Precious metals have been some of the most popular hard commodities to trade since the 1970s. Besides currency exchange (FOREX)trading, investing in gold and other precious metals long-term is a worldwide popular way of portfolio risk management during times of inflation or economic/political uncertainty.
Futures contracts are so-called derivative contracts, meaning that their value derives from the performance of the underlying asset. One of the main purposes of investing in precious metals futures is risk mitigation: given the ability to the contract buyer and seller to fix prices or rates in advance for future transactions, they can both ensure against drastic or sudden price movements that may cause increased losses.
Precious metals can be traded in both directions: if the market is expected to move upwards (bullish trend) trades can be entered by purchasing a futures contract (going long) and exit the trade by selling it; while if there is anticipation of a downward movement (bearish trend), trades can be entered by selling a futures contract (going short) and exit the trade by buying a contract.
The possibility is also given to trade multiple futures contracts, which involves making several separate entries and exits, that is, entering contracts at different prices and exiting at one price, or the other way round. The ability to trade in both directions allows investors to gain profits regardless of upward or downward market movements.