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Which Financial Instrument Is Traded Most?

Financial instrument valuation is a comprehensive process that most businesses go through at some point to value their businesses. However, many people get confused about what exactly a financial instrument is and which financial instruments are the most traded.


In general, it is better to let experts, such as an accounting firm in Malaysia, handle complicated procedures like financial instrument valuation


Nevertheless, it is still important for business owners and managers to be familiar with the core aspects of financial instruments. Let’s explore them in detail.


What Are Financial Trading Instruments?

Financial trading instruments refer to the various types of assets and contracts that can be traded in exchange for a certain value. There are multiple subcategories of trading instruments, including equities, currencies, forward contracts, indices, and many others.

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Popular Financial Trading Instruments

A company can have many different types of financial instruments that vary from one business to another. Therefore, it is difficult to say which particular financial instrument is the most traded.


However, there are some highly popular financial instruments that have a massive trading volume. These include:


1. Stocks

Stocks are certainly the most commonly traded instruments in financial markets worldwide, making them traditionally the most traded financial instruments


Each stock represents a part of ownership in a company. In other words, buying a stock means owning a certain part of the organization.


Generally, a stock is considered good when it is traded in large volumes because it will have higher liquidity. Many different buying and selling factors influence stock prices, resulting in a lot of volatility in the stock market.


2. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can be described as collections of assets that form the foundations of stock exchange trading. They have a total value based on their specific securities. There are various types of ETFs, such as metal ETFs, technology stock ETFs, and others.

3. Futures Contracts

Futures contracts are legal agreements that provide detailed information about assets in terms of delivery location, cost, and quantity. They serve as standardized contracts for companies that intend to buy a specific asset at a predetermined price in the future. 


The scope of these futures contracts depends on the type and scale of the business. Some of the most common futures contracts trade commodities such as soybeans, cocoa, and crude oil.

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4. Forward Contracts

Forward contracts differ from futures contracts because they are not standardized agreements. Instead, there are numerous options to customize forward contracts according to the requirements of the involved parties. Forward contracts are typically used for hedging purposes to minimize the risk of other investments.

5. Options

Options are derivative contracts that derive their value from an underlying asset. There are two main types of options: call options and put options.


A call option provides significant freedom to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price.


A put option grants the right to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price.


It is important to note that while options are popular financial instruments, they can be highly volatile. Options are associated with a significant leverage factor, which means they can either yield substantial gains or result in significant losses within a short period.


6. Currency Derivatives

Currency derivatives have a wide scope as they encompass futures, forwards, and options contracts linked to the trading of specific currencies. Forex traders utilize currency derivatives based on currency fluctuations.

7. Metals

Metals such as gold, copper, and silver play an integral role in the financial instruments of many companies. They serve as assets for futures contracts, and some companies also use precious metals as trading instruments.

8. Bond Futures

Bond futures may not be the first preference for many companies, but they offer exceptional liquidity with high trading volume. 


Moreover, the high leverage of bond futures is a significant reason why many companies have started incorporating them into their financial instrument trading cycle.

All in all

Determining the most traded financial instrument is challenging due to the variety of instruments available and the varying preferences of traders. 


However, stocks have traditionally held the title of the most commonly traded instrument globally. Nevertheless, it’s essential to consider the unique characteristics and risks associated with each financial instrument before engaging in trading activities.