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What is Margin in Forex Trading : Beginners guide 2022

What is Margin in Forex Trading: Beginners guide 2022

Margin in forex rates is generally expressed in terms of percentages. As a rule, Forex margin requirements generally start close to 3.3% for major forex pairs in the UK. Your forex broker’s margin requirement shows you the leverage amount that you may use when trading forex with that firm. 

Margin is the amount that a trader requires to put forward to open a trade. You need to pay only a percentage of the position’s full value to open a trade when trading forex on margin. When it comes to leveraged forex trading, the margin remains a vital concept to get the hang of.

How does margin in forex work?

Margin is a percentage of a trading position’s full value. Margin trading permits traders to open leveraged trading positions. This allows traders more exposure to the markets with a tiny initial capital outlay. However, you ought not to forget that margin has every potential to be a double-edged sword, given that it magnifies both profits and losses. The reason is that the latter is based on the trade’s full value, not merely the amount needed to open it. 

The leverage available to a trader is contingent upon the broker’s margin requirements or leverage limits per regulations. Margin requirements vary across brokers and across regions. 

As far as the UK is concerned, margin requirements generally start close to 3.3% for major forex pairs. For instance, In the event of a forex broker providing a 3.3% margin rate and a trader looking to open a position worth GBP 100,000, merely GBP 3,300 is needed as a deposit to enter a trade. 

The remainder 96.7% would be for the broker to provide. The leverage on said trade is 30:1. Aas trade size expands, so does the margin amount needed. Margin requirements vary in case you are a ‘professional client’. 

Having a good grasp of margin is vital when beginning in the leveraged forex market. It is important to understand that margin trading can lead to bigger profits and bigger losses, thereby increasing the risk. Traders also ought to familiarise themselves with other related terms, like margin call and margin level

Margin level in forex 

When a forex trader opens a position, the trader’s starting deposit for that trade will be held in the form of collateral by the broker. The total amount of money that the broker has locked away to keep the trader’s positions open is known as the used margin. As more and more positions are opened, more of the funds in the trader’s account become used margin. The amount that a trader has left available to open more positions is called available equity. the latter may be used to arrive at the margin level.  

Therefore, margin level is the equity ratio in the account to used margin, shown as a percentage. You calculate margin level as given below: 

Margin level = (equity/used margin) x 100. 

Margin trading – an instance or ‘How is margin calculated in forex?’

For instance, let’s say a trader places GBP 10,000 in a forex account. They then open two forex trades. The broker needs a GBP 2500 margin to permit these two positions to remain open. The used margin here is GBP 2500.

 For said scenario, the margin level is (GBP 10,000/GBP 2500) X 100 = 400%. The margin level is directly proportional to cash available for further trading. When the margin level plummets to 100%, all available margin is in use. Hence, no further trades may be placed by the trader. 

Being attentive to margin level really does pay off. It permits traders to see whether they have sufficient funds in their forex account to keep positions open. The latter is called maintenance margin.  

As a rule, forex brokers ask for a maintenance margin level of 100%.  

What is the maintenance margin in forex trading?

Maintenance margin is the total amount of capital remaining in an investment account to hold an investment or trading position, sidestepping a margin call. 

Margin account 

A margin account is a leveraged trading account. To hold a trading position, a trader need not put up an investment’s total value. Rather, they are merely asked to make a deposit, known as margin. This is a fixed percentage of the security’s total value they are investing in. 

In the main, the remainder is borrowed from the brokerage the trader is using. 

Initial margin and maintenance margin 

Let’s suppose there’s a trader with the intent to buy 100 Company ABC shares at GBP 20 for each share. However, the investor does not have the requisite GBP 2000 to buy the whole amount of stock. In case the investor has a margin account with his broker, he may acquire the stocks by putting up a percentage of the total purchase price. This initial percentage is the initial margin requirement. 

In the context of our instance, the initial margin requirement is 50% of the total purchase price which, in this case, is GBP 1000. Therefore, to grab the 100 shares the investor seeks, he must have at least GBP 1000 in their trading account to meet the initial 50% margin requirement. 

Maintenance margin 

The needed percentage of the total percentage that is less than the initial margin, and which the investor has to maintain in their trading account to sidestep a margin call. 

In this context, the broker could demand that they either deposit additional funds into their account or liquidate just enough of their holdings to satisfy the margin call. For example, let’s suppose 40% is the margin requirement. 

Suppose the stock value of the company as mentioned earlier plunges by 30%. The trader’s margin account will then have plummeted below the maintenance margin level. 

The total value of ABC stock 100 shares has depreciated to GBP 1400; the value of the investor’s 50% margin requirement has depreciated from GBP 1000 to GBP 700; the 40% maintenance margin level is GBP 800; clearly, the investor’s account has plunged GBP 100 below requisite maintenance margin level.  

