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Buying on Margin


Buying on Margin is a financial term that refers to the practice of purchasing an asset where the buyer pays a percentage of the asset’s value and borrows the rest from the broker. The broker acts as a lender and the asset purchased is the collateral. This method enables investors to buy more stock than they can afford.


The phonetics of the keyword “Buying on margin” would be: /ˈbʌɪɪŋ ɒn ˈmɑːrdʒɪn/

Key Takeaways

  1. Increased investment potential: Buying on margin allows investors to purchase more securities than they would be able to afford with just their available cash. This can potentially lead to higher investment profits if the securities increase in value.
  2. Risk amplification: While margin can amplify profits, it can also amplify losses. If the securities decline in value, the investor must still repay the margin loan, which can lead to significant financial loss.
  3. Margin calls: If the value of the securities purchased on margin decreases significantly, the broker may issue a margin call, where the investor must deposit more cash or sell some of the securities to cover the potential losses. Failing to meet a margin call can result in the broker selling the securities without the investor’s consent.


Buying on Margin is an essential concept in the business/finance world as it allows investors to purchase more shares than they could typically afford with their own funds. This potentially increases an investor’s purchasing power, profit, and overall return on investment when market values rise. However, it also poses significant risks as it involves borrowing money from a broker, which could lead to hefty losses when market values fall. Thus, understanding the process and implications of Buying on Margin is vital for strategic decision making and maximizing returns while managing risk in investing activities.


Buying on margin is a business practice used by investors to maximize their potential returns. This approach involves borrowing money from a broker to purchase a larger volume of stocks or other financial instruments than the investor’s existing funds would allow. By leveraging borrowed capital, the investor can significantly boost their purchasing power and potential profits. However, it should be noted that while profits can be multiplied, losses can also be magnified if the investment does not perform as expected.The primary purpose of buying on margin is to increase the potential for profits, without needing the full amount that would be required for such an investment. It is primarily used to utilize the power of borrowed funds to generate larger returns from successful trades. Furthermore, it can also be used to diversify an investment portfolio, as additional funds allow for investments in a greater array of stocks. However, buying on margin can be risky and is generally recommended for seasoned investors who understand and can manage the associated risks.


1. Stock Market Investments: One of the most common examples of buying on margin is in the stock market. An investor may not have the full amount to purchase a particular stock but believes that the stock will increase in value. The investor could then borrow money from their broker to buy the stock. For example, if they want to buy $10,000 worth of a particular stock but only have $5,000, they can borrow the remaining $5,000 from the broker.2. Real Estate: Buying on margin can also happen in real estate. A person could purchase a property with only a small percentage of their own money upfront – the down payment – and borrow the rest from a bank or another lender. This is similar to buying on margin as the person is investing in the property with the expectation that the value will increase over time, allowing them to pay off the loan and make a profit.3. Foreign Exchange Trading: Another example would be in the foreign exchange market (Forex). A trader might use leverage (a form of margin) to control a larger position than their actual capital would allow. If a Forex broker offers a leverage ratio of 100:1, the trader can control $100,000 in currency with only $1,000 of their own money. They are essentially buying on margin, hoping their expected currency exchange prediction comes true allowing them to make more profit.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Buying on Margin?

Buying on Margin refers to the practice of purchasing securities with money borrowed. Often this money is borrowed from a broker. It can facilitate higher profits if the price of the purchased security increases but can also result in significant losses if the price drops.

What are the main benefits of Buying on Margin?

The main benefit of Buying on Margin is the potential for high profits. If stock prices rise, investors who purchased on margin can enjoy great returns. They also have the advantage of more buying power, allowing them to invest more than they could with just their personal funds.

What are the risks of Buying on Margin?

Buying on Margin can lead to substantial losses. If the value of the purchased securities decreases, you’ll have to pay the difference plus the interest to the broker. Also, a broker may issue a margin call , a demand to either deposit more money or sell some securities to reduce the loan amount.

How can I start Buying on Margin?

To start Buying on Margin, you need a margin account with a brokerage firm. This type of account allows you to borrow funds to purchase securities. The securities you buy act as collateral for the loan.

What is a Margin Call?

A Margin Call is a demand from a broker that an investor deposits additional money or securities into their margin account to meet the minimum maintenance margin. If the investor can’t meet the margin call, the broker may sell their securities to cover the loan.

What is the Maintenance Margin?

The Maintenance Margin is the minimum amount of equity an investor must maintain in their margin account after the purchase has been made. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the total market value of the securities purchased on margin.

Are there any regulations around Buying on Margin?

Yes, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Federal Reserve have set regulations on Buying on Margin. For example, the minimum amount an investor must deposit for a margin account is currently $2,000 in the U.S.

Can all types of securities be purchased on Margin?

Not all stocks or securities can be purchased on Margin. Eligibility often depends on the broker’s policies, the market value of the security, and the regulations set by the Federal Reserve and other financial authorities.

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