Course 408:
In this course
1 Introduction
2 Defining Derivatives
3 Widely Used Among Funds
4 Transparency an Issue

For some investors, the term "derivatives" may have a negative connotation because of the role these complex instruments played in recent financial disasters. But many institutional investors, banks, governments, hedge funds, and corporations rely on derivatives as a way to manage risk, pursue hedging strategies, and achieve other financial objectives. Likewise, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds are increasingly using derivatives as part of their investment strategies.

A full discussion of how derivatives work could fill a book, but for investors curious to learn more about what they are and how some funds use them, here's a primer.

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