Once the above has happened, the broker sends the investor a margin call. The trader is notified that he has to do either of the following: deposit more funds into the account or sell off some of the shares, thus making up for the difference between the stock’s current price and the requisite maintenance margin level.

In a word, the maintenance margin is valued since it protects both broker and investor. 

Margin call in forex or ‘What is a safe margin level in forex?’

The margin level on the account plummets when a trader has positions in negative territory. In case a trader’s margin level plunges below 100%, the implication is that the amount in the account can cover margin requirements no longer. This is because the trader’s equity has plunged below the used margin. 

In this case, the broker will usually request that the trader’s equity be topped up. The trader will subsequently get a margin call. With an InvestBy trading account, the trader would be alerted that their account value has reached said level. 

When this takes place, in case the trader does not succeed in funding their account, a few or all of the trader’s open positions may be done away with. Margin calls can be sidestepped by monitoring margin level regularly. This is done through the use of stop-loss orders on each trade to the end of loss management and keeping the account sufficiently funded. 

You may margin trade across a range of investment products and options. In addition, one may take a position across diverse asset classes. This includes forex, indices, stocks, bonds, and commodities. 

How is margin in forex different from leverage in forex? 

Another concept that is vital to grasp hold of is the difference between margin and leverage exclusively in the context of forex trading. Forex margin and leverage are in the same stable. However, their substance is definitely dissimilar. 

Revisiting margin in forex

Trading on margin is employed to amplify an investor’s buying power. An investor is needed to put up merely a fraction of the funds they would normally need to open a larger position. 

The implication is that rather than paying the position’s full value, you need to pay just a percentage thereof. The latter is called the initial margin.

Trading on margin can be useful. Nonetheless, the same can also potentially be high risk, given that there’s every possibility of your losing your whole investment. 

How do you use leverage in the margin in forex trading?

In plain English, the margin is the amount needed to open a position. Conversely, leverage is arrived at by multiplying exposure to account equity. The margin amount is contingent upon margin rate requirements. This varies across trading instruments, with volatility and liquidity weighing in. 

The market moves in potential percentage is volatility. The latter is related to liquidity. 

While forex margin is the deposit needed to place a trade and keep a position open, leverage permits you to trade large position sizes with a smaller investment. 

A 30:1 leverage ratio implies that a trader may control a worth 30 times their initial capital outlay. 

If a trader has GBP 5000 available to open a trade, they may control a position with a total value of GBP 150,000 in the event of the leverage ratio being 30:1. In forex trading, leverage is linked to forex margin rate. The latter instructs a trader as regards the percentage of the total trade value needed to enter the trade. Hence, in case the forex margin is 3.3%, the leverage to be had from the broker is 30:1.

 If the forex margin is 5%, the leverage to be had from the broker is 20:1. A 10% forex margin is the same as a 10:1 leverage. 

Currency movements are measured in ‘percentage in points’ or pips in forex. The smallest measurable movement a currency would make would be a pip. For a large number of major forex pairs, a pip implies a price movement of 0.0001. A move made in pips may not sound like a big deal. However, it is the leverage that transforms pips into significant profits.

It is owing to leveraged trading that you may chance upon standard disclaimers like the following:

High-Risk Investment Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Please read the complete Risk Disclosure Statement, which gives you a more detailed explanation of the risks involved.

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are highly leveraged products that are ideally suited to very experienced traders and investors. CFDs can be highly lucrative and provide an opportunity to make a lot of money quickly, but you can also sustain losses just as quickly if you’re not experienced.

Leveraged trading is a feature of financial derivatives trading, like CFD Trading and spread betting. In addition, leverage may be used to take a position in other asset classes. 

Forex margin calculator 

Reckoning the amount of margin required on trade is relatively easy with a forex margin calculator. InvestBy, too, offers a fore margin calculator. The simple implication is that you do not have to manually calculate forex margin anymore. Instead, to calculate forex margin with a forex margin calculator, a trader merely enters the currency pair, the trade currency, the leverage, and the trade size in units into the calculator. 

For instance, let there be a forex broker with a 3.3% margin requirement for EUR/USD. There’s also a trader seeking to open a position of 100,000 units. The currency pair is trading at 1.1500. The USD is the trader’s account currency. If these particulars are entered into a Forex margin calculator, the margin required will come out as GBP 3795. 

Just how important are Forex margin calculators? 

  • Forex margin calculators calculate the margin needed to open new positions; 
  • They help traders manage their trades; 
  • They aid in the determination of the optimal position size, and the leverage level; 
  • Position size management helps you sidestep margin calls. 


In forex, brokers permit trading of forex currencies on margin. A margin is merely an act of extending credit for trading purposes. For example, if you are trading on a 50:1 margin, then for every GBP 1 in your account, you can trade GBP 50. 

Margin accounts are provided by brokers to investors, updated as currencies fluctuate in value. You can open an account with InvestBy. Then, fund the account and harness the horses of margin trading to your trading chariot! 

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