A Managed Futures Account (MFA) is a form of alternative investment, similar to a mutual fund, that takes long and short positions in futures contracts, government securities, and options on futures contracts.
Managed futures are operated by licensed Commodity Trading Advisors, or CTAs, who are regulated in the United States by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association, or NFA.
Managed futures accounts include, but are not limited to, commodity pools and commodity funds.
MFAs are generally managed on the basis of technical analysis, and involve going long or short in futures contracts in areas such as metals, grains, equity indexes and commodities of all kinds. Currency futures are also commonly traded.
One strategy, known as an overlay, is to add a portfolio of managed futures to an existing portfolio to introduce new exposure.