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Allows investors to buy securities by borrowing money from a broker. The margin is the difference between the market value of a stock and the loan a broker makes. Related: Security deposit (initial). In the context of hedging and futures contracts, the cash collateral deposited with a trader or exchanged as insurance against default.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


1. Money that an investor has borrowed from a broker in order to buy securities. An investor who buys on margin can realize huge gains if the price of the security moves in a favorable direction; however, he/she also takes on a great deal of risk because it may not move in such a direction. See also: minimum maintenance, margin call.

2. A measure of how well a company controls its costs. It is calculated by dividing a company's profit by its revenues and expressing the result as a percentage. The higher the margin is, the better the company is thought to control costs. Investors use the margin to compare companies in the same industry as well as between industries to determine which are the most profitable. It is also called the profit margin.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


1. The amount of funds that must be deposited when purchasing securities. See also initial margin requirement.
2. The equity in an investor's account. See also maintenance margin requirement.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


Margin is the minimum amount of collateral -- in either cash or securities -- you must have in your margin account to buy on margin, sell short, or invest in certain derivatives.

The initial margin requirement is set by federal law and varies from product to product. For example, to buy stock on margin, you must have at least 50% of the purchase price in your account.

After the initial transaction, maintenance rules set by the self-regulatory organizations, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASD, apply.

Under those rules, you must have a minimum of 25% of the total market value of the margined investments in your account at all times. Individual firms may set their maintenance requirement higher -- at 30% or 35%, for example.

If your equity in the account falls below the maintenance level, you'll receive a margin call for additional collateral to bring the account value back above the minimum level.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


the difference between selling price and cost price of a PRODUCT or FINANCIAL SECURITY. See PROFIT MARGIN, SPREAD.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson


On an ARM, an amount (usually two to three percentage points) that is added to the interest rate index to obtain the interest rate charged the borrower after the initial rate period ends.

See Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)/How the Interest Rate on an ARM Is Determined.

The Mortgage Encyclopedia. Copyright © 2004 by Jack Guttentag. Used with permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A percentage of the full price of a security that must be paid as a down payment by an investor buying on credit. The required margin fluctuates subject to federal regulations.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary
References in periodicals archive ?
In step (4), we can identify the typical three muscles layers at the midaxillary line between the costal margin and iliac crest.
2e): Pear shaped, costa straight, apex round, termen sinuated, dorsum straight, discoidal cell closed, more than half length of the wing; veins, Sc+ R1 arises from the axillary region, short and separated from R1, humeral (h) curves toward the proximal region of the costal margin begins from Sc+R1 and Rs, M1 originated from upper angle of the discal cell, M2 originates from middle of the discal cell, M3 originates from lower angle of the cell, Cu1 parallel to Cu2, two veins A2 and A3 arise from the axillary of the wing, A2 ending at the tornus of wing, A3 ending at dorsal margin.
Tegmen of both macropterous and brachypterous forms dark brown with tan region on costal margin near insertion to body.
In case of lateral transperitoneal approach, patient is placed in lateral decubitus position on a 60[degrees] to 80[degrees] angle and the operation table is flexed at patient's waist in order to create enough space between the ipsilateral costal margin and the iliac crest.
On abdominal examination his liver was enlarged 1 cm and spleen 4 cm below costal margin.
GI: Abdomen soft, non-tender, spleen not palpable, liver 1 cm below costal margin.
The needle (16 or 18 gauge) is usually inserted between the xyphoid process and the left costal margin at a 15-degree angle to bypass the costal margin, and then aimed toward the left shoulder, until the pericardium is pierced and fluid is aspirated.
1) The patient is supine with the abdominal area exposed from the costal margin to level of the ASIS.
When seen by the medical oncologist, he complained of a cough that produced clear sputum and dull pain over the right costal margin, but he denied constitutional symptoms.
She had three palpable occipital lymph nodes, cervical lymphadenopathy, III/VI systolic murmur, two well-healed abdominal scars, a palpable liver 2 cm below the costal margin, and a palpable spleen.