Margin Rates


eOption's Base Rate is set by comparing various commercial interest rates, such as brokers call, internal and external cost factors and other competitive factors. The Base Rate is subject to change without notice.

 
AS OF 12/14/2016 THE CURRENT BASE RATE IS 5.50%
$0-$49,999 Base Rate 5.50%
$50,000-$99,999 Base Rate -0.50 5.00%
$100,000-$249,999 Base Rate -1% 4.50%
$250,000-$499,999 Base Rate -1.50% 4.00%
$500,000-$999,999 Base Rate -2% 3.50%
$1,000,000 and Above Base Rate -2.50% 3.00%

Equities

Minimum Equity Requirements to Use Margin
A combination of: Minimum:
Cash/Marginable Securities $2,000
Short Sales of Equities $2,000
Cash/Options/Stock $2,000
Margin/Options/Stock $2,000 in Marginable Securities or Cash
Note: Long option purchases have an initial and maintenance margin requirement of 100%. For spreads and uncovered options, please see Margin Minimum Equity Requirements below. To open an eOption margin account, you must have at least $2,000 in cash or marginable securities in your account. Additional requirements may apply depending upon specific transactions and positions in your account.
 

Options

 
Minimum Equity Requirements to Trade Certain Option Strategies
A combination of cash and marginable securities: Minimum:
Spreads $2,000
Equity and Index Spreads $2,000
Spreads in an IRA $2,000, Cash Only
Uncovered Options:  
  Naked Puts $25,000
  Naked Calls $100,000
  Naked Index $500,000
Note: At this time, we do not allow margin borrowing on cash secured short puts, short calls, naked or spread positions.

 
Marginable Option Transactions
Option Type Initial Requirement Maintenance Requirement
Naked Puts 20% of current market value minus out-of-money amount or 10% of strike, whichever is greater times the multiplier times the quantity 20% of current market value minus out-of-money amount or 10% of strike, whichever is greater times the multiplier times the quantity plus the market value of the option
Naked Calls 20% of current market value minus out-of-money amount or 10% of current market value, whichever is greater times the multiplier times the quantity 20% of current market value minus out-of-money amount or 10% of current market value, whichever is greater times the multiplier times the quantity plus the market value of the option

Note: Position limits are 2,000 contracts when going short and uncovered. The long position limits are determined by the exchange. 2x Leveraged ETF naked options will be replaced with 40% or 20% and 3x Leveraged ETF naked options will be replaced with 60% and 30% in the above calculations.

 

Options Expiration Policy
Expiring long and short option positions may be closed as early as 2:00 PM EST on the last trading day prior to expiration if you do not have the funds or buying power to buy or short the underlying security. Please note that you may still get assigned even if a short option is out of the money. Therefore, if there is risk to the account, short options may be closed out even if it is out of the money. The firm may close out your positions without prior notice. We may also elect not to exercise or close the resulting stock position in the aftermarket hours on Friday or pre-market hours on Monday.
 
Day Trading Buying Power Calculation
Money market funds are not applied towards calculating day trade buying power. Please contact us to have money market funds journaled to the margin type prior to the effective date if you would like to use all funds to calculate day trade buying power. Also, please note it is necessary to shut off sweeps to money market upon trade settlement in order to use all available funds to day trade without interruption. This request must be in writing with a signature.
 

Margin Account Maintenance and Initial Requirements

 
Stock Transactions
Stocks Initial Requirements Maintenance Requirement
$5.00 and above 50% 30%
$4.99 to $3.00 50% 50%
$2.99 and below 100% 100%
 
Short Stock Transactions
Stocks Initial Requirements Maintenance Requirement
Short stock sales below $3.00 per share Not allowed Greater of $2.50 a share or 100% of current market value
Short stock sales below $5.00 per share 50% of market value Greater of $2.50 a share or 100% of current market value
Short stock sales above $5.00 per share 50% of market value Greater of $5.00 a share or 30% of current market value
 
Leveraged Long ETF Transactions
Equities Initial Requirements Maintenance Requirement
Leveraged 2x    
$5 and above minimum 50% minimum 50%
$3.00-$4.99 minimum 75% minimum 75%
Leveraged 3x    
$5 and above minimum 75% minimum 75%
below $5 100% 100%
 
Leveraged Short ETF Transactions
Equities Initial Requirements Maintenance Requirement
Leveraged 2x and above $5.00 Minimum 60% $5 a share or minimum 60% of market value whichever is greater
Leveraged 3x and above $5.00 Minimum 90% $5 a share or minimum 90% of market value whichever is greater
Short sales below $5.00 Same as maintenance Greater of $2.50 a share 100% of current market value
Short sales below $3.00 Not allowed Greater of $2.50 a share or 100% current market value
 
Other Securities
Equities Initial Requirements Maintenance Requirement
Unit Investment Trust 100% 25%
Municipal Bonds 25% 15%
Corp Non-Convertible 25% 20%
Corp Convertible 50% 30%
High Yield Bonds (Below $80) 50% 40%
Corp Reversible Bond 50% 40%
CMO's 25% 20%
IO's, PO's, Inverse Floaters 40% 30%
US Government Issues Based on Years to Maturity    
0 to less than 1 year 4% 2%
1 to less than 3 years 5% 3%
3 to less than 5 years 6% 4%
5 to less than 10 years 8% 5%
10 to less than 20 years 9% 6%
20 years or more 10% 7%

Concentrated positions on margin will hold the following requirements:
Margin accounts with any concentrated single equity position comprising more than 50% of the long marginable market value will be charged 40% on the entire account.
 

