Types of Financial Derivatives with Examples, Advantages, Disadvantages

Types of Financial Derivative-What are Derivatives-Examples of Derivatives-Types of Financial Derivatives-Benefits-Risk-Advantages-Disadvantages

The value of a derivative is determine by an asset, collection of assets, or benchmark. A derivative is a contract that can be tradable between two or more parties (OTC). Let us understand what is derivatives with examples, what are the different types of financial derivatives, advantages, benefits, risk and disadvantages of it.

You can also research on different types of trading in stock market in-case you would be interested in it. Each contract is dangerous and can be use to trade almost any asset. Derivative prices fluctuate in tandem with the underlying asset. Financial instruments are use to enter markets and reduce risk.

What are Derivatives?

The value of a derivative is determine by the underlying asset or assets. Although, common assets include stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, and indices. The value of underlying assets is affect by market conditions. So, derivative contracts are use to speculate on an asset’s future worth.

Consider how the price of a stock can rise or fall. If the stock price falls, you may lose money. To profit from a winning bet, create a derivative contract. Alternatively, you could prevent losing money on the stock market’s spot market.

Understanding Derivatives

A derivative is a sophisticated financial security that has been agree upon. So, traders use derivatives to buy and sell various assets. Common derivatives include stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, and market indices. The contract value is determine by the underlying asset’s price.

Moreover, derivatives can be used to hedge a position, predict the price of an asset, or increase the value of your holdings. These types of assets are typically purchase through brokers and tradable on exchanges or over-the-counter (OTC) (OTC). CME is a derivatives exchange.

Over-the-counter derivatives are more vulnerable to counterparty risk, or one party failing to pay. Private contracts are not govern. To mitigate risk, the investor could use a currency derivative to lock in a fixed exchange rate. Currency futures and currency swaps can help to mitigate this risk. OTC derivatives lack standardisation and have fewer controls than exchange-traded derivatives. Many derivative transactions are leverage, allowing a little amount of capital to purchase a huge asset.

Examples of Derivatives

Derivatives include futures, options, and CDS. Many derivative transactions have several counterparties. OTC types of financial derivatives are subject to change at any time.

Types of Financial Derivatives

Derivatives nowadays are base on numerous transactions and can be employed in a variety of ways. Weather data, such as rainfall or sunny days, can be use to create derivatives. Derivatives are use to manage risk, make bets, and increase position value. Derivatives are a growing sector with solutions to meet almost every need or risk tolerance. Common types of financial derivatives include futures, forwards, swaps, and options.


Futures contracts are agreements between two parties to purchase and deliver an asset at a future price and time. These types of financial derivatives contracts are tradable on exchanges. Moreover, futures contracts are use by traders to hedge risk or to speculate on asset values. The buy/sell agreement must be followed by both parties.

For example: On November 6, 2021, Company A pays $62.22 per barrel for a December 19 oil futures contract. The company requires oil in December and is concerned that the price will climb. Purchasing an oil futures contract decreases risk because the seller is required to supply Company A with oil at $62.22 per barrel. Assume that on December 19, 2021, a barrel of oil costs $80. If Company A no longer requires the oil, it can sell the futures contract before it expires and pocket the proceeds.

Buyers and sellers of futures contracts both hedge their risk. Company A necessary oil and did not want to pay more in December. They made a long-term investment in oil futures. To hedge against the danger of declining oil prices, an energy business may sell a December futures contract.

Forwards Types of Financial Derivatives

Forward contracts are comparable to futures contracts but are not tradable on an exchange. Only over-the-counter transactions are permit-able. Forward contracts come in a variety of sizes, terms, and settlement methods. Forward contracts involving over-the-counter (OTC) items expose both parties to risk.

A credit risk exists when one or both parties fail to fulfil their contractual obligations. If one party declares bankruptcy, the other may be render helpless and lose value. Parties can balance their positions once a forward contract is in place. The presence of more traders in a transaction may increase counterparty risks.

Cash Settlements in Futures

Not every futures contract concludes with the underlying asset. If both parties to a futures transaction are speculative traders or speculators, neither will most likely arrange for oil delivery. By closing their deal with an offsetting contract before it expires, speculators can avoid buying or delivering the underlying commodity.

