I’ve been using Intrade for some time now. Intrade is essentially a futures platform for the everyday investor (or gambler actually). I don’t usually equate investing with gambling because when you buy shares of a publicly traded stock, you own part of the company. However, in this case, with Intrade, you’re buying or selling binary options on world events. An event will either occur within the specified time period or it will not. And the futures contract will either expire worth 100% or 0%. However, it’s not gambling if you’re utilizing it with a portfolio strategy or to hedge/supplement a personal finance strategy.
The options are endless, but an example I’ve utilized in the past is how I’ve hedged my annual gas expenditures via Intrade futures contracts. If you’re fearful that gas prices will continue to rise and take an ever increasing bite out of your family (or business) budget, you can either buy a futures contract that prices will hit say, $3 per gallon, or you can sell one that they’ll hit say, $1.50, and this income or outflow can be used to hedge your exposure as demonstrated in a prior article I wrote on the topic.
Some Outrageous Futures Contracts:
- Bird Flu (H5N1) to be confirmed in the USA
- USA and/or Israel to execute an overt Air Strike against Iran
- American Idol Winner predictions
- Cold Fusion Experiment Successful
- Virgin Galactic to send paying customer into suborbital space (70 miles) on/before 31 Dec 2010
Some Trades I entered into today included:
- Sold Futures against Osama’s capture (not that I’m not rooting against finding him, I just find it to be unlikely any time soon).
- Sold Futures against a near term Bankruptcy filing by GM
- Sold Futures against a strike on Iran by US/Israel
You can buy them as well, but I’ve been more successful bettering AGAINST events occurring than FOR them.
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