This is a legal contract by and between the COMPANY_NAME, its successors and assigns, referred to collectively in this document as “COMPANY_NAME”, and the party (or parties) executing this document, referred to collectively as “Customer”.
In consideration of COMPANY_NAME agreeing to carry one or more accounts of Customer and providing services to Customer in connection with the purchase and sale of cash commodities (including financial instruments), commodity futures contracts, securities futures products, options on cash commodities, options on futures contracts, forward or leverage contracts, forward rate transactions, commodity swaps, foreign exchange transactions, currency swap transactions, cross-currency rate swap transactions, currency options, and other derivatives of futures and/or foreign currency contracts, and any similar instruments which may be purchased or sold by or through COMPANY_NAME for Customers Account(s) (collectively referred to as “Commodities” or “Futures”), Customer agrees to the following terms and conditions:
1. AUTHORISATION TO TRADE.
COMPANY_NAME is authorised to purchase and sell cash commodities (including financial instruments), commodities futures contracts, security futures products, options on cash commodities, options on commodity futures contracts, forward or leverage contracts, forward rate transactions, commodity swaps, foreign exchange transactions, currency swap transactions, cross-currency rate swap transactions, currency options, and other derivatives of futures and/or foreign currency contracts for Customers Account(s) in accordance with Customers oral, written or electronically transmitted instructions. Unless instructed by Customer to the contrary in writing, COMPANY_NAME is authorised to execute all futures and option orders on such recognised contract markets, as COMPANY_NAME deems appropriate. Customer authorises COMPANY_NAME to purchase and sell physically settled and cash settled foreign currency contracts on a spot basis for Customers Account in accordance with Customers instructions. Customer agrees that the Customer is fully responsible for making all final decisions as to transactions effected for Customers Account. Customer has considered the factors contained below and in view of Customers present and anticipated financial resources, Customer is willing and able to assume the substantial financial risks of trading in the above markets.
2. TRANSACTIONS SUBJECT TO INDUSTRY REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS.
All transactions shall be subject to the regulations of all applicable government authorities and self-regulatory agencies including, but not limited to, the constitutions and rules of the clearinghouse, exchange, or market where trades are executed. Customer understands that COMPANY_NAME is obligated to comply with all applicable laws and regulations including those of regulatory and self-regulatory organisations and agrees that COMPANY_NAME shall not be liable to the Customer as a result of any action taken by COMPANY_NAME to comply with any ruling, interpretation or directive of such organisation. The Customer recognises that rates and/or prices it may view on electronic market information screens (e.g. Reuters, Flash Quotes, Telerate, etc.) are only indications of rates and/or prices, and may or may not reflect actual rates and/or prices available to COMPANY_NAME or the Customer.
In all transactions under this Agreement, Customer shall be bound by all applicable laws, rules and regulations, including the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations hereunder, and the rules, regulations, customs, usages, rulings and interpretations of the National Futures Association (“NFA”), and to the extent applicable, the Securities and Exchange Commission, National Association of Securities Dealers, and the exchange or market and the clearing house, if any, where the transactions are executed by COMPANY_NAME or COMPANY_NAME agents.
3. MARGINS/DEPOSIT REQUIREMENTS.
COMPANY_NAME margin policies and/or the policies of those exchanges on which trading occurs may require that additional funds be provided to properly margin Customers Account. Customer understands that the Customer is obligated to promptly meet such margin requirements. Failure to meet margin calls may result in the liquidation of any open positions with a resultant loss.
As security for Customers obligation to COMPANY_NAME hereunder, Customer shall provide to and maintain with COMPANY_NAME margin and/or collateral in such amounts and in such forms as COMPANY_NAME, in its sole and absolute discretion, may from time to time require. Margin requirements may be increased at COMPANY_NAME sole and absolute discretion. Such margin requirements may exceed margins established by an exchange. COMPANY_NAME may change margin requirements at any time. Margin requirements are subject to change without notice and will be enforced retroactively and prospectively. Customer acknowledges and agrees that COMPANY_NAME has no obligation to establish uniform margin requirements and that such requirements may be higher for single stock futures and other security futures products. No previous margin requirement by COMPANY_NAME shall preclude COMPANY_NAME from increasing that requirement without prior notice. Further, COMPANY_NAME will exercise considerable discretion in setting and collecting margin associated with foreign currency transactions. For margin purposes associated with foreign currency transactions, Customer has authorized COMPANY_NAME to convert Customers funds into and from such foreign currency at a rate of exchange determined by COMPANY_NAME, in its sole discretion, on the basis of the then prevailing money market rates.
