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Trading Configuration

Account Types

When opening your account you have a choice of Reg T Margin, Reg T IRA, Cash, or Portfolio Margin account types. For more specific information on margin calculations, see our Margin Requirements page. The following table provides a quick-glance comparison of these accounts. View the account type page from the links above for more details.



Account Comparison
  Reg T Margin Reg T Margin - IRA Cash Portfolio Margin1
Stocks and Warrants Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation if minimum maintenance margin requirement is not met.

Purchase and sale proceeds available immediately.

US securities regulations require a minimum USD 25,000 in equity or equivalent to day trade.
Cannot borrow cash i.e. have a debit balance or short stocks. Account must have enough cash to cover the cost of stock plus commissions.

Shorting not allowed.

Cash from the sale of stocks is available three business days after the trade date.

Account may trade in different currencies but must have the settled cash balance to enter trades.

When authorizing market, relative and VWAP orders, a 5% cash cushion is required to compensate for market movements.
Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation will occur if the minimum maintenance margin requirement is not met.

Purchase and sale proceeds available immediately.

US securities regulations require a minimum USD 110,0003 or equivalent for this account. If your account drops below USD 100,000, Reg T margin requirements will apply.
Bonds Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation if minimum maintenance margin is not met.

Shorting not allowed.

Purchase and sale proceeds available immediately.
Cannot borrow cash i.e. have a debit balance or short stocks. Account must have enough cash to cover the cost of bonds plus commissions.

Shorting not allowed.

Cash from the sale of bonds is available three business days after the trade date.
Same as Reg T Margin Requirements.
Stock and Cash Index Options Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation if minimum maintenance margin requirement is not met.

Purchase and sale proceeds available immediately.

To purchase options the entire premium plus commissions must be deposited.

To sell options and other strategy-based combos, the margin requirements and commissions must be covered.

US Securities regulations require at least 25,000 USD in equity or equivalent to day trade.

Option market value may never be used for the purpose of borrowing funds.
Cannot borrow cash i.e. have a debit balance or short stocks.

For information on combination strategies that require borrowing and consequently are not available, see the Reg T Margin IRA column on the Options Margin Requirements page.
Full payment required for all call and put purchases.

Covered call writing is allowed, but the underlying stock must be available and is then restricted.

Naked put writing is allowed, but the funds must be available and then are restricted.

Cash from the sale of options is available one business day after the trade date.
Same as Portfolio Margin requirements for stocks.
Futures 2 Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation if minimum margin requirement is not met.

Cash required to meet variation margin requirements.
Same as Reg T Margin requirements. Same as Reg T Margin requirements. Same as Reg T Margin requirements.
Futures Options 2 Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation if minimum margin requirement is not met.

Cash required to meet variation margin requirements.

Non-US futures options are available to US legal residents.
Same as Reg T Margin requirements. Same as Reg T Margin requirements. Same as Reg T Margin requirements.
Mutual Funds Margin updated once per day at closing of funds.

Position liquidation on end-of-day basis if minimum maintenance margin requirement is not met.

Purchase and sale proceeds recognized end-of-day when order has been submitted and received.

Shorting not allowed.

Borrowing allowed 30 days after purchase of fund.
Cannot borrow cash i.e. have a debit balance or short stocks. Account must have enough cash to cover the cost of funds plus commissions.

Shorting not allowed.

Cash from the sale of funds is available one business day after the trade date.

Only available to US legal residents.
Same as Portfolio Margin requirements for stocks.
Single Stock Futures 2 Margin is calculated on a real-time basis.

Immediate position liquidation if minimum margin requirement is not met.

May be cross-margined with US stocks and options.
Same as Reg T Margin Requirements. Same as Reg T Margin requirements. Same as Portfolio Margin requirements for stocks.
Forex-Conversion Borrowing in one currency to purchase another currency without leverage is allowed, but margin haircuts will be applied on a real-time basis. Never allowed to borrow currencies. Cash from Forex transactions is available two business days after trade date. Same as Reg T Margin requirements.
Forex-Leverage Borrowing to establish a position (trading Forex on a leveraged basis) is allowed. Additional qualifications must be met and additional trading permissions are required for Forex-Leverage. Allowed to borrow currencies. Cash from Forex transactions is available two business days after trade date. Same as Reg T Margin requirements.


  1. Portfolio Margin accounts are not available for IB Canada customers due to IDA restrictions.
  2. Please note that for commodities, including futures, futures options and single stock futures, "margin" refers to the amount of cash that must be put up BY THE CLIENT as collateral to support a transaction, in contrast to margin for securities which refers to the amount of cash a client borrows from IB.
  3. Accounts with IBPrime services require a minimum of USD 1,000,000 or USD equivalent.
  • Margin accounts have the ability to trade in all available countries.
  • IRA accounts can have cash or margin trading permissions, but margin accounts are never allowed to borrow cash (have a debit balance) as per US IRS regulation.
  • Cash accounts may be upgraded to Reg T Margin accounts but Reg T Margin accounts may not downgraded to cash accounts.
  • In SIPP accounts, the initial and maintenance margin requirements for commodities are 150% of their normal margin requirements. Commodities include futures, futures options and single stock futures.