Market trends can occur in many different shapes, sizes, and places. To capture these movements, trend following strategies trade in a wide range of markets across geographic regions and asset classes. Over the long run, the addition of new and more esoteric markets can provide diversification from traditional market trends. This paper discusses the relative size of futures markets and reviews the CTA market size factor.


  • Similar to individual stocks, futures markets vary in their size – the top ten contracts are substantially larger than many of the smaller contracts.
  • Exposure to contracts of different sizes varies from manager to manager.
  • Analysis shows that allocations to larger or smaller markets could result in very different returns for a given year.
  • In 2018, which was a challenging year for trend following strategies, bigger was better.