Stocks & Commodities V. 25:8 (97-98): At The Close: New Margin Rules (Part II) by J.L. Lord

Stocks & Commodities V. 25:8 (97-98): At The Close: New Margin Rules (Part II) by J.L. Lord
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At The Close: New Margin Rules (Part II) by J.L. Lord

New Margin Rules (Part II)

AS I wrote in the June 2007 issue of STOCKS & COMMODITIES, while the new margin rules are a powerful addition to retail traders, they do not imply there is free money to be had. Interest is a key component of the new margin requirements. Under the old rules, the interest component was overshadowed largely by the excessive capital requirements that unnecessarily reduced your purchasing power. In the new world of risk-based margin, the interest component now stands out as a significant portion of the puzzle.


Suppose you purchase 100 shares of Google, Inc. (GOOG), for $450 per share. The total cost of that investment would be $45,000. There are several ways to come up with the money. You can take the money out of your bank account. If you had $45,000 sitting in the bank, it was comfortably earning a certain amount of interest. Another way to make the purchase is to borrow some or all of the money. In this case, you would be responsible for making interest payments to the establishment that lent you the money. A third way would be a combination of the two. When a broker allows you to buy stock on 50% margin, you are responsible for coming up with the interest on the 50% of the money you borrowed in order to complete your stock purchase.

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