What are the margin requirements for stocks/ETFs?

For stocks, we assume traders have access to margin trading, and thus need only to put up 50% cash for any given position. We further assume that no stocks have special broker-specific margin requirements above and beyond this standard. This is, of course, not necessarily the case in real life. (Also, for stock shorts, we assume all stocks are shortable, which is also not necessarily realistic, depending on your broker.)

For stock options, we assume you will receive the most favorable minimum margin requirements allowed under Fed regulations. (Long option purchases require 100% of the purchase price in cash.)

The software recognizes spreads and straddles and condors, and will take into account the lower margin requirements available for certain less risky positions.

  • Stocks less than $5 must be purchased for the full cash value.
  • ETFs are treated like stocks on C2, so the above applies to ETFs as well.