Margin Trading - What Is Buying On Margin?

Margin Requirements [Wizard View]


Your Margin Requirements are based on the following:
  1. Your country of legal residence.
  2. The exchange where you want to trade.
  3. The product(s) you want to trade.

After making your selection in Step 3 below, you will automatically be taken to the margin requirements page.

  1. US
  2. CANADA
  3. EUROPE
  4. AUSTRALIA
  5. HONG KONG
  6. JAPAN
  7. INDIA
  8. OTHER
  9. US
  10. CANADA
  11. EUROPE
  12. AUSTRALIA
  13. CHINA
  14. HONG KONG
  15. JAPAN
  16. INDIA
  17. MEXICO
  18. SINGAPORE
  19. KOREA
  20. GLOBAL
  21. STOCKS
  22. OPTIONS
  23. FUTURES
  24. SSFs
  25. BONDS
  26. MUTUAL FUNDS
  27. CFDs
  28. FOREX
  29. METALS
  30. STEP 1
  31. STEP 2
  32. STEP 3
  33. Where are you a resident?
  34. Where do you want to trade?
  35. Select product to trade.

Color Key:
Selectable Button
Current Selection
Not Applicable

Note: Not all products listed below are marginable for every location.
Your account may be subject to additional house requirements and/or an exposure fee. See the information below regarding the exposure fee.

Margin Requirements [Table View]


Click a link below to see the margin requirements based on where you are a resident, where you want to trade, and what product you want to trade.



Margin Benefits


What is buying stocks on margin? Infographic
  • Get the lowest margin loan interest rates of any broker
    We offer the lowest margin loan1 interest rates of any broker, according to the Barron's 2017 online broker reviews.
  • Global Trading on a Universal Account
    Enjoy the convenience of trading stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and funds worldwide from one location.
  • Portfolio Margin
    When available, Portfolio Margin allows sophisticated traders with hedged portfolios to benefit from lower requirements and greater leverage.
  • Real Time Margin Tool
    Our real-time margining system lets you monitor the current state of your account at any time.

Margin Education Center


A primer to get started with margin trading.

Explore an introduction to margin including: rules-based margin vs. risk-based margin methodologies along with calculations and examples for securities and commodities margin.


Exposure Fee for High Risk Accounts

Interactive Brokers calculates and charges a daily "Exposure Fee" to customer accounts that are deemed to have significant risk exposure. The charge for such accounts is based on the results of stress tests performed to determine exposure to a series of prices changes and to identify accounts that, while margin compliant, have potential exposure that exceeds the account's equity were these hypothetical scenarios to occur.

Exposure Fees apply only to a small percentage of accounts with unusually risky positions. Most accounts are not subject to the fee, based upon recent studies. The Exposure Fee differs from a margin requirement as the amount of the exposure fee is deducted from the account's cash balance on a daily basis. Please note that the exposure fee is not insurance against losses in an account, and a client remains liable to Interactive Brokers for any debt or deficit in an account, regardless of whether an exposure fee has been paid at any point.

Each day, as part of its risk management policy, IB simulates profit-loss scenarios for client portfolios based on hypothetical market movements of certain magnitudes ("Exposure Analysis"). The scenarios examined may exceed the parameters used by various exchanges for determination of minimum margin requirements.

Each day, as part of its risk management policy, IBKR simulates thousands of profit and loss scenarios for client portfolios based upon a comprehensive set of sector-based market scenarios for all pre-defined primary risk factors. Following that simulation, all other product(s) in the portfolio are adjusted based upon their respective correlation. These market scenarios simulate events such as price changes in the underlying, both up and down, along with implied volatility shifts in portfolios, including options positions. IBKR calculates an Exposure Fee for the account based on the potential exposure in the event that these projected scenarios occur.

The Exposure Fee is calculated on all calendar days and is charged to the account at the end of the following trading day. The exposure fee charge on Monday's activity statement reflects the charges for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Exposure Fee calculation periods which include a holiday are determined in the same manner as that of a weekend. The fee is calculated on the holiday and charged at the end of the next trading day. The results of the Exposure Analysis and resulting Exposure Fee are made available for each account via the Account Management section of IBKR's website.

Please note the following:

  • IBKR calculates the Exposure Fee at its discretion. The calculation may be subject to change without notice and is based on a proprietary algorithm designed to determine the potential exposure to the firm that an account presents.
  • The Exposure Fee may change each day based on market movements, changes in the account's portfolio, and changes in the formulas and algorithms that IBKR uses to determine the potential risk of the account.
  • The Exposure Fee is calculated daily and deducted from affected accounts on the following trading day. Accounts subject to the exposure fee should maintain excess equity to avoid a margin deficiency. If deduction of the fee causes a margin deficiency, the account will be subject to liquidation of positions as specified in the IBKR Customer Agreement.
  • The Exposure Fee is calculated on an account-by-account basis. Thus, if a client has multiple accounts with offsetting risk exposures, it may be beneficial for the client to combine the accounts to minimize the Exposure Fee. If a client maintains multiple accounts in the same account title, IBKR may combine those portfolios for the purpose of determining the Exposure Fee to be applied for those accounts.
  • Accounts that are subject to both an overnight position (Inventory) fee and an Exposure Fee will be charged the greater of the two fees.
  • The Exposure Fee is not a form of insurance. The client is still liable to IBKR to satisfy any account debt or deficit. Whether an account has been assessed and has paid an Exposure Fee does not relieve the account of any liability. Nor will the debt or deficit to IBKR be offset or reduced by the amount of any exposure fees to which the account may have been assessed at any time.

The Exposure Fee is calculated for all assets in the entire portfolio.

If you wish to avoid being charged an Exposure Fee, please consider the following:

  • Adding additional equity will improve the risk profile of an account and may reduce or eliminate the Exposure Fee.
  • Holding one or more highly concentrated single position(s) generally expose an account to significant risk exposure and, hence, increases the likelihood of an account being assessed an Exposure Fee. Managing risk through diversification and hedging may reduce the risk and reduce or eliminate the Exposure Fee.
  • Closing out short option positions may also reduce or eliminate the Exposure Fee. Testing has indicated that short positions in low-priced options generate the largest exposures relative to the amount of capital.

Additional Tools Available to Accounts

  • IBKR provides an Exposure Fee Calculation Report via Account Management, which provides details regarding the Fee and examples of hypothetical adjustments to existing position, which if implemented are projected to reduce the Fee given information available at that time. Please see KB3113.
  • Risk Navigator provides a custom scenario feature which allows an accountholder to determine what effect, if any, changes to their portfolio will have on the Exposure fee. Please see KB2275.
  • Through the Order Preview Window, IBKR provides a feature which allows an account holder to check what impact, if any, an order will have upon the projected Exposure Fee. Please see KB2276.



  1. According to Barron's Online Broker Survey 2018: All Together Now, March 26, 2018. Lowest margin fees of any broker listed in Barron's survey of accounts having $100k or more in assets with margin rates of $10k, $25k, $50k and 100k balances.