IB's margin requirements, what??

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Eight, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Eight


    The VIX is in the 20's and IB wants $3250 initial intraday margin for one contract, YM... why does anybody trade index futs with them? You can trade six contracts with that much margin other places... I was tied in with them due to use of their API but I switched to screen trading. I can use any broker with hotkey capabilities now...
  2. I only trade ES as a overnight hedge, so it's moot for my personal situation, but I can imagine that's a problem for futures-daytaders. I personally wouldn't fund an account at an FCM offering $500 intraday due to the risk.

    I believe that Open E-Cry has intraday margins at ~$500 on ES/YM, and they are owned by OptionsXpress.
  3. Eight


    IB might be keeping the risk taker in some of us in check but it's pretty hard to not go with 6 times as many contracts....
  4. With a 3500 dollar account you shouldn't be trading more then 1 contract anyways. Even that imo is too little.
  5. Bob111


    i'm struggling with IB margin requirements too..even if i have to manage few accounts way bigger than OP's. take a look on IB's "special margin" list...there is 12K products that require 100% cash for each position..
    this mean that we have to maintain ridiculous amount of cash at IB, if you trade stocks for example..

    http://www.interactivebrokers.com/e...g=United States&ib_entity=llc&ln=&b=FMB&e=FPR

    each time you take a position from list above-you can't borrow against it.
    i guess it's a part of their low cost\comm game..if don't like it-you have to move some place else..but,like OP, i'm also tied to API. but.. as soon as i have some time to reprogram my stuff -i'm out..it wasn't like this before..and i hope they(IB) will be back no "normal" some day..
  6. You mean they won't let you margin FNM??? Say it ain't so!

    It used to be that the exchanges had lists of stocks that they determined were 100% margin. It was not set by the broker. My guess is that some of the stocks on the list are there because of an exchange, not because of IB.

    Who has the time to go thru that list? But if you find too many of your stocks falling on that list, you need to come up with a different method of stockpicking.

    As far as futures go, the margin is determined by taking half of the overnight margin set by the exchange. It's about $2800 for example on ES for day trade, $5600 approximately for overnight.

    I'd say the only people who are disturbed by this margin are those who are way underfunded, or said another way, way over leveraged. Most guys using $500 margin are on their way out of the business. Just a question of time.

    I recommend $10K minimum per contract, day trade or overnight. If you're truly hedging rather than speculating, you can apply for hedge margins.

    By the way, in my own account, I use way, way in excess of $10K. I like to be at least $25K. And when you think about it, that's 50% margin. Most of the time I would only be margined less than that if I had money on route to the account, but wanted the position ahead of time.

    You want longevity in this business, you need to be careful about how leveraged you are. I've seen alot of good traders lose their account because of leverage. Hey? Didn't we just thru a period like this?

  7. Bob111


    i see... Thank you OldTrader!
  8. a quick glance at that list and it looks like mostly otc and very dicey garbage. any examples of something not that?
  9. $5 a point YM, so $500 covers 100 stinking points.

    covers 10 points ES

    wtf is that?

    wtf is that broker doing?

    bucket shop

  10. A month and 18 days. not bad. :D
    #10     Jun 20, 2009