Initial margin requirement


When buying securities on margin, the proportion of the total market value of the securities that the investor must pay for in cash. The Security Exchange Act of 1934 gives the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve the responsibility to set initial margin requirements, but individual brokerage firms are free to set higher requirements. In futures contracts, initial margin requirements are set by the exchange.

Investing Essentials

Copyright © 2011 Campbell R. Harvey, Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

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