Remember the movie "Trading Places"? How about the news stories detailing the small fortune Hillary Clinton made in cattle futures? For most people, these two examples--perhaps along with TV footage of traders in the Chicago futures pits screaming and gesturing wildly--are their only exposure to the futures markets.
But futures are worth looking into, as they can provide additional diversification in a portfolio comprised solely of stocks and bonds. With stock markets trading at historic highs, investors seeking ways to protect their portfolios or participate in broad market movements sometimes look to the futures markets as additional investment arenas.