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Agricultural Customer Resources

Many agricultural producers use the futures and options markets to hedge against falling prices and maximize their bottom lines. Whether you’re new to using futures and options as risk management tools or an old hand, here are a number of checklists, articles and resources that can help you learn more about the markets, risk management planning, and avoiding problems or bad actors. Learn more about protections for agricultural customers.

 

Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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The CFTC and SEC urge investors considering a fund with exposure to the Bitcoin futures market to weigh carefully the potential risks and benefits of the investment.
Futures Market Basics
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Speculative trading is always risky, but mixing it with unfamiliar markets, leverage, and advice from anonymous individuals online could be a recipe for disaster. Here are seven things to consider before placing any trade that involves commodity futures or physical commodities like precious metals.
Precious Metals
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Some unregistered gold and silver dealers are advising investors to use relaxed retirement plan distribution rules in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to buy precious metals. But customers should talk to qualified retirement, tax, or legal advisors first.
Futures Market Basics
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Trading vehicles that use futures contracts or other commodity interests may be organized as exchange-traded products or mutual funds, but that does not necessarily mean they will behave like traditional exchange-traded funds or mutual funds that invest in stocks, bonds or other asset classes.
Spot and Avoid Fraud
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Unregistered brokers selling binary options, foreign exchange (forex) programs, and cryptocurrencies are targeting people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. The scams promise unrealistically high profits, but later force victims to pay excessive “fees” and “taxes” to get their supposed earnings.
Spot and Avoid Fraud
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Fraudsters commonly use major news events, such as the spread of COVID-19, to add credibility to their cons or manipulate emotions. You can better protect yourself by learning to recognize common mental biases that everyone has, as well as common fraud tactics—and by taking a few preventative steps.
Binary Options Fraud
Many online binary option trading platforms operate in violation of the law. Some of these unregistered platforms have refused to credit customer accounts, denied fund reimbursement, committed identity theft, and manipulated their software to generate losing trades for customers.
Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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The market for digital coins and tokens is still very young and there is no widely-accepted standard for placing a value on a particular coin or token. You need to ask about your rights, research what could affect the future value of a digital coin or token, and exercise caution.
Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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The CFTC and SEC have recently observed investment scams where fraudsters pose as “cryptocurrency” advisory trading businesses touting proprietary trading systems or mining farms.
Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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Virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Learn more about the risks associated with this digital asset.
Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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Be cautious of sales pitches touting “IRS approved” or “IRA approved” virtual currency retirement accounts. Virtual currency prices sometimes experience wild price swings. This volatility is not reduced or limited just because the virtual currencies are held in an IRA.
Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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Pump-and-dump schemes occur in the largely unregulated cash market for virtual currencies and digital tokens, and typically on platforms that offer a wide array of coin pairings for traders to buy and sell. Learn the warning signs and how these schemes operate.
Bitcoin and Digital Currencies
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Use extra caution when considering trading advice, products or services touted on social media. It’s easy for fraudsters to create a profile that hides their true identity, or use multiple profiles to promote their schemes. Find out what to look for, and how to avoid getting lured into their frauds.
Commodity Pool Fraud
These frauds commonly involve individuals and firms that are often unregistered and advertise false claims of high profits and low risk.
Forex
There has been a sharp rise in forex trading scams in recent years. Learn signs of potential fraud and the tactics fraudsters commonly use. 
Forex
Be on guard for ads that tout high returns with low risk, or high paying careers trading forex.
Precious Metals
Owning gold, silver, platinum, or palladium may sound appealing, but cold calls, promises of easy profits, and “financing agreements” could be signs of fraud.
Unregistered Sites and Advisers
Websites that fraudulently promote commodity trading systems and advisory services are on the rise. Watch out for sites that tout trading signals or systems with unrealistically high returns and little risk.
Unregistered Sites and Advisers
No trading system can guarantee profits. Before trading, check to see if the broker and trading platform are properly registered with the CFTC.