I am taking a hard look at options trading and I am starting with a modest account of $10,000 (I mention this because I think it might be relevant to the question).
What is the difference between trading something like a gold ETF (like GLD) and the futures contract for gold (like /GC on most platforms). What should I be considering before choosing one over the other? Is one favorable over the other? Note that I mean this question not just for gold, but also other ones like choosing /NG over UNG, etc.
From what I can tell, it seems like the futures market might have better overall liquidity than the ETFs and I can control my losses on each with defined-risk strategies. So why wouldn't I want to use the futures market instead of the ETF? What am I missing here?