Pricing & Rates

Commission rates

Futures: $7.00 per side
Options: $14.00 charged up front
(Does not include echange, clearing, and NFA fees which vary by exchange. Generally fees run about $3.63 per side)

Cost For Services

Firetip Program
Free when you trades 4 sides (2 round turns) or more per month. $50 fee for live quotes for clients making 3 or less.

Web Platform
live quotes, no hidden fees.

Initial Funds

$2,000 to open an account
Additionally, you may also fund the account by transferring an existing Brokerage Account to Grain Hedge.

Account Services

Firetip Trading Platform (software) with Real-time Quotes
Web-Based Trading Platform with Real-time Quotes
Grain Hedge Web Platform to find Best Cash Markets
Grain Hedge Web Platform for My Grain Trades
Planalytics Web Platform for Weather Intelligence
24-hour phone order desk

Deposit Funds

You can deposit funds at no charge via check, ACH transfer, or wire transfer.
Funds will available at different times depending on the type of deposit.
1. Wire Deposit funds are available for trading on the same day.
2. ACH Deposit funds are available for trading after 5 business days.
3. Check Deposit funds are available for trading after 10 business days.

Withdraw Funds

Funds can be received either via Postal Mail Standard Delivery (no charge), Overnight Delivery ($25 charge), or wire transfer ($25 charge). Checks will only be mailed to the address on the trading account. Wire transfers can only be sent to a bank account with the same account name/title as the trading account.
For same day processing, requests need to be submitted before 12:00PM CST.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any hidden fees?

0.25 cent per side platform fee

Clients who make 2 or more round turn trades per month get live streaming quotes through the Firetip platform for free. Make less than 2 round turn trades? $50 is charged by our clearing member for the live quotes. Don’t trade a lot, going on vacation, or want to take a break from trading? Simply have Grain Hedge turn off Firetip’s streaming quotes and you can still use our web platform for free.

Who do you clear through?

We clear through Ironbeam. Ironbeam does not have a prop trade desk and is strictly in the business of executing trades. After the collapse of PFG Best, we subscribed to a third party FCM rating agency called Atlas Reports. Ironbeam consistently meets or exceeds the ratings of FC Stone, RJ O’brien, and the Linn Group in their monthly report.

Do I have to call Grain Hedge before making a trade?

No. All Grain Hedge clients have direct access to the futures and options market. We don’t give specific trading advice but Grain Hedge brokers are more than happy to help answer questions about order type, how to get in or out of a market, or general exchange questions. Away from your computer? You can place trades by calling our office or through our clearing member's 24 hour trade desk.

How do you handle margin calls?

Your account is self-directed, which means that you direct all trades through the Grain Hedge Standard or Firetip platform. It also means that it is your responsibility to maintain the proper margin requirements for your positions. Grain Hedge clients often establish a strong working relationship with our brokers by keeping the lines of communication open when positions drop below maintenance margin.

Grain Hedge reserves the right to liquidate your positions in the event your account value drops below $500. This is an option of last resort and is a policy brokerages use to manage their risk. Before liquidation, Grain Hedge brokers will make numerous attempts to contact you via phone and email. Being proactive and being in touch with your broker will help avoid these situations.

Have a question we haven’t answered here? Call our office and speak with a broker 877-472-4607

Glossary

First Notice and Last Trade Days

This is the day on which the seller of the contract can inform the buyer of intent to make delivery. The buyer is then considered to be in a “deliverable position”. About 90% of futures and options contracts go undelivered; therefore most traders unwind their positions at least a week prior to first notice day for a contract. As the day approaches, the price volatility of the contract increases, leading to unfavorable prices on filled orders. To avoid this volatility, roll the position to a more distant month, or liquidate at least one week prior to first notice day. The same rule can apply to contracts that only have last trade days.

Order types

Market Order (MKT) The order is submitted without a price. The market order is the most frequently used order. It is a very good order to use once you have made a decision about opening or closing a position, as it can keep the trader from having to chase a market trying to get in or out of a position. The market order is executed at the best possible price obtainable at the time the order reaches the trading pit.

Limit Order The order is submitted with a specific price limit. The client expects to be filled at or better than the stated price limit. Limit orders to buy are placed below the market, while limit orders to sell are placed above the market. Since there’s a possibility that the market may never get high enough or low enough to trigger a limit order, a customer may miss the market if he uses a limit order. Even though you may see the market touch a limit price several times, this does not guarantee or earn the customer a fill at that price. In most instances, the market must trade BETTER than the limit price for the customer to get a fill.

Stop OrderA stop order is a resting order used to open or close a position at or near a specific price level. Stop orders can be used for three purposes: 1. To minimize a loss on a long or short position. 2. To protect a profit on an existing long or short position. 3. To initiate a new long or short position. A buy stop order is placed above the market, and a sell stop order is placed below the market. Once the stop price is touched, the order is treated like a market order and will be filled at the best possible price.

