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 by opening you up to new opportunities such as shorting stocks, and trading options, futures, forex, and portfolio margin.

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

  • 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
  • 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®trading chart

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

Knowledgeable supportsupport headset

Our trade desk associates are available day and night to assist you with your margin trading. They can help you get comfortable with our trading platform, answer your toughest questions, and more. Call 866-839-1100.

Free educationglasses

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-RaySMtrading tool

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.

Simple, surprise-free margin pricing

We offer straightforward pricing, without any fees to access our platforms and market data. Plus, you only pay for the margin balance you use.

Check the background of TD Ameritrade on FINRA's BrokerCheck