22 May 2023

The Magic Ten: The Most Popular Financial Instruments


In our thrilling, high-stakes world of global finance, certain instruments hold sway over the rest. Amid the orchestra of buy and sell orders, ten instruments consistently stay on top of the rest, commanding the attention of investors and brokers alike. These instruments are the pulse of the financial markets, the movers and the shakers, and they’re the foundation upon which countless investment portfolios are built. These are the instruments that have carved out a place at the top of the trading world. They are the Magic Ten.

Presenting the line-up, let’s spotlight these financial behemoths, as recognised by the esteemed Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the World Federation of Exchanges:

  • Forex Reigns Supreme: With a staggering daily average of over $7.5 trillion, the foreign currency exchange market is the undisputed king. The currency trios of EUR/USD, USD/JPY, and GBP/USD rule the Forex kingdom, responsible for most Forex trades.

  • Equities – The Market Darlings: Equities walk the financial runway with exchanges like NYSE and NASDAQ dealing with over $200 billion daily. Among the stars, tech titans Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft continue to win the popularity contest.

  • Government Bonds – The Safer Havens: Trading around $600 billion daily, U.S. Treasury bonds are the trusted bonds of investors, especially during economic uncertainty, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

  • ETFs – The Rising Stars: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), once the underdogs, have emerged from the shadows, primarily due to their diversification offerings. Blackrock's iShares and Vanguard's ETFs lead the pack, as per ETF.com.

  • Futures Contracts – The High Rollers: The E-mini S&P 500, Crude Oil, and Euro FX futures are the crowd favourites at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group's arena, with millions of contracts traded daily.

  • Options – The Strategists’ Pick: Options have carved a niche among traders. Data from the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) reveals a high trading volume for options related to the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ-100.

  • Commodities – The Old Guards: Gold, crude oil, and natural gas continue to command respect in the commodities market, as reported by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and London Metal Exchange (LME).

  • Cryptocurrencies – The Unconventional Contenders: Despite regulatory uncertainties, cryptocurrencies refuse to be side-lined. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin continue to be the market movers, as per CoinMarketCap.

  • Corporate Bonds – The Sturdy Pillars: Standing tall in the financial landscape, corporate bonds consistently register robust trading volumes, marking their importance in the global markets, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

  • Swaps – The Risk Managers: Swaps, the go-to instruments for hedging risk, round off our Magic Ten. Interest rate and credit default swaps lead this category, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).


Remember, the popularity of these financial titans does not guarantee profitability for every investor. Each instrument carries its unique risk and requires a bespoke strategy. While Forex and equities cater to a broad audience, others like swaps and futures may appeal to institutional investors with a higher risk appetite and larger capital.

The Magic Ten provides an insightful snapshot of the dynamic financial landscape, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. Aspiring investors must embark on a journey of diligent research and careful risk assessment before plunging into the vibrant world of trading. After all, the real magic lies in understanding and navigating these top-traded instruments to make informed decisions.

Disclaimer: Any information presented is for general education and informational purposes hence, not intended to be and does not constitute investment or trading advice or recommendation. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by M4Markets that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

It does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Any information relating to past performance of an investment does not necessarily guarantee future performance.

Trinota Markets (Global) Limited does not give warranty as to the accuracy and completeness of this information.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3 Steps to Start Trading
icon 1
Register & Verify your Profile
Complete our Registration Form and access the Client Portal. Complete your Economic profile, upload the required documents and verify your profile.
icon 2
Open a Live Account & Fund It
Choose “Open Live Account” under the Accounts tab and select an account. Click “Deposit funds” under the funds tab to select your funding method.
icon 3
Download your Platform & get Started
Choose “Downloads” tab under Trader’s Menu and download your Preferred Platform. Launch your platform and start trading.
Trading CFDs involves significant risk of loss