The term managed futures describes an industry comprised of professional money managers known as commodity trading advisors (CTAs). These trading advisors manage client assets on a discretionary basis using global futures markets as an investment medium. Trading advisors take positions based on expected profit potential.
Managed futures have been used successfully by investment management professionals for more than 30 years. Institutional investors looking to maximize portfolio exposure continue to increase their use of managed futures as an integral component of a well-diversified portfolio. With the ability to go both long and short, managed futures are highly flexible financial instruments with the potential to profit from rising and falling markets. Moreover, managed future funds have virtually no correlation to traditional asset classes, enabling them to enhance returns as well as lower overall volatility.
Recent growth in managed futures has been substantial. In 2002, it was estimated that more than $45 billion was under management by managed futures trading advisors. By the end of 2007, that number had grown to more than $200 billion.