May 13, 2019

What Is Option Margin?

Option margin is the cash or securities an investor must deposit in their account as collateral before writing – or selling – options. Margin requirements are established by the Federal Reserve Board in Regulation T.

Option margin differs from other types of margin that you may associate with stock or futures trading.  These types of margin allow a trader to employ leverage in their trading.  Option margin is collateral needed to hold a position.

Minimum margin requirements for various types of underlying securities are established by FINRA and the options exchanges. Be advised that your broker may have very different margin requirements since they can add to the minimum requirements set by regulators. Some option strategies, such as covered calls and covered puts, have no margin requirement since the underlying stock is used as collateral.

Some options strategies that involve the selling of options but do NOT have margin requirements are:

Covered calls and covered puts.  These strategies involve owning (or owning the right to) the underlying stock, which is used as collateral in the option position. For example, if you own 300 shares of AAPL, you can sell to open three contracts of QQQ call options without any margin.

Follow me on Twitter @MikeShorrCbot

about the author:

Mike Shorr

Since 1994, Michael has been an on-the-floor market maker, Vice-President of Interest Rate Derivatives for Knight Financial Products and Director of Education and Options Instructor at Trading Advantage. He makes the oftentimes complex world of options and trading accessible to the novice and advanced trader alike. Michael has a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics and Finance from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. He presently is Director, Trader Education at ProsperTradingAcademy.

Read Similar Articles

January 4, 2024

Funder Trading Review – Best Prop Trading Firm in 2024?

If you are actively trading in the stock market in 2024, chances are you’ve heard a new buzzword flying around: Prop Trading, short for Proprietary Trading. Whether you’ve tried prop trading or not – or have even heard of it at all – its popularity is quickly growing because it provides everyday traders with a […]

Read Article
September 26, 2022

Coach’s Roundtable: FOMC Fallout & Resilient Market Sectors

Every week, the coaches at Prosper Trading Academy offer their insight on some of the most challenging questions covering recent stock market developments, trading tips, and relevant news stories. This week, Scott Bauer, Charlie Moon, and Mike Shorr give their thoughts on why certain stock market sectors are staying resilient amid the FOMC fallout, and […]

Read Article
volatility
September 20, 2022

What Does Volatility Mean?

Defining Volatility Volatility signifies a security or index price’s degree of variation over time, and is typically associated with price swings in either direction. Volatility often indicates how much risk or uncertainty is tied to the size of changes in an asset’s value. Higher volatility means more risk (the asset’s price can change drastically over […]

Read Article

Read Similar Articles

September 26, 2022

Coach’s Roundtable: FOMC Fallout & Resilient Market Sectors

Every week, the coaches at Prosper Trading Academy offer their insight on some of the most challenging questions covering recent stock market developments, trading tips, and relevant news stories. This week, Scott Bauer, Charlie Moon, and Mike Shorr give their thoughts on why certain stock market sectors are staying resilient amid the FOMC fallout, and […]

Read Article
September 16, 2022

Coach’s Roundtable: Making Up Major Losses

Every week, the coaches at Prosper Trading Academy offer their insight on some of the most challenging questions covering recent stock market developments, trading tips, and relevant news stories. This week, Scott Bauer, Charlie Moon, and Mike Shorr cover this week’s CPI report and other future events that could impact the market, along with ways […]

Read Article
August 26, 2022

Coach’s Roundtable: Stock Market Indexes & Trading Fixes

Every week, the coaches at Prosper Trading Academy offer their insight on some of the most challenging questions covering recent stock market developments, trading tips, and relevant news stories. This week, Scott Bauer, Charlie Moon, and Mike Shorr touch on the best stock market indexes to follow and common issues they notice among struggling traders. […]

Read Article