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Margin Requirements

Use real-time margin monitoring to see your current margin requirements at a glance, and to understand the margin implications of any transaction before you transmit an order.

To view real-time margin requirements

  1. From the Account menu, select Account Window.
  2. The Account Information window shows your account details, including the current market value and portfolio.
  3. Use the Margin Requirements section to monitor your margin.

To check projected margin requirements under the Portfolio Margin model, click the Try PM icon. Portfolio Margin uses a risk-based model that may result in lower margin for balanced portfolios with hedging positions. Existing customers can upgrade to a Portfolio Margin account via Account Management.

See how to check your margin requirements before you submit an order using the Check Margin feature.

Margin Warning

To help you stay on top of your margin requirements, we provide pop-up messages and color-coded account information to notify you that you are approaching a serious margin deficiency. TWS will highlight the row whose value is in the distress state. The colors on your account screen tell you the following:

Yellow - You have only a 5% cushion above the margin requirement.

Note:  If your account equity moves rapidly from a greater than 5% cushion to a margin violation, your positions may be liquidated without you receiving a yellow warning.

Orange - Your margin cushion is depleted and you have a short time to enter into margin-reducing trades before your positions are liquidated. At this point you will not be able to enter into any trades that might increase your margin.

Red - Your positions will shortly start to be liquidated as necessary to bring your account back within the margin limits.

The following table defines the fields available in the Margin Requirements section.

     

Parameter

Securities Account

Commodities Account

Reg T Margin

Initial margin requirements calculated under US Regulation T rules.

Initial margin requirements calculated under US Regulation T rules.

Current Initial Margin

Initial margin requirement in the base currency of the account. The initial margin requirement is what is required to open a new position.

Initial margin requirement in the base currency of the account. The initial margin requirement is what is required to open a new position.

Post-Expiry Margin @ Open (predicted) Provides a projected "at expiration" margin value based on the soon-to-expire contracts in your portfolio. Value displays at expiration and are highlighted in red. All other times the value is "0". The projected value in this field includes the anticipated account value including the expiring contract. To see just the projected margin and excess liquidity value for the expiring contract, double click the entry. Provides a projected "at expiration" margin value based on the soon-to-expire contracts in your portfolio. Value displays at expiration and are highlighted in red. All other times the value is "0". The projected value in this field includes the anticipated account value including the expiring contract. To see just the projected margin and excess liquidity value for the expiring contract, double click the entry.

Current Maintenance Margin

Maintenance margin requirement in the base currency of the account. This is the value required to maintain your current positions.

Maintenance margin requirement in the base currency of the account. This is the value required to maintain your current positions.

Projected Look Ahead Initial Margin

Projected initial margin requirement as of next period's margin change in the base currency of the account.

Projected initial margin requirement as of next period's margin change in the base currency of the account based on current margin requirements, which are subject to change. This value depends on when you are viewing your margin requirements. If it is 3:00 pm ET, the next calculation you're looking ahead to is after the close, or the Overnight Initial Margin. If it's 3:00 am ET, the next calculation will be at the market's open.

Projected Look Ahead Maintenance Margin

Projected maintenance margin requirement as of next period's margin change, in the base currency of the account.

Maintenance margin requirement as of next period's margin change in the base currency of the account based on current margin requirements, which are subject to change. This value depends on when you are viewing your margin requirements. If it is 3:00 pm ET, the next calculation you're looking ahead to is after the close, or the Overnight Initial Margin. If it's 3:00 am ET, the next calculation will be at the market's open.

Projected Overnight Initial Margin

Projected overnight initial margin requirement in the base currency of the account.

Overnight initial margin requirement in the base currency of the account based on current margin requirements, which are subject to change.

Projected Overnight Maintenance Margin

Projected overnight maintenance margin requirement in the base currency of the account.

Overnight maintenance margin requirement in the base currency of the account based on current margin requirements, which are subject to change.

Important Disclosures