TD Ameritrade

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Margin Trading

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Put more purchasing power behind your trading with margin privileges.

With a margin account, you can borrow money from TD Ameritrade to purchase marginable securities—providing you with up to twice the buying power of a traditional cash account. The securities held in your account act as collateral for the loan, and you pay interest on the money borrowed. With proper risk and money management techniques, margin can be used to potentially enhance your investment strategy.

Open New Account

How margin trading works

How margin trading works

Watch our margin tutorial to learn, in simple terms, what margin is and how it can work in a portfolio.

Margin trading minimum requirements

While regular cash-brokerage accounts limit your trading to the amount of money available in them, a margin account gives you the ability to borrow money—potentially increasing your securities buying power by as much as 50%. A TD Ameritrade account that’s approved to trade on margin must have:

  • At least $2,000 in cash equity or eligible securities
  • A minimum of 30% of its total value as equity at all times

Amp up your trading with margin and leverage

Traders have three powerful words in their vocabulary—margin, leverage, and exposure. Understanding this trio’s potential risks and rewards is valuable, as small market moves can add up to big trouble fast.

Read more on The Ticker Tape

Benefits and risks of margin trading

Benefits
  • Greater potential returns due to increased leverage
  • The potential for more trades, and therefore more diversification, which may hedge and manage risk
  • Ability to execute more-advanced trading strategies
Risks
  • Greater potential risk of loss from increased leverage
  • Additional costs from margin interest charges
  • Potential margin calls or liquidation of securities**

**Important information about margin calls: The firm can force the sale of securities or other assets in your account(s). The firm can also sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. You are not entitled to a time extension while in a margin call.

Example of trading on margin

See the potential gains and losses associated with margin trading. For an in-depth understanding, download the Margin Handbook.

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Get started with margin trading:

  1. 1. Open a TD Ameritrade account
  2. 2. Make sure the "margin privileges" trading feature is selected in order to be considered for margin trading
  3. 3. Fund your account with at least $2,000 in cash or marginable securities
          Open New Account

Resources and support

Execute your margin-trading strategies with our innovative platforms, 24/7 support, and state-of-the-art-tools:

thinkorswim®

Fuel your margin trading with thinkorswim, our most‑advanced platform. Plus enjoy one-to-one personalized platform demos.

24/7 support

Experience round-the-clock trading and platform support from our knowledgeable and experienced associates—just one call away at 866-839-1100.

Free education

Hone your margin-trading skills with helpful videos and webcasts from our Education Center. You can also read our Margin Handbook to learn more about margin trading.

Morningstar® Instant X-RaySM

Use Morningstar Instant X-Ray for a closer look at your asset allocation and exposure to different investment styles, regions, and sectors—and to help you manage your portfolio.

Advanced trading offerings, plus straighforward pricing

A margin account can help advance your trading strategy by potentially opening up new opportunities, such as shorting stocks, and trading options, futures, forex, and portfolio margin. Plus, when you open an account with TD Ameritrade, you’ll experience the value of straightforward pricing, including fair, affordable commissions and fees, and no platform or market data fees.

Options, futures, and forex trading privileges are subject to additional review and approval. Not all clients will qualify.

Check the background of TD Ameritrade on FINRA's BrokerCheck