Customer agrees to deposit by immediate wire transfer such additional margin when and as required by COMPANY_NAME, and will promptly meet all margin calls in such mode of transmission, as COMPANY_NAME shall in its sole discretion designate.
Risk Disclosure Statements
To open an account with the COMPANY_NAME you acknowledge having read and understood the following RISK DISCLOSURE STATEMENT FOR FUTURES AND OPTIONS.
If you intend to trade Options on Futures it is important that you read and understand the OPTIONS DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options The following Risk Disclosure Statement is required to be furnished to you in accordance with CFTC Rule 1.55, Rule 30.6 and Rule 33.7.
This brief statement does not disclose all of the risks and other significant aspects of trading in futures and options. In light of the risks, you should undertake such transactions only if you understand the nature of the contracts (and contractual relationships) into which you are entering and the extent of your exposure to risk. Trading in futures and options is not suitable for many members of the public. You should carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources and other relevant circumstances.
1. Effect of ‘Leverage’ or ‘Gearing’
Transactions in futures carry a high degree of risk. The amount of initial margin is small relative to the value of the futures contract so that transactions are ‘leveraged’ or ‘geared’. A relatively small market movement will have a proportionately larger impact on the funds you have deposited or will have to deposit: this may work against you as well as for you. You may sustain a total loss of initial margin funds and any additional funds deposited with the firm to maintain your position. If the market moves against your position or margin levels are increased, you may be called upon to pay substantial additional funds on short notice to maintain your position. If you fail to comply with a request for additional funds within the time prescribed, your position may be liquidated at a loss and you will be liable for any resulting deficit.
2. Risk-reducing orders or strategies.
The placing of certain orders (e.g. ‘stop-loss’ orders, where permitted under local law, or ‘stop-limit’ orders) which are intended to limit losses to certain amounts may not be effective because market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders. Strategies using combinations of positions, such as ‘spread’ and ‘straddle’ positions may be as risky as taking simple ‘long’ or ‘short’ positions.
3. Variable degree of risk
Transactions in options carry a high degree of risk. Purchasers and sellers of options should familiarise themselves with the type of option (i.e. put or call) which they contemplate trading and the associated risks. You should calculate the extent to which the value of the options must increase for your position to become profitable, taking into account the premium and all transaction costs.
The purchaser of options may offset or exercise the options or allow the options to expire. The exercise of an option results either in a cash settlement or in the purchaser acquiring or delivering the underlying interest. If the option is on a future, the purchaser will acquire a futures position with associated liabilities for margin (see the section on Futures above). If the purchased options expire worthless, you will suffer a total loss of your investment which will consist of the option premium plus transaction costs. If you are contemplating purchasing deep-out-of-the-money options, you should be aware that the chance of such options becoming profitable ordinarily is remote.
Selling (‘writing’ or ‘granting’) an option generally entails considerably greater risk than purchasing options. Although the premium received by the seller is fixed, the seller may sustain a loss well in excess of that amount. The seller will be liable for additional margin to maintain the position if the market moves unfavorably. The seller will also be exposed to the risk of the purchaser exercising the option and the seller will be obligated to either settle the option in cash or to acquire or deliver the underlying interest. If the option is on a future, the seller will acquire a position in a future with associated liabilities for margin (see the section on Futures above).
If the position is ‘covered’ by the seller holding a corresponding position in the underlying interest or a future or another option, the risk may be reduced. If the option is not covered, the risk of loss can be unlimited.
