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What is the difference between Margin, Free Margin and Margin Level? Tier1FX, the new transparent way of institutional trading


If you don’t have enough free margin, or if it is very close, there is a high chance that you’ll be subject to a margin call from your broker if your trade goes against you. In this example, the trade would need to lose $8,000 to drop under the required margin amount, which is $2,000. If that trade goes against you and it drops by greater than that margin level, then you will experience a margin call. So you could be required to only have $10 in your account to control a $1000 investment.


Your trading platform shows you free margin and margin level figures. A free margin is money in your account that can be used to maintain your open positions or open new ones. The margin level is the percentage that shows the trader how much of their funds is not being used at the moment. This is a trade opened by a trader, part of which is secured by the broker’s borrowed funds. Remember that leveraged trading with margin implies high risk, thus seek independent advice from experts in the sphere before commencing your journey on the foreign exchange market. To open a trade in Bitcoin with a volume of 0.01 and a leverage of 1/100, a trader in the current market conditions will need about $23 of their own funds.

Step 1: Calculate Equity

When opening a trade, the trader must have enough own funds to cover the obligations under it. Do not invest all your savings in trading Forex in the hope of quickly doubling them. It’s like lifting the heaviest dumbbell on your first visit to the gym.

  • Traders always have the option of applying a lower level of leverage to an account or transaction.
  • It is important to understand the concept of margin levels when you’re trading volatile markets like Forex.
  • Enter your account base currency, select the currency pair and the leverage, and finally enter the size of your position in lots.

When trading forex, you just need a small amount of capital to open and hold a new position. The simplest and most efficient way is to reduce the volume. Let’s now calculate the leverage for the same trade, but with a volume of 0.15 lots. Free margin in forex is the amount of available margin you have in which to put on positions.

When your margin level is greater than the value of your account, your broker will not allow you to put on any more positions. The sum total of those individual margin requirements is what is known as the margin level. The amount of margin required could vary from 1% to 100%. Margin requirements are generally set by your forex broker and will at times, take into consideration both your experience and certain jurisdictional and legal requirements. Traders always have the option of applying a lower level of leverage to an account or transaction.

In forex, traders will do anything to avoid a margin call. Therefore, it is crucial to comprehend how margin calls occur for successful trading. The margin call and ways to prevent it are thoroughly examined in this essay.

Meaning your open positions will automatically be closed. We also need to note that the profit and loss from the current open positions can also impact free margin in forex. Equity is the sum of the account balance and unrealized profit or loss from all open positions.

Dealing with Forex Free Margin Negative

You should only Forex free margin in these products if you fully understand the risks involved and can afford to incur losses that will not adversely affect your lifestyle. Of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. The lower margin requirement might seem more attractive because it lets you take the same position with fewer dollars.

Thus, in order for a trader to open a position with a large size, broker provide a loan to increase the purchasing power of trader’s account, which is called margin trading. Margin trading involves a high level of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Forex and CFDs are highly leveraged products, which means both gains and losses are magnified.

Rowan Crosby is a professional futures trader from Sydney, Australia. Rowan has extensive experience trading commodities, bonds and equity futures in the Asian, European and US markets. Rowan holds a Bachelor of Finance and Economics degree and is focused heavily on Investment Finance and Quantitative Analysis.

For example, when opening a short position on the exchange, the trader first borrows the required number of shares from the broker. The trader must pay for this leveraged operation according to the rates of the stock broker. There is also a fee for using the broker’s money for trading with margin. One benefit is the opportunity to increase the potential for profit and grow the initial investment rather quickly. The average daily fluctuations of currency pairs do not allow traders to earn significant amounts of money with small investments.

This is a guarantee of the safety of the and minimization of the harmful influence of emotions on your capital. In my opinion, margin carries another drawback – it is accessible to all traders, regardless of their experience. Beginners seldom educate themselves enough before starting trading. Also, the impact of emotions on their trading decisions is too great. As a result, with the opportunity to earn a lot, a novice trader may not be able to use this tool responsibly. This leverage falls within the range of an aggressive trading strategy – the trader works with increased risk.

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Free margin is the available amount in your trading account to open new trades. If this level hits, your broker will automatically begin closing out your trades, starting with the least profitable, before your margin level come back to above the stop-out level. The difference between equity and used margin is the free margin. To put it another way, free margin is the amount of money in a trading account used to open new positions. To summarize, when trading cryptocurrencies, use margin to make them similar to ordinary currency pairs.

