Traditionally, assets were the subject of investments, bought outright in the hope they would increase in value. With the rise of online trading, assets have also become used to define the price of derivative products, and as such the profit or loss from a derivative trade. Underlying assets can include shares, indices, commodities, currencies, bonds, options or ETPS.
When you trade using a derivative product, you do not take ownership of the asset. Instead, you speculate on the price movement of the underlying asset, which is often known as the market. If you predict that it will increase in value and its vale subsequently drops, the trade will result in a loss.