Certain exchanges in some jurisdictions permit deferred payment of the option premium, exposing the purchaser to liability for margin payments not exceeding the amount of the premium. The purchaser is still subject to the risk of losing the premium and transaction costs. When the option is exercised or expires, the purchaser is responsible for any unpaid premium outstanding at that time.
Additional risks common to futures and options
4. Terms and conditions of contracts
You should ask the firm with which you deal about the term and conditions of the specific futures or options which you are trading and associated obligations (e.g. the circumstances under which you may become obligated to make or take delivery of the underlying interest of a futures contract and, in respect of options, expiration dates and restrictions on the time for exercise). Under certain circumstances the specifications of outstanding contracts (including the exercise price of an option) may be modified by the exchange or clearing house to reflect changes in the underlying interest.
5. Suspension or restriction of trading and pricing relationships
Market conditions (e.g. liquidity) and/or the operation of the rules of certain markets (e.g. the suspension of trading in any contract or contract month because of price limits or ‘circuit breakers’) may increase the risk of loss by making it difficult or impossible to effect transactions or liquidate/offset positions. If you have sold options, this may increase the risk of loss.
Further, normal pricing relationships between the underlying interest and the future, and the underlying interest and the option may not exist. This can occur when, for example, the futures contract underlying the option is subject to price limits while the option is not. The absence of an underlying reference price may make it difficult to judge ‘fair’ value.
6. Deposited cash and property
You should familiarize yourself with the protections accorded money or other property you deposit for domestic and foreign transactions, particularly in the event of a firm insolvency or bankruptcy. The extent to which you may recover your money or property may be governed by specified legislation or local rules. In some jurisdictions, property which had been specifically identifiable as your own will be pro-rated in the same manner as cash for purposes of distribution in the event of a shortfall.
7. Commission and other charges
Before you begin to trade, you should obtain a clear explanation of all commission, fees and other charges for which you will be liable. These charges will affect your net profit (if any) or increase your loss. Up to 5% commission must be paid prior to withdrawal, (8% for trades instigated by a Senior Strategist) commissions cannot be deducted direct from the clearing member.
8. Transactions in other jurisdictions
Transactions on markets in other jurisdictions, including markets formally linked to a domestic market, may expose you to additional risk. Such markets may be subject to regulation which may offer different or diminished investor protection. Before you trade you should inquire about any rules relevant to your particular transactions. Your local regulatory authority will be unable to compel the enforcement of the rules of regulatory authorities or markets in other jurisdictions where your transactions have been effected. You should ask the firm with which you deal for details about the types of redress available in both your home jurisdiction and other relevant jurisdictions before you start to trade.
9. Currency risks
The profit or loss in transactions in foreign currency-denominated contracts (whether they are traded in your own or another jurisdiction) will be affected by fluctuations in currency rates where there is a need to convert from the currency denomination of the contract to another currency.
10. Trading facilities.
Most open-outcry and electronic trading facilities are supported by computer-based component systems for the order-routing, execution, matching, registration or clearing of trades. As with all facilities and systems, they are vulnerable to temporary disruption or failure. Your ability to recover certain losses may be subject to limits on liability imposed by the system provider, the market, the clearing house and/or member firms. Such limits may vary; you should ask the firm with which you deal for details in this respect.
11. Electronic trading
Trading on an electronic trading system may differ not only from trading in an open-outcry market but also from trading on other electronic trading systems. If you undertake transactions on an electronic trading system, you will be exposed to risk associated with the system including the failure of hardware and software. The result of any system failure may be that your order is either not executed according to your instructions or is not executed at all.
12. Off-exchange transactions
In some jurisdictions, and only then in restricted circumstances, firms are permitted to effect off-exchange transactions. The firm with which you deal may be acting as your counter party to the transaction. It may be difficult or impossible to liquidate an existing position, to assess the value, to determine a fair price or to assess the exposure to risk. For these reasons, these transactions may involve increased risks. Off-exchange transactions may be less regulated or subject to a separate regulatory regime. Before you undertake such transactions, you should familiarize yourself with applicable rules and attendant risks.