Topic Overview

Derivatives are financial contracts whose value is linked to the value of an underlying asset. They are complex financial instruments that are used for various purposes, including hedging and getting access to additional assets or markets. Derivatives are very useful and powerful tools in the financial system but they carry risk and must be understood to leverage them effectively. Mastering derivatives is important for students and finance professionals looking to build a career in capital markets. Read more
Derivatives courses are 100-percent online and self-paced. Using proprietary technology and leading instructors, CFI promotes the ideal learning environment for real-world skills and retention.

6 courses

Consisting of over 290+ lessons

30+ interactive exercises

Learn by doing with guided simulations

Expert instructors

Learn from the very best

New courses monthly

On need-to-know subject matter

Blockchain certificate

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500,000+ 5 star ratings

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Find the right Derivatives course

Ranging from beginner courses to advanced courses and case studies, Derivatives courses at CFI develop the full range of skills to prepare for a career in capital markets, such as investment banking, treasury, sales and trading, and other areas of finance. Many Derivatives courses are required for CFI’s Capital Markets & Securities Analyst (CMSA)® program, which teaches strategies used in the finance and capital markets industry.

Top Derivatives Courses

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Why Learn Derivatives with CFI?

Created with the guidance of professional Wall Street trainers with over 20 years of experience training new hires at investment firms, CFI’s courses are designed for success in finance careers. Courses blend theory with real-world application to build valuable skill sets for finance professionals.

Using innovative design and a fully online format, the courses at CFI give learners the flexibility to build their skill sets anywhere, at any time, and prepare for a career on their own schedule and pace.

With our Derivatives courses, you can learn:

What are futures and forwards and how they work
What are options and how do we use them in the markets
What are swaps and their use
How professional traders use derivatives to express their views on the markets, as well as how to hedge exposures using derivatives
The theory and models used by these traders to price and value derivatives
How to spot arbitrage opportunities between derivatives and their underlying assets

Who should take these courses?

CFI’s Derivatives courses range from basic, intermediate, and advanced and help both students and professionals develop skills to prepare for future careers in investing and trading, sales, and other finance disciplines.

Investment professionals

Management consultants

Financial analysts

Registered Provider: National Association of State Boards of Accountancy

All courses are accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), CPA Institutions in Canada, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in the US. Most courses qualify for verified CPE credits for CPA charter holders.

Courses include video lessons, quizzes, and final assessments.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Derivative in Finance?
A derivative is a contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an underlying financial asset or set of assets. These assets may include commodities, currencies, bonds, interest rates, and stocks. Derivatives can be simple and plain vanilla or complicated and exotic. They take the form of futures, forwards, swaps, and options, but are used to either mitigate or assume risk.
What is a Derivative Market?
Most derivatives are traded over-the-counter (OTC). However, some of the contracts, including options and futures, are traded on specialized exchanges. The biggest derivative exchanges include the CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade), the Korea Exchange, and Eurex.
What are Futures and Forwards?
Futures and forwards are financial contracts that obligate the buyers of the contract to purchase an asset at a pre-agreed price on a specified time in the future. The seller of the contract, on the other hand, is obligated to sell or deliver an asset at a pre-agreed price on a specified time in the future. Both forwards and futures are essentially the same in their nature. However, forwards are more flexible contracts because they are bespoked contracts that parties can customize the underlying commodity as well as the quantity of the commodity and the dates of the transaction. On the other hand, futures are more standardized contracts that are traded on the exchanges.
What are Options?
Options are financial derivatives that give buyers the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset for an agreed-upon price on an agreed-upon date. Call and put options are the basis for a range of options strategies for hedging and speculation.
What are Swaps?
A swap is a derivative contract that involves two parties exchanging cash flows or liabilities from two different financial instruments. Swaps typically involve cash flows based on a loan or bond, but it can be virtually anything. The most popular types of swaps are interest rate swaps, commodity swaps, and currency swaps.
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