Stop Limit A stop limit order lists two prices, and is an attempt to gain more control over the price at which your stop is filled. The first part of the order is written like the above stop order. The second part of the order specifies a limit price. This indicates that once your stop is triggered, you do not wish to be filled beyond the limit price. Stop limit orders should not be used when trying to exit a position. If a customer does not give a limit price, then the stop price and the limit prices are meant to be identical.

Market if Touched (MIT) MITs are the opposite of stop orders. Buy MITs are placed below the market and Sell MITs are placed above the market. An MIT order is often used to enter the market, or initiate a trade. An MIT order is similar to a limit order in that a specific price is placed on the order. However, an MIT order becomes a market order once the limit price is touched or passed through. An execution may be at, above, or below the originally specified price. An MIT order will not be executed if the market fails to touch the MIT specified price.

One Cancels the Other (OCO) This is a combination of two orders written on one order ticket. This instructs our floor personnel that once one side of the order is filled, the remaining side of the order should be cancelled. By placing both instructions on one order, rather than two separate tickets, the customer eliminates the possibility of a double fill. This order is not acceptable on all exchanges.

Good-Till-Cancelled (GTC) ) An order to buy or sell a security at a set price that is active until the investor decides to cancel it or the trade is executed. If an order does not have a good-till-canceled instruction, then the order will expire at the end of the trading day.

Margin

Initial Margin The percentage of the purchase price of securities that the investor must pay for with his or her own cash for futures and options contracts. For hedgers, initial margin is about 10% of total contract value.

Maintenance Margin The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. The maintenance level is generally 75% of initial margin.

Margin Call A margin call is the demand on an investor, which is using margin, to deposit additional money to bring an account up to the minimum maintenance margin level. Margin calls occur when an account’s value depresses to a value that is less than required. You would receive a margin call if one or more of the securities you had bought (with borrowed money) decreased in value past a certain point. You would be forced either to deposit more money in the account, or to sell off some of your assets.

Options

A contract that conveys the right--but not the obligation--to buy or sell a particular item at a certain price for a limited time. Only the seller of the option is obligated to perform.

Call Options An option that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase (go "long") the underlying futures contract at the strike price on or before the expiration date.

Put Options An option that gives the option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell (go "short") the underlying futures contract at the strike price on or before the expiration date.

Option Premiums The price of an option, or the sum of money, that the option buyer pays or the option seller receives for the rights granted by the option.

Margins

Financial guarantees required of sellers of options contracts to ensure fulfillment of contract obligations. Futures Commission Merchants, or FCMs, are responsible for overseeing customer margin accounts. Margins are determined on the basis of market risk and contract value.

When to use and why Options are useful when a trader wants to limit their risk exposure in the futures market. The premiums in options are less volatile in nature than are the prices on futures contracts. Buyers of options are not subject to margin calls, lessening their risk. Buying put options is a good strategy to set price floors for your products.

Bid and Ask

Bid An expression indicating a desire to buy a commodity at a given price.

Ask An expression indicating one's desire to sell a commodity at a given price.

Bid/Ask Spreads The spread is the trading difference between the most competitive bid and the most competitive offer on a contract. Normally these spreads are narrow for high volume, or “frequently”, traded futures and options. “Infrequently”, or low volume traded contracts usually have a larger spread. For these contracts it is advantageous to use limit orders within the spread, but still near the bid price if buying, and near the ask price if selling.

FireTip download

To download the FireTip trading platform, follow this link: Firetip Software (39 MB). FireTip is the online trading platform that most of our clients use to trade. This program is where all the live quotes on futures and options are displayed. Traders can also track and chart any future or option that is available for trading. Your account is updated daily to reflect the worth of open positions and equity. FireTip has a few unique features for traders to use, such as advanced trader and depth trader.

Trading Matrix

The trading matrix is the main window that every trader should have open to display the contracts that have open positions and any contracts of interest to the trader. Orders can be placed from this window by either using the Place Order button or the Buy and Sell buttons located on the bottom of the matrix. The live quotes are displayed here, as well as, the entire bid and ask information. Separate matrices can be created for option chains.

Advanced Trader

Advance trader allows traders to view up-to-the-second market conditions for any future and option being traded. It can indicate movements in the market depending upon the size and total amount of bids and asks at certain prices. Orders can also be made from the advanced trader window. With such features as Go Flat, Reverse, Cancel All, Buy Market, Sell Market, Buy Bid, and Sell Ask a trader has more options when trading from this window.

Tax Implications

There are two commonly used forms of hedging transactions—selling futures, and buying put options. Using these transactions transfers risk to speculators, minimizing the price fluctuations of your commodity. Loss through hedging goes into the profit-loss of your business’ operation costs. Profit-loss through speculation, on the other hand, is taxed as a capital gain or loss—which is in a higher tax bracket. A hedging transaction is always opposite of what a farmer’s physical position is, otherwise it is considered speculation. Farmer going long grain futures or calls would be spec and taxed as a capital gain More hedging transactions tax information