tools, educational articles and online seminars.
  • Powerful, professional trading tools allow commodities investors to take early advantage of trends and become more profitable.
  • Offers 24 hour trading windows for futures trading, keeping investors in touch with their trades at all times.
  • OptionsXpress recognizes that futures trading is quite different from other types of trading and has dedicated a knowledgeable customer service team for investors in this area. Get an edge by using resources from OptionsXpress.
Stock Trades Options Base Options Contract Minimum Deposit Broker Assisted Fund Trades
$9.95 $0.00 $1.50 $0.00 $9.95 $9.95 + LOAD FEE


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  • E*Trade offers access to over 200 futures markets including indexes, precious metals and currencies.
  • E*Trade has created a suite of professional grade trading tools specifically aimed at helping you watch market trends and make the best trading decisions possible.
  • Opening a new account will allow you to trade futures at $0.99 per contract. But check their rates table for more details.
  • E*Trade offers electronic trading on all major futures exchanges through the use of the TT-Trader platform.
  • As with every other trading product, E*Trade offers a wide array of free educational tools and articles to help you improve your trading skills.
Stock Trades Options Base Options Contract Minimum Deposit Broker Assisted Fund Trades
$7.99 - $9.99 $7.99 - $9.99 $0.75 $500.00 $45.00 $0.00 - $19.99

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On Commodity Brokers & Futures Trading

Commodities trading is another term used for trading on future markets or futures for short. Commodities are actually goods such as corn, gold, soybeans, coffee and pork bellies. When an investor trades in futures, he or she is technically trying to predict the future in order to make a profit. Here is an example of how a commodities trade would work:

Post is a cereal manufacturer who needs corn to make its product. Typically, Post would buy a commodities contract from a farmer who needs to sell his corn in order to make his money back for growing the commodity. The contract expiration date would be set somewhere in the future, hence the name “futures contract” and the farmer would then sell his corn to Post at the contract price when the contract came due.

Now, a speculator, or futures investor, will attempt to make money by buying a contract for the corn from the farmer and attempting to sell it to Post as the price of corn increases. Because the contract can be bought or sold at any time during the contract term, the speculator can choose to sell quickly if the market moves favorably or can hold the contract until later in the term.

There are three different players when it comes to commodities trading. They are:

  • Commercials. These are the farmers and the end users of the commodities being traded and make up the largest population of commodities traders.
  • Small Speculators. Individual investors who make their own trades through a commodities broker.
  • Large Speculators. Groups of investors who pool their money together in an attempt to maximize gains and minimize losses. Just like with mutual funds, large speculators have money managers that make decisions for the group as a whole.

Commodities brokers are different from stock brokers and many stock brokers are not licensed to buy or sell commodities. If you live in Chicago, New York, California, or Florida you might have the ability to find a local commodities broker, however investors in other areas may have to look online for a broker.

It is important that you look at a few key areas of a broker before you choose to allow him or her to trade on your behalf. Here are a few tips on finding a commodities broker:

  • Reputation. Before you hire a commodities broker, make sure that his firm lives up to the claims they make on their website or in their ads. One way to do this is to look through well respected financial publications such as SmartMoney, Barron’s and Kiplinger. Also look through the Better Business Bureau or other ratings boards to see if the broker has had any negative claims.
  • Commissions. Look for brokers with reasonable commission rates. More expensive brokers aren’t necessarily better, but as with anything, you’ll most likely get what you pay for, so analyze the level of service you get for the cost of your trades.
  • Educational opportunities. Many brokers offer a plethora of educational materials aimed at getting you up to speed on the ins and outs of commodities trading. Take advantage of these opportunities. Not only will they make you a better trader, but they will also clue you in if your broker is doing something that you don’t agree with.

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