Margin

We offer both Reg T and Portfolio Margin trading for qualified clients. Upon approval, we also offers the ability to trade unsettled funds within special IRA accounts called Margin IRAs.

Stocks/Warrants/ETFs

Margin requirements are computed on a formula-based real-time basis, with immediate position liquidation if the minimum maintenance margin requirement is not met. Purchase and sale proceeds are immediately recognized. US securities regulations require at least USD 25,000 (or USD equivalent) in equity to day trade.

Bonds

Borrowing to support bond trading. Margin requirements are computed on a real-time basis, with immediate position liquidation if the minimum maintenance margin is not met. Purchase and sale proceeds are immediately recognized. Shorting of bonds is not allowed.

Options

For buying options, you must deposit the entire premium plus commissions. For selling options and other strategy-based combinations, the margin requirements and commissions must be covered. Option market value may never be used for the purpose of borrowing funds. You must have stocks margin trading permissions in order to have options margin trading permissions.

Mutual Funds

Borrowing to support Mutual Funds may only be done 30 days after the purchase of the fund. Shorting Mutual Funds is never allowed. Net Asset Value is computed once per day at closing by the funds at which time your margin requirement and equity will be updated. Liquidation will occur on an end-of-day basis if minimums aren’t met. Purchase and sales proceeds are recognized at the end of the day when the Mutual Fund order is submitted and confirmation received.

Overview

Under SEC-approved Portfolio Margin rules and using our real-time margin system, Interactive Brokers customers are able in certain cases to increase their leverage beyond Reg T margin requirements. For decades margin requirements for securities (stocks, options and single stock futures) accounts have been calculated under a Reg T rules-based policy. This calculation methodology applies fixed percents to pre-defined combination strategies. With Portfolio Margin, margin requirements are determined using a “risk-based” pricing model that calculates the largest potential loss of all positions in a product class or group across a range of underlying prices and volatilities.

Eligibility

An account must have at least USD 110,000 (or USD equivalent) in Net Liquidation Value to be eligible for a Portfolio Margin account. Existing customers may apply for a Portfolio Margin account on the Account Type page in Account Management at any time and your account will be upgraded upon approval. New Interactive Brokers customers can apply for a Portfolio Margin account during the registration system process. It should be noted that if your account drops below USD 100,000 you will be restricted from doing any margin-increasing trades. Therefore if you do not intend to maintain at least USD 100,000 in your account, you should not apply for a Portfolio Margin account.

Reg T Margin IRA accounts allow clients to trade with unsettled funds in their IRAs. Clients must be approved for margin accounts and must specifically request that they have approval for a Margin IRA. Request an upgrade within Account Management under Trading Configuration.