Because many types of financial derivatives are cash-settlements, a trader’s profit or loss is a cash flow into or out of their brokerage account. Interest rate, stock index, volatility, and weather futures are examples of cash-settled futures contracts.

Swaps Types of Financial Derivatives

Swaps are a type of derivative that is use to alter money flow. Interest rate swaps are use by traders to convert variable-rate loans to fixed-rate loans or vice versa. Company XYZ borrows $1,000,000 at a variable interest rate of 6%. XYZ may be concerned that rising interest rates may make this loan more expensive, or it may have difficulty finding a lender willing to extend it more credit while subject to variable rate risk.

With QRS, XYZ exchanges variable-rate loan payments for 7% fixed-rate loan instalments. XYZ pays QRS 7% on its $1,000,000 principal, and QRS pays XYZ 6%. At the start of the exchange, XYZ pays QRS the 1% swap rate differential.

If the variable rate on the first loan falls to 5%, Company XYZ must pay Company QRS the difference of 2%. If interest rates climb to 8%, QRS must pay XYZ the difference in swap rates, which is 1%. The exchange assisted XYZ in converting a variable-rate loan into a fixed-rate loan that is not affectable by future interest rates.

Exchange rate risk, loan default risk, and other cash flows can all be tradable using swaps. Popular derivatives include cash flows from mortgage bonds and expected defaults. They were far too well-known previously. The counterparty risk of this swap triggered the 2008 credit crisis.


Contracts to buy or sell an item at a future date and price are refer as options contracts. A buyer of an option is not require to act on the purchase or sale agreement. So, it is not a contractual duty, as are futures. Options, like futures contracts, can be used to hedge against or speculate on price swings.

When you can buy or sell an option depends on its “type.” An American option holder may exercise the option prior to or on the expiration date. European options are only valid till their expiration date. The majority of equities and ETFs have American-style options, whereas the S&P 500 includes European-style options.

Let us take an example of it. Assume an investor does not own the $50-per-share stock. They forecast price increases for next month. This investor can acquire the shares for $50 by purchasing a call option before or at expiration. Assume this call option was priced at $200 and the underlying stock increased to $60 before expiration. The buyer can now exercise their option to purchase $60 per share stock for $50 per share, making a profit of $10 per share. Because a call option represents 100 shares, the profit is $1,000 minus the price and transaction costs.

If purchasers employ the contract, sellers must follow it in both cases. Assume that the stock price is higher than the strike price when the option expires, the put is worthless and the premium is paid to the seller. In-case the stock price at expiration is lower than the strike price, the call is worthless, and the premium is return to the seller.

Advantages of Financial Derivatives

As the examples indicate, these types of financial derivatives can benefit both businesses and investors. You may lock in costs, protect against increases in interest rates, and reduce risk. These advantages are typically inexpensive. Traders frequently borrow money to purchase derivatives on margin. As a result, they’re even cheaper.

Disadvantages of Financial Derivatives

Derivatives are difficult to value because they are dependent on another asset. Counterparty risks in over-the-counter derivatives are difficult to forecast. Most types of financial derivatives are influence by when they expire, the cost of holding the underlying asset, interest rates, and so on. These variables make it difficult to link the value of a derivative to its underlying asset.

Because derivatives have no inherent value, they are influence by market emotion and risk (its value is derived from the underlying asset). Even if the underlying asset’s price remains constant, supply and demand can change the price and liquidity of a derivative. Leverage is commonly use in derivatives, which is dangerous. It increases up return but decreases loss.

Benefits and Risks of Derivatives

Derivatives can aid in the achievement of financial objectives. A company that wants to decrease commodity risk can buy or sell crude oil futures. By purchasing forward contracts, a firm can protect itself from currency risk.

Investors can use derivatives to increase the value of their positions, such as purchasing stock options instead of shares. Counterparty risk, leverage risk, and complex derivative networks can all lead to systemic problems.


Derivatives were first used to stabilise foreign exchange rates. Cross-border business must account for the varying values of national currencies. If a trader believes the euro will rise against the dollar, he or she can profit by using a derivative. Also, this information would assist you to understand from examples of derivatives, advantages, disadvantages and what are the different types of financial derivatives in this topic. Check out this collection of essays for more insights on advantages of forex trading topic from a variety of perspectives.

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