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Managing the Futures

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Given current market conditions, investors would be well served looking for further diversification opportunities. One such opportunity is with managed futures.

Managed futures is an alternative investment class in which investors allocate funds into various trading programs run by Commodity Trading Advisors. These advisors seek potential profit opportunities in various futures markets, utilizing multiple strategies such as long/short strategies, option writing and spread trading, among others.

Why can this be a viable strategy?

Stocks have continued to move higher, with seemingly no end to the rally in sight. In fact, the benchmark S&P 500 index has covered a lot of ground very quickly in recent weeks moving from the 1640 area to Monday's highs in the 1762 neighborhood -- all in a span of 19 days.

The Nasdaq has seen similar price action covering a vast amount of upside very quickly. Shares of high flyers such as Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) seem to be strengthening every day. Many would argue that valuations are getting a bit heated at current levels and the recent euphoria seen in stocks could be cause for concern.

John Hussman of Hussman Funds recently gave his thoughts on the market, noting, "If you picture a small child throwing a stone upward and out over the edge of the Grand Canyon, you'll get a general idea of the market trajectory that we expect over the completion of this cycle."

No one can see the future. No one knows exactly how markets will react once the Federal Reserve begins removing the punchbowl. The best investors can do is try to play the odds as much as possible. We are currently in the fifth year of an aging bull. Although the market could continue to go up, cashing some chips in at current levels may not be a bad idea.

At the very least, we feel that it is important to position your portfolio for further upside but also a downside turn in markets if or when it materializes. We feel that proper diversification is the key to long-term investing success.
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AAPL $111.37 1.70%
FB $92.94 0.51%
GOOG $643.00 0.60%
TSLA $221.09 -2.50%
YHOO $32.48 0.34%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,044.30 -6.45 -0.04%
S&P 500 2,013.43 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,821.3610 +10.5730 0.22%

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