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InvestLite: Definition of margin trading

11 Dec 2020


As margin is a widely used tool in trading, we need to understand margin definition, buying stock on margin, and how it applies in practice. This article is going to answer all questions that are come up. The first logical question - what is margin trading?

Margin definition

The most commonly used definition of margin is the difference between the company's revenue and the total cost of production. This indicator is absolute. It reflects the overall success of the company in the main and additional activities. If the term “margin” is used in the financial field, it usually means the difference in interest rates or different securities. Banks also use this term as the difference between deposits and loans issued.

Let is consider what is the margin in trading and what it depends on. In trade, this concept specifies the amount of interest that is added to the purchase price to make a profit. In any case, the result of the activities of all enterprises is to obtain the maximum margin or profit.

Margin can also be used when dealing with currencies and securities. In this case, the margin will be the difference in interest rates or exchange rates.

Gross margin and its meaning

Consider such a definition as gross margin. It is gross profit or GP for short. The term refers to the difference between the revenue received and the total/variable costs of producing a product/service. This concept is used to conduct a comparative analysis of the profit received by linking it to the cost of a product or service.

Gross, or as it is also called, percentage margin displays the ratio of variable and total costs to the total amount of revenue (in fact, this is the company's income). When calculating the net income of an enterprise, it is the gross margin that plays the main role. Moreover, with the help of this financial component, company development funds are created. This is one of the most important analytical indicators since on its investors can see how efficiently the company and its entire teamwork.

In the operational analysis, gross margin also occupies one of the principal places. The parameter is also actively used in financial management and control. This indicator is used in calculating other parameters that allow investors to get an idea of the efficiency of the enterprise, for example, the gross margin ratio.

The setup of gross margin

The process of forming the gross margin includes the labor of all employees of the enterprise, the costs of the production process, the purchase of goods, and the cost of services provided. This indicator marks the surplus product, which can be expressed in monetary terms. At the same time, for the gross margin, not only direct income from the sale is taken into account, but also income from securities, for example. It is also called non-operating income.

The function of margin

Gross margin is the money that the business receives in excess of the cost of production. The parameter shows how much money the company has to cover other costs, except for work costs. The income of the organization must be preserved and increased. What is the money saved over expenses used for? The company can spend the received income on economic, administrative, or commercial needs. For example, for the modernization of production, servicing loans. For joint-stock enterprises, part of the margin will go to payments to shareholders.

Gross margin levels vary widely across industries. The gross margin is necessary to cover the total costs unrelated to the production itself and must also provide a profit. In this sense, its coefficient determines the ability of the firm to optimize the costs of creating goods and services, form a pricing policy, and manage these processes. The higher the coefficient, the better the management works.

This is an important parameter for investors. Comparing firms operating in the same industry, you can choose the most stable and profitable ones. They will be the most attractive for investment. Also, when choosing a company, you need to look at how stable the gross margin indicator is. It should not swing much if the industry is developing steadily and there are no global changes that affect the work of firms.

What is margin trading?

Margin trading is a kind of asset trading using funds provided by a third party, such as a broker. It is the execution of transactions to buy or sell shares for the funds of a stockbroker. The main advantage of margin trading is the "leverage" effect, due to which a trader can work with large capital and, accordingly, have a chance of getting large profits. The broker provides the trader with additional funds at 25% per annum, while the margin commission is withdrawn only when the position is carried overnight.

Compared to regular trading accounts, margin accounts provide traders with access to more funds, which allows them to use this in their positions. This ability improves the performance of trading operations, and also makes margin trading popular in low volatility markets, especially in the international Forex market. However, margin trading is also used in the stock, commodity, and cryptocurrency markets.

The explanation for this strategy sounds attractive, but there can be bad consequences if the trader makes the wrong move. In the same scenario, the $ 10 loss would be increased to $ 200. In a risky trading world that is filled with emotion, hasty decisions can lead to excessive losses very quickly.

How does margin trading work?

Exchange margin is a specific concept since it is used only in trading. Trading margin is the most common term in many fields of activity. However, there are many misconceptions. One of them is to equate it with a trade margin. It is easy to tell the difference between the two. The margin indicator is the ratio of the profit to the market price of the product. The margin is the ratio of the profit of the product to its cost.

Margin trading starts after the trader fixes a percentage of the total value of the order. This initial investment is called margin and is closely related to the concept of leverage. In other words, margin trading accounts are used to create leveraged trades, and leverage describes the ratio of borrowed funds to margin.

The types of deals in the margin trading

Margin trading can be used to open both long and short positions. A long deal supposes that the asset price will rise, while a short deal reflects the opposite. While the margin position is open, the trader's assets act as collateral for the borrowed funds. This is a very important point for traders, as most brokerage companies reserve the right to force the sale of these assets in case the market moves against their position (above or below a certain threshold).

There are two forms of positions:

If a trader enters a leveraged long position, it may be caused by a margin when the price drops significantly and rapidly. A margin call occurs when a trader needs to deposit more funds into their account in order to meet the minimum trading margin requirements. If the trader does not do this, his savings are automatically liquidated to cover losses. This typically occurs when the total value of all shares in an account, also known as liquidation margin, falls below the total margin requirement of a given exchange or broker.

What is a margin call?

In the event that the price of a stock or another instrument bought with a margin loan does not go in the direction that the investor expected, or when the value of other instruments from his portfolio falls, the account balance may decrease too much. Then the broker sends a so-called margin call to the client.

A margin call is a warning from the broker that the client's funds are no longer sufficient to open new positions and provide current ones. After getting such a notification, the investor must additionally deposit funds into the account in order to restore the ability to secure his transactions.

If the client believes that the market situation will change soon, then for some time he can ignore the margin call. However, if this does not happen, and the assets continue to lose value, the broker will automatically close positions - that is, sell stocks, currency, etc. at the current market price. This will allow the broker to fully repay the loan issued to the investor.

Margin finance definition

The margin financing function is closely related to margin trading and if you are not a trader and prefer a safer way to invest, then this function can fit you.

With the financing wallet, you have the opportunity to provide funds to other traders in different currencies that are available in this option. You can set down offers yourself with your own conditions (rate of return, duration, and quantity). When an offer is accepted by a trader, the money from your wallet will be used by the trader to open a position, such as buying or selling some kind of financial instrument. When a trader closes the position, for example, sells or buys back the asset, the funds will be returned to your wallet.

With margin financing, the margin pledger will receive an interest in the same currency in which the funds were provided.

The concept of buying stock on margin

Buy on margin is a purchase of stocks for a period in which the investor takes out a buy loan from a broker. At the end of the term, the shares are sold, and the debt is returned to the broker. In this case, the investor's shares are at the disposal of the broker and serve as collateral (margin), guaranteeing the return of the debt.

In the event of a drastic drop in the price of purchased shares, the broker may require the investor to deposit additional margin. During periods of increased speculative activity, the exchange may prohibit all transactions with margin.

So, what is margin in a simple phrase? This is the difference between the real value of a product and its cost. Globally speaking, this is the amount you can earn by selling your services or products. A newbie businessman may have a question - what is the difference between margin and profit? Margin is an indicator of how much you can earn, and profit is how much you actually received after all payments and expenses.

Are you interested in exploring this topic? You can start studying it using information from our site There are a lot of useful articles regarding this and other topics in financial directions. Our site contains a large educational section, so if you are a beginner, you have the opportunity to learn and apply your knowledge in practice here on We can provide you margin tool for you to get more productive results. We offer different sections from a list of assets for any preferences, to a variety of account tiers. Visit our site now and start realizing your potential.



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