Whether you have assets in a securities account or in a futures account, your assets are protected by U.S. federal regulations governing how brokers must protect your property and funds. In the securities account, your assets are protected by SEC and SIPC rules. In the futures account, your assets are protected by CFTC rules requiring segregation of customer funds. You are also protected by our strong financial position and our conservative risk management philosophy. See our Strength & Security page.
Borrowing money to purchase securities is known as "buying on margin". When an investor borrows money from his broker to buy a stock, he must open a margin account with his broker, sign a related agreement and abide by the broker's margin requirements. The loan in the account is collateralized by investor's securities and cash. If the value of the stock drops too much, the investor must deposit more cash in his account, or sell a portion of the stock.
Equity – Your equity is simply the total amount of funds you have in your trading account. Your equity will change and float each time you open a new trading position, in such a way that all your unrealised profits and losses will be added to or deducted from your total equity. For example, if your trading account size is $1,000 and your open positions are $50 in profit, your equity will amount to $1,050.
Open positions are required to be fully margined at all times. FOREX.com does not engage in margin calls; you are responsible for monitoring your account and maintaining 100% of required margin at all times to support your open positions. To help limit your trading losses and ensure that your losses never exceed your account balance, our systems monitor your margin in near real-time and will automatically close out your open positions if your account equity falls below the 100% margin requirement. While our 100% margin requirement and near real-time margin system is designed to limit your trading losses and help ensure that total losses never exceed your total account balance, you do risk incurring losses greater than your account balance, especially during periods of extreme market volatility. While it is not FOREX.com’s policy to hold clients responsible for modest negative balances, we do reserve the right to hold clients responsible for large debit balances and when special circumstances apply. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to manage your use of leverage carefully. Increasing leverage increases risk.
Free Margin – Your free margin represents your total equity minus any margin used for leveraged trades. For example, if your equity is $1,000 and your used margin is $100, your free margin would amount to $900. Following your free margin is extremely important, as it is used to withstand negative price fluctuations from your open trades and to open new leveraged trades. It’s important to understand that your free margin increases with profitable positions, but decreases with your losing positions. Once the free margin drops to zero or below, your broker will activate the so-called margin call and close all your open positions at the current market rate, in order to prevent your equity from falling below the required margin.
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