On this page of the application, you select your account type; enter your financial information, including net worth and liquid net worth; select your investment objectives, which determine the products you can be approved to trade; and select products you want to trade, entering your investment experience for each.
A Cash account requires the account holder to have enough cash in the account to cover the cost of the transaction plus commissions. You cannot borrow to support trading in a Cash account. In addition, the following rules apply:
- Shorting of stock is not allowed.
- Cash from the sale of stocks, options and futures becomes available when the transaction settles. For example, US stock - three days, German stock - two days, US options - one day.
- Intraday futures margin benefits (50% of regular margin requirements during the day, on certain exchanges), are not supported.
- Limited purchase and sale of options are allowed.
- The account may trade in multiple currencies, but must have the settled cash balance to enter trades.
- Existing cash account holders can upgrade to a multi-currency cash account through Account Management.
- Cash accounts may be upgraded to Margin accounts.
A Margin account is a US regulatory-based margin account that allows borrowing to support equities trading, shorting of equities, full options trading, full futures/futures options trading, currency conversions and securities/commodities trading in multiple currency denominations. In addition, the following rules apply:
- Purchase and sale proceeds are immediately recognized.
- Margin requirements are computed in real time under fixed, predetermined rules, with immediate position liquidation if the minimum maintenance margin requirement is not met.
- Margin accounts can be upgraded to Portfolio Margin accounts provided they meet the minimum requirements, but Margin accounts cannot be downgraded to Cash accounts.
- US securities regulations require market participants identified as pattern day traders to maintain a minimum of 25,000 USD in equity or equivalent.
A Portfolio Margin account is a margin account that allows borrowing to support equities trading, shorting of equities, full options trading, full futures/futures options trading, currency conversions and securities/commodities trading in multiple currency denominations. In addition, the following rules apply:
- Margin requirements are determined using a risk-based calculations based on recent fluctuations in the market.
- We require a minimum 110,000 USD or equivalent for this account. If your account drops below 100,000 USD, you will be restricted from doing any margin increasing trades.
Net Worth and Liquid Net Worth
The total value of all assets you own, less what you owe (including all mortgages and debts).
Your Net Worth cannot be less than your Liquid Net Worth.
Liquid Net Worth
The total value of any assets you own that can be quickly converted into cash.
To qualify for a Portfolio Margin account, your Liquid Net Worth must be greater than 100,000 USD.
Annual Net Income
The total amount of your earnings for one year minus any taxes or other deductions taken from your pay. These other deductions could include health insurance, retirement contributions, court ordered judgements or support payments.
The total amount of current and long-term assets that you own.
- Preservation of Capital - To seek maximum safety and stability for your principal by focusing on securities and investments that carry a low degree of risk.
- Income - To generate dividend, interest or other income instead of or in addition to long-term capital appreciation.
- Growth - To increase the principal value of your investments over time rather than seek current income. Investor assumes higher degree of risk.
- Trading Profits - To increase the principal value of your investments by assuming substantially higher risk to your investment capital.
- Speculation - To substantially increase the principal value of your investments by assuming substantially higher risk to your investment capital.
- Hedging - To take positions in a product to hedge or offset the risk in another product.
In this section, you select the products you want to trade and enter information about your trading experience for each product.
In general, to qualify as a customer, you must meet these requirements::
- You must have executed 100 or more trades of any product, or 100 simulated trades in a Demo account (available on our website).
- To trade any product, you must have a Good or Extensive Knowledge Level for that product.
- To trade any product, you must have a minimum of one year of trading experience with that product.