Margin Trading: The Advantages
AAA
  1. Margin Trading: Introduction
  2. Margin Trading: What Is Buying On Margin?
  3. Margin Trading: The Dreaded Margin Call
  4. Margin Trading: The Advantages
  5. Margin Trading: The Risks
  6. Margin Trading: Conclusion

Margin Trading: The Advantages

Why use margin? It's all about leverage. Just as companies borrow money to invest in projects, investors can borrow money and leverage the cash they invest. Leverage amplifies every point that a stock goes up. If you pick the right investment, margin can dramatically increase your profit.

{C}

A 50% initial margin allows you to buy up to twice as much stock as you could with just the cash in your account. It's easy to see how you could make significantly more money by using a margin account than by trading from a pure cash position. What really matters is whether your stock rises or not. The investing world will always debate whether it's possible to consistently pick winning stocks. We won't weigh in on that debate here, but simply say that margin does offer the opportunity to amplify your returns.

The best way to demonstrate the power of leverage is with an example. Let's imagine a situation that we'd all love to be in - one that results in hugely exaggerated profits:

We'll keep with the numbers of $20,000 worth of securities bought using $10,000 of margin and $10,000 of cash. Cory's Tequila Co. is trading at $100 and you feel that it will rise dramatically. Normally, you'd only be able to buy 100 shares (100 x $100 = $10,000). Since you're investing on margin, you have the ability to buy 200 shares (200 x $100 = $20,000).

Cory's Tequila Co. then locks in Jennifer Lopez as a spokeswoman and the price of shares skyrockets 25%. Your investment is now worth $25,000 (200 shares x $125) and you decide to cash out. After paying back your broker the $10,000 you originally borrowed, you get $15,000, $5,000 of which is profit. That's a 50% return even though the stock only went up 25%. Keep in mind that to simplify this transaction, we didn't take into account commissions and interest. Otherwise, these costs would be deducted from your profit.

Margin Trading: The Risks

  1. Margin Trading: Introduction
  2. Margin Trading: What Is Buying On Margin?
  3. Margin Trading: The Dreaded Margin Call
  4. Margin Trading: The Advantages
  5. Margin Trading: The Risks
  6. Margin Trading: Conclusion
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  3. Security

    A financial instrument that represents an ownership position ...
  4. Series 6

    A securities license entitling the holder to register as a limited ...
  5. Debt/Equity Ratio

    1. A debt ratio used to measure a company's financial leverage. ...
  6. Internal Rate Of Return - IRR

    A metric used in capital budgeting measuring the profitability ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is a stock split? Why do stocks split?

    All publicly-traded companies have a set number of shares that are outstanding on the stock market. A stock split is a decision ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I place an order to buy or sell shares?

    It is easy to get started buying and selling stocks, especially with the advancements in online trading since the turn of ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between passive and active asset management?

    Asset management utilizes two main investment strategies that can be used to generate returns: active asset management and ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!