US Options Margin
The following calculations apply only to Margin, IRA Margin and Cash or IRA Cash. See our Portfolio Margin page for US Options requirements in a Portfolio Margin account. FINRA and the NYSE have imposed rules to limit small investor day trading. Customers that these organizations classify as Pattern Day Traders are subject to Day Trading Restrictions for US Securities.
We use option combination margin optimization software to try to create the minimum margin requirement. However, due to the system requirements required to determine the optimal solution, we cannot always guarantee the optimal combination in all cases. Please note that we do not support option exercises, assignments or deliveries which may result in an account being non-compliant with margin requirements. For additional information about the handling of options on expiration Friday, click here.
These formulas make use of the functions Maximum (x, y, ..), Minimum (x, y, ..) and If (x, y, z). The Maximum function returns the greatest value of all parameters separated by commas within the paranthesis. As an example, Maximum (500, 2000, 1500) would return the value 2000. The Minimum function returns the least value of all parameters separated by commas within the paranthesis. As an example, Minimum (500, 2000, 1500) would return the value of 500. The If function checks a condition and if true uses formula y and if false formula z. As an example If (20 < 0, 30, 60) would return the value 60.
Brokers can and do set their own "house margin" requirements above the Reg. T or statutory minimum. For option spreads in VIX securities, we may charge an additional minimum house margin requirement of $150. For option positions that meet the definition of a "universal" spread under CBOE Rule 12.3(a)(5), we may charge an additional house requirement of 102% of the net maximum market loss associated with the spread (i.e., net long option position price – net short option position price * 102%), if greater than the statutory requirement.
The following tables show option margin requirements for each type of margin combination. Click a link below to learn more: