Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) is a legal licence provided by the ASIC. If you want to buy and sell stocks on your own, no license is required. But if you provide financial services to others, you will need a Licence.
Futures contracts allow players to secure a specific price and protect against the possibility of wild price swings (up or down) ahead. Traders like trading futures because they can take a substantial position (the amount invested) while putting up a relatively small amount of cash. That gives them greater potential for leverage than just owning the securities directly.