AAII's Guide to Top Web Sites


The top sites provide comprehensive information and statistics on options and futures. Typically, websites will include an education section with seminars, online courses, webcasts and other tools to help novice investors familiarize themselves with these derivatives. Many sites offer instructional articles on basic strategies and instruments used for options and futures. Derivatives have a different risk profile, so make sure to educate yourself on the various risks before buying them for your portfolio.

 Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)  


Where to Find: Educational areas and tools are accessed through tabs running across top of home page.
The world's largest options exchange; this site is one of the most comprehensive. Delayed quotes are provided free. Has some of the best tools available, including Virtual Trade, which lets you test your trading strategy without the use of real money. Also offers sections for trading resources and strategies that investors can use to familiarize themselves with options and futures investing. Extensive education section provides seminars, online courses, webcasts, market commentary, educational tools, online tutorials and quick facts. Numerous tools are available for individual investors. Some areas require site registration.

 Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  


Where to Find: Click on Consumer Protection for fraud and education sections.
Government-commissioned organization aimed at ensuring the integrity of the futures and options market. Offers market reports including financial data, economic analysis and a monthly summary of the futures market. Education area includes a section providing fraud awareness and prevention. Allows you to file complaints and report suspicious activities, while providing case status reports, disciplinary history and an education center. Presents information on industry oversight, laws and regulations. Includes an international section. New press releases are linked on the main page, as is a listing of recent events.

 Options Industry Council  


Where to Find: Use tabs running across top of page to access major areas. The OIC Education tab takes you to the directed learning center.
Provides online classes (check the course catalog for a complete listing), webcasts, a virtual trading system, seminars and audio and video podcasts designed to educate investors on options and futures. A listing of the options seminars presented around the U.S. is given. Also offers information on various options and futures trading strategies ranging from basic to more advanced. Provides a bevy of tools such as options, collar and covered call calculators. Delayed quotes are accessed by entering the appropriate symbol. Extensive market data and free email alerts are available. Also offers free DVD and brochures and literature.