Know the benefits and risks of margin borrowing as part of your overall investment strategy. Talk to an M&T Securities Brokerage representative to get started.
Increase your buying power.
Margin accounts use securities in your brokerage account as collateral for a loan from a brokerage firm. Margin loans can give investors greater buying power because the loan allows you to purchase additional investments or use the cash for other purposes outside of your brokerage account.
What is a margin account and how does it work?
Before opening a margin account, you should fully understand how a margin account works and the risks involved. When you purchase securities, you may pay for the securities in full or you may borrow part of the purchase price from M&T Securities, Inc. (the firm). If you choose to borrow funds, you will open a margin account with us. The securities purchased are M&T Securities' collateral for the loan to you. If the securities in your account decline in value, so does the value of the collateral supporting your loan, and, as a result, we can take action, such as issue a margin call and/