The Difference Between Leverage and Margin Trading


It’s common to confuse margin with leverage. While both can be utilized to increase a trader’s purchasing power in the stock market, they are distinct in important ways.

“Buying stocks on margin” is another term for “margin trading,” which describes borrowing money from your broker to invest in the stock market. By borrowing money, you can expand your trading capital and acquire a larger share of the stock of your choosing. You should expect larger gains or losses after buying an asset on leverage because of the larger out-of-pocket investment compared to a cash account, or the margin call. Borrowed funds from the broker will incur interest charges.

When you use margin, you get leverage, which is a term with a larger meaning and application in the financial sector. This term is used to describe the practice of obtaining investment capital through the use of borrowed money. Knowing your leverage ratio might help you gauge the level of risk you’re willing to accept when trading.

In this essay, we’ll break out the differences between margin and leverage in detail.

Margin vs Leverage

Margin is used to increase one’s trading leverage. With the help of a margin account, you can improve your purchasing power. With leverage, you can invest more money in a larger number of trades than you actually have in your account. Margin requirements are inversely proportional to leverage, therefore increasing them will reduce your leverage ratio.

Margin trading allows you to take advantage of leverage and buy more shares of stock or exchange-traded funds. Leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are an alternative to using margin to raise your leverage; they can be acquired using cash from a brokerage account.

It is common for brokers to provide high leverage ratios for futures and FX trading. Increased risk is a direct result of the higher leverage ratios prevalent in these markets. Before diving headfirst into the high-risk realm of futures and FX trading, new traders should familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of trading on margin by trading a stock or options account.

7) Approved customers will be given a set quantity of LPT, BTTC, HIGH, and OM.



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What is Leverage Trading?

In finance, taking on debt with the intention of increasing future profits is known as “leverage.” Investors can increase their buying power by borrowing money from a broker or a bank to conduct trades larger than the amount of money they have in their account. Businesses may use leverage to fund initiatives with the goal of increasing the firm’s value.

7) Approved customers will be given a set quantity of LPT, BTTC, HIGH, and OM.


What Role Does Leverage Play?

Margin accounts allow traders to borrow money to invest in the stock market, creating a situation known as “leverage.” Depending on the fluctuations of an account’s holdings, leverage can either help or hurt a financial position.

Leverage is a common tool used by businesses to increase the profitability of their investment initiatives, and the same principle holds true in the stock market. Huge gains are possible, but so can equally quick losses if the market goes against you. Using borrowed funds to make trades increases the inherent dangers of the transaction.

When compared to a stock trading account, the leverage ratios used in futures and forex trading are typically far higher. So, assume you put down a $2,000 margin deposit in order to buy $100,000 worth of assets based on the value of a stock index. To put it another way, your leverage ratio is 50 to 1. Your wealth would grow to $101,000 if the underlying index increased by 1%. That’s a $5000 increase in your net worth, or 50%.

Nonetheless, if the trade goes against you, your funds could deplete rapidly. Your equity will be reduced to $1,000 if the index drops to $99,000. It’s possible that you’ll get a “margin call,” which would force you to deposit more money or securities.



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What is Margin Trading?

When you engage in margin trading, you borrow money from your broker against the value of your stock portfolio. Investors use margin, which is the gap between their account balance and the amount they borrow from their broker in order to make a trade. An individual can reinvest the loan’s proceeds in additional securities such as stocks, bonds, and ETFs (ETFs).

Trading on margin can also let you diversify your holdings in various asset classes without having to increase your equity commitment.

Margin Trading: How It Typically Operates
Trades on margin include borrowing money to put toward additional asset purchases. The objective is to improve profits, however there may be costs associated with doing so.


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Trading on margin and using leverage can increase profits, but they are not without their risks. The optimal trading approach for you will be determined after you carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of both tactics. Before entering the trading market, you should have a firm grasp of the distinctions between margin and leverage.

Online stock trading with a margin account gives you access to credit backed by your cash and securities. Leverage quantifies the boost in purchasing power from margin trading.

Before engaging in margin trading or other forms of leveraged trading, you should have a firm grasp on your own risk tolerance. Investors who aren’t willing to take any chances might do better with a cash account, while others who aren’t afraid to take chances might find trading with borrowed funds more enticing.

You can use SoFi Invest® to look into various investment opportunities and find a plan that works for you. Viewing these resources might help you create a portfolio that best suits your risk tolerance and return expectations.




1.Would you say that leverage and margin are interchangeable?

Margin and leverage are two distinct things entirely. When trading equities, you can boost your leverage ratio by opening a margin account. When trading futures or FX, the trader must put up margin in order to use leverage.

2.Would you be able to trade without using leverage?

Yes. Cash in the account can be used to make trades in the stock market. By using this strategy, you can also prevent the accrual of interest on margin balances. The disadvantage is that your profits will not be magnified as they would be if you were using margin or leverage to trade.

Leveraged exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can also be traded without the need for a margin trading account.

3.What is margin in stock trading?

Margin trading occurs when an investor borrows money against their stock holdings in the hope that their holdings will increase in value. You give back the borrowed money to the lender when you sell the investment, but you get to retain the gain. You risk taking on more loss if the security’s price declines. When borrowing money, you must pay interest to the lender.


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