Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA)
A CTA is an individual or organization which, for compensation or profit, advises others as to the value of or the advisability of buying or selling futures contracts, options on futures, retail off-exchange forex contracts or swaps.
Providing advice includes exercising trading authority over a customer's account as well as giving advice based upon knowledge of or tailored to customer's particular commodity interest account, particular commodity interest trading activity, or other similar types of information.
Registration is required unless:
- You have provided advice to 15 or fewer persons during the past 12 months and do not generally hold yourself out to the public as a CTA or
- You are in one of a number of businesses or professions listed in the Commodity Exchange Act or are registered in another capacity and your advice is solely incidental to your principal business or profession or
- You are providing advice that is not based upon knowledge of or tailored to customer's particular commodity interest account, particular commodity interest trading activity, or other similar types of information, such as, for example
You make recommendations, such as advice to buy or sell specific futures contracts should a particular price level be reached, through newsletters, books and periodicals. The advice includes specific recommendations and the recipients of publications all receive the same advice or
You provide specific advice through e-mails, facsimiles, an Internet web site, telephone calls or face-to-face meetings with customers consisting of instructions to buy or sell a futures contract based on a computerized trading system, which also is available for purchase and use on a personal computer, and the customers all receive the same advice or
You conduct seminars at which you teach attendees how to trade commodity futures contracts aided by a software program that you sell and you invite seminar attendees to participate in a question-and-answer session at which you provide commodity trading advice without asking or receiving information about the personal characteristics of the attendees.
All registered CTAs who manage or exercise discretion over customer accounts must be Members of NFA in order to conduct futures or swaps business with the public.
CTA is required to file the following:
- A completed online Form 7-R (includes NFA membership sections)
- A non-refundable application fee of $200.00
- Annual Questionnaire
- CTA Membership Dues, if applicable of $750.00
A CTA is required to file applications for its Principals and Associated Persons
Additionally, all registered CTAs engaged in retail off-exchange forex activities are required to:
- Apply to become a forex firm by completing online Form 7-R
- Have at least one principal that is also an approved Forex Associated Person
- Submit payment of CTA Forex Firm membership dues of $2,500 (or surcharge of $1,750 if applicant is already an NFA Member)
Additionally, all registered CTAs engaged in swap transactions are required to:
- Apply to become a swap firm by completing online Form 7-R
- Have at least one principal that is also an approved Swap Associated Person
*An application fee is not required if the individual is currently registered with the CFTC in any capacity or is listed as a principal of a current CFTC registrant. In addition, only one application fee is required if the individual is filing an application as both an Associated Person and Principal.
Click here if you do not already have access to the Online Registration System.
NFA publishes several guides to help CTAs meet their regulatory requirements. Visit NFA's publication library for a complete list.
CTAs are required to file their disclosure documents with NFA electronically using NFA's DDoc system. Click here for more information.