Losses from Margin Calls

What is margin trading?

Trading “on margin” means you’re investing with money you borrowed from your brokerage firm. For example, if you have $100,000 invested with your brokerage firm, you can offer those investments as collateral for a loan. Investors use margin accounts to leverage their investments and increase their purchasing power.

Brokerage firms charge a high interest rate on money borrowed on margin. If the market tanks and you lose the money you borrowed, you are personally liable to repay all of it, plus interest. Oftentimes, even if you make a moderate gain on your investments, you will still lose money due to the high interest rate.

What is a margin call?

If the margin account’s equity drops below the maintenance margin level, a margin call will be made, forcing you to bring it back up to the required amount immediately. Investors who cannot satisfy margin calls can have large portions of their accounts liquidated.

Is margin trading a wise investment?

Margin trading is almost always a bad idea for the average investor. Every month your returns don’t beat the interest rate, your account goes down in value. As it does, you’ll have to continue to meet margin calls, and the returns you need to meet the interest payments will keep going up. In the worst-case scenario, you can end up losing your original collateral investment and owing a significant amount more in interest.

What can you do if your broker did not explain the risks associated with trading on margin?

A broker’s failure to properly disclose the risks associated with a margin account, or to follow a customer’s instructions not to trade on margin, can constitute grounds for recovery of associated losses. If your broker did not fulfill this responsibility, you should have an experienced investor rights attorney review your case.

Take the next steps to find out if you have a claim:

Step 1.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney Today

Call and speak to one of our attorneys* for a no-cost consultation to discuss your situation, answer your questions, and help you determine the next steps. This call usually takes about 15 minutes, but we are happy to talk to you as long as you would like!

Step 2.

Quick Review of Your Paperwork

If we think you might have a case, we will need to review a few basic documents. If we determine you have a case, then you will have the option to hire us as your attorneys to pursue it.

Step 3.

Signed Attorney/Client Agreement

If you decide to hire us to pursue your case, we will have you sign an attorney-client agreement so we can begin the process of trying to recover your losses.*

*In the vast majority of cases, our agreement is contingent – meaning you won’t owe us any money unless we recover money for you.

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