Educational videos

Understanding Futures Margin

Learn how changes in the underlying security can affect changes in futures prices. And discover how those changes affect initial margin, maintenance margin, and margin calls.

Informative articles

Basics of Margin Trading for Investors

Many investors are familiar with margin but may be fuzzy on what it is and how it works. That's understandable, because margin rules differ across asset classes, brokerages, and exchanges.

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Futures Margin Call Basics: What to Know Before You Lever Up

What is futures margin, and what is a margin call? Much like margin in trading stocks, futures margin—also known unofficially as a performance bond—allows you to pay less than the full notional value of a trade, offering more efficient use of capital. Futures margin is simply leverage that can enhance returns; however, it can also exacerbate losses, which is why it's important to use proper risk management.

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Quick info guide

Futures margin

Margin tells traders how much capital may be needed to enter a position, and how much is needed to keep it open. Use this handy guide to learn how it's calculated, why leverage is important, and how margin calls work.

Note: Margin trading increases risk of loss and includes the possibility of a forced sale if account equity drops below required levels. Margin is not available in all account types. Margin trading privileges subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Carefully review the Margin Handbook and Margin Disclosure Document for more details. Please see our website or contact TD Ameritrade at 800-669-3900 for copies.