Although the financial futures and options markets have only existed since 1972, many current participants have little understanding of their genesis. This unique work offers a much needed historical perspective that provides important insights into the basic functioning of the markets. Petzel explains how these relatively new investment products originated, how they are used, and how the markets in which they are traded work.
Petzel begins with an overview of the first fifteen years of financial futures, examining both successes and failures and developing a basic hypothesis of what components are necessary for success. The next two chapters present the fundamentals of futures and options for those who need a thorough grounding in basic concepts such as the standard elements of futures contracts, margins, types of trading, and the structure of the exchanges. Subsequent chapters address equities market strategies, interest rate strategies, and foreign currency futures and options. In the final chapter, Petzel discusses accounting, tax, and regulatory issues that affect the development and trading of financial futures and options. Written for professionals in corporate finance and in the financial services industry who have had little exposure to financial futures and options, the guide includes general examples as well as detailed explanatory tables and figures. The author focuses throughout on the use and construction of contracts, rather than providing particular trading advice or touting any one system of trading.