The amount of money or collateral deposited by a customer with a broker, by a broker with a clearing member, or by a clearing member with the clearinghouse, for the purpose of insuring against loss on open futures contracts. The margin is not partial payment on a purchase.
- Initial margin is the total amount of margin per contract required by the broker when a futures position is opened;
- maintenance margin is a sum that must be maintained on deposit at all times. If the equity in a customer’s account drops to, or under, the level because of adverse price movement, the broker must issue a margin call to restore the customer’s equity. Sometimes called a performance bond.
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