Important Guidelines

  • Required Market Price for Stocks: Most stocks traded on major U.S. exchanges and Nasdaq-listed securities priced $3.00 and above are eligible for margin borrowing. Please note that some stocks including Pink Sheets or Bulletin Board Stocks are not eligible for margin borrowing.
  • Minimum Market Price for Stocks: Stocks priced under $3.00 are not eligible for credit towards margin requirements and are not credited to margin buying power.
  • Mutual Funds: Most mutual funds can be used as collateral, provided they've been held for at least 30 days Please note you cannot purchase mutual funds on margin.
  • Bonds: Most corporate, treasury, municipal, and government agency bonds are eligible for margin borrowing. Margin ability and margin requirements are subject without advance written notice to change based on liquidity, bond ratings, concentrations, and other risk factors.
  • Money market funds, certificates of deposit (CDs), annuities, and options are not available as collateral for margin borrowing.
  • Maintenance Calls: Maintenance calls are due in five (5) business days under normal conditions. Exchange calls are due in one business day.
  • House Required Minimums: If equity drops below house required minimum, or a call is issued for any other reason, you may be required to immediately sell securities or deposit additional funds promptly.
  • Concentrated Accounts: Margin maintenance is higher for concentrated accounts and requirements may vary per security.
  • Margin Maintenance: Margin maintenance ranges from 30% - 100% depending on the particular securities in an account.
  • Increased Maintenance Requirements: From time-to-time, we may be required by our clearing firm to increase maintenance requirements due to overall firm concentration, or unusual market conditions. We further reserve the right to increase the requirements at our sole discretion.
European Style Option Spreads
To be considered a spread, the long and the short side must expire on the same day. If the expiration dates are not the same the short side will be treated as naked. 
Covered LEAPS Requirements
Intial Requirement: Proceeds from the sell of the LEAPS calls cannot be used to satifsy Reg-T requirements. If an account purchases stock and sells short covered LEAPS calls, the account will be required to the 50% intiial requirement on the long stock.

Maintenance Requirement: The short market value of the LEAPS will be deducted from the equity when figuring maintenance requirements for accounts holding these positions. The value of the long stock will be valued at the price of the stock or the strike price of the option, whichever is greater.


Margin Risks

We are furnishing this document to you to provide some basic facts about purchasing securities on margin, and to alert you to the risks involved with trading securities in a margin account. Before trading stocks in a margin account, you should carefully review the margin agreement provided by your broker. Consult your broker regarding any questions or concerns you may have with your margin accounts.

When you purchase securities, you may pay for the securities in full or you may borrow part of the purchase price from your brokerage firm. If you choose to borrow funds from your firm, you will open a margin account with the firm. The securities purchased are the firm’s collateral for the loan to you. If the securities in your account decline in value, so does the value of the collateral supporting your loan, and as a result, the firm can take action, such as issue a margin call and/or sell securities in your account, in order to maintain the required equity in the account.

It is important that you fully understand the risks involved in trading securities on margin. These risks include the following:
 
  • You can lose more funds than you deposit in the margin account. A decline in the value of securities that are purchased on margin may require you to provide additional funds to the firm that has made the loan to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities in your account.
  • The firm can force the sale of securities in your account. If the equity in your account falls below the maintenance margin requirements under the law, or the firm’s higher “house” requirements, the firm can sell the securities in your account to cover the margin deficiency. You also will be responsible for any shortfall in the account after such a sale.
  • The firm can sell your securities without contacting you. Some investors mistakenly believe that a firm must contact them for a margin call to be valid, and that the firm cannot liquidate securities in their accounts to meet the call unless the firm has contacted them first. This is not the case. Most firms will attempt to notify their customers of margin calls, but they are not required to do so. However, even if a firm has contacted a customer and provided a specific date by which the customer can meet a margin call, the firm can still take necessary steps to protect its financial interest, including immediately selling the securities without notice to the customer.
  • You are not entitled to choose which security in your margin account is liquidated or sold to meet a margin call. Because the securities are collateral for the margin loan, the firm has the right to decide which security to sell in order to protect its interests.
  • The firm can increase its “house” maintenance margin requirement at any time and is not required to provide you advance written notice. These changes in firm policy often take effect immediately and may result in the issuance of a maintenance margin call. Your failure to satisfy the call may cause the member to liquidate or sell securities in your account.
  • You are not entitled to an extension of time on a margin call. While an extension of time to meet margin requirements may be available to customers under certain conditions, a customer does not have a right to the extension.
  • The IRS requires Broker Dealers to treat dividend payments on loaned securities positions as a “substitute payment” in lieu of a dividend. A substitute payment is not, a “qualified dividend” and is taxed as ordinary income.
  • Industry regulations may limit, in whole or in part, your ability to exercise voting rights of securities that have been lent or pledged to others. You may receive proxy materials indicating voting rights for a fewer number of shares than are in your account, or you may not receive any proxy materials.

Click here for some basic facts about purchasing securities on margin, and to alert you to the risks involved with trading securities in a margin account. Contact eOption regarding any questions or concerns you may have about margin accounts.