These derivatives are used to contract the purchase or sale price of an asset in the near or distant future, and thus partially hedge the risk of volatility.

De facto, CME has developed a monopoly on interest-rate futures - this segment accounts for a third of its sales - in addition to offering a range of comparable products for major stock market indices, currencies and commodities.

Few activities illustrate so well the famous "network effect" so sought-after by investors, since the value of a marketplace, by definition, increases in proportion to its number of users.

In CME's case, this translates into better liquidity, and hence better execution, and hence higher margin points for investors. Existing clearing regulations further enhance the ubiquity of the CME platform.

Among groups owning financial markets that are themselves listed on stock exchanges - such as the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Borse, Euronext or Nasdaq - CME achieves by far the best margins.

Annual sales growth averaged 5.6% over the previous decade, while earnings per share doubled as the famous "network effect" took hold, averaging 7% annual growth.

What's more, last year CME guaranteed a dividend yield of 5% via its variable payout policy. It is notable - and surprising given current trends - that the Group has never been inclined towards share buy-backs, no doubt believing its shares to be well valued.

Outside of periods of panic, the average valuation multiple has remained remarkably stable over the past ten years, anchored at around x26 earnings. A dip below this average naturally creates a good entry opportunity.