Simple method of how to calculate margin

The first is the entire amount of margin requirements for already opened trades. Do not trade 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after important news releases. An increase in the spread is possible and, as a result, even closing by stop loss will be executed at a much worse price than the trader intended. Opening a margin position implies trading using additional funds provided by the broker. If the amount of margin is insufficient, the broker will not let you open a trade with the desired parameters.


When your broker warns you that your margin level has dropped below the specified minimum level, this is referred to as a margin call. The higher your margin level, the more free margin you have to trade with. Before digging deeper into the free margin, you have to understand three key concepts; margin level, margin call and stop-out. Now that you know what margin trading is and how it works, it’s time to move to margin types.

What is leverage in Forex?

The above figure demonstrates how the size of your financial leverage affects the margin requirements. The figure displays the minimum margin for trading currency pairs with a standard fixed trading volume of 1 lot. To avoid margin calls and stop-outs, it can be helpful to set a stop-loss on your trading account. A stop-loss will automatically close your trade when it reaches a predetermined point of your choice. You can place this at a percentage above or below the current market price.

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Therefore, traders usually prefer to pay for additional funds to a broker than to a bank. Maintenance margin is the amount of equity required to keep a trade open. If the trader’s equity is below the maintenance margin, depending on the situation, a margin call or forced closing will follow. Initial margin is the amount of funds required to open a trade. If the trader’s equity is lower than initial margin, the requirement is not met, which means that they will not be able to open a new trade.

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The benefit of margin trading is that you will make a large percentage of your account balance in profits. For example, suppose you have a $1000 account balance and are trading on margin. A keynote to add here is your broker will close your positions in descending order, beginning with the largest position. Closing a position releases the used margin, which raises the margin level and may carry it back over the stop-out level. If it does not, or if the market continues to move against you, the broker will close positions.

If such information is acted upon by you then this should be solely at your discretion and Valutrades will not be held accountable in any way. Maintenance margin is the minimum amount of equity an individual is required to hold in their margin account following a purchase, which is currently 25% of a margin account’s total value. Understanding which values are most effective is part of forex trading, and knowing the right values only comes with experience. It all sounds a little complex—and it can be—so remembering that margin and leverage are intertwined is crucial.

However, due to the extreme volatility that can be found in the Forex market, stop-loss orders are not always an effective measure in limited downside risk. There is still the possibility of losing all, or more, of your original investment. If you were to have open positions in the trading account that were currently profitable, this would increase the Equity which in turn would increase the Free Margin. Enter your account base currency, select the currency pair and the leverage, and finally enter the size of your position in lots.

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  • When trading on margin, a trader can use not only their own money, but also the borrowed funds provided by the broker in order to increase the volume of their trading positions.
  • Floating losses decrease Equity, which decreases Free Margin.
  • It is necessary to have sufficient funds on your trading account to operate a standard exchange volume of 1 lot.

Forex margin is the amount of money, which is taken as collateral by broker when opening a transaction. It can differ for the same lot size, depending on the leverage, which trader operates with. When traders allocate a substantial part of equity to utilized margin, leaving little room for loss absorption, a margin call is more likely to happen. This is required from the broker’s perspective to manage and lower their risk successfully. From this, it’s pretty easy to determine how a change in any of the above values can impact your margin requirement. An increase in the leverage to 50x instead of 30x reduces the margin requirement to $260 USD.

Thus, we get the amount of the margin required for a transaction with our parameters. This field displays how much of your funds are used as collateral or maintenance for the positions open. If you want to trade other cryptocurrencies, whose value in most cases is much lower than bitcoin, you should still account for volatility. When it comes to minimizing risks, it all has long been described in the smallest detail. The problem is that no one listens to these recommendations until they have a negative experience, facing a significant risk, after neglecting them. This leverage is consistent with the conservative strategy.

Click here for further reading on Margin Call or herefor Stop Out. We introduce people to the world of trading currencies, both fiat and crypto, through our non-drowsy educational content and tools. We’re also a community of traders that support each other on our daily trading journey. Since you don’t have any open positions, you don’t have any floating profits or losses. Our gain and loss percentage calculator quickly tells you the percentage of your account balance that you have won or lost. Our mission is to keep pace with global market demands and approach our clients’ investment goals with an open mind.

All services are free, so you to take advantage of the opportunities that Forex trading offers. Margin will effectively magnify both your gains and your losses. Incorporated in St. Vincent & the Grenadine as an International Business Company with the registration number IBC 2015. The Trading Platforms used have become very sophisticated calculating these figures in real time so there is no need to calculate them manually. The Strategy Manager’s Risk Level is calculated based on the average daily volatility. FXTM Invest is our comprehensive and unique copy trading programme for those looking to venture into investing….