Commodity traders must at least pass the FINRA Series 3 exam, which focuses on the commodities market exclusively.
The term “trader” is often used in reference to the people at an investment firm who work on the actual trading desk, sometimes executing trade orders from the front office but also trading for the account of the firm and sometimes giving investment advice.
Traders often have a role to seek out and engage in trades that will improve the portfolio of the firm at which they are employed and benefit the clients of the firm. Commodity traders could work for a commodity pool or they could be a commodity specialist at a firm focused on a wider variety of investing.
Commodity traders might have designations such as Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA), or Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), but will most likely have passed the FINRA Series 3 exam, which focuses on commodities markets.
Obviously not all stock brokers are licensed or well-educated in commodities markets. The market for commodities and futures has it’s own culture, lingo, and regulations.
The SEC regulates the securities exchanges in the country, but the commodities futures markets are regulated by the National Futures Association and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Traders might specialize in spot markets or futures markets, in particular commodities, or in particular types of contracts such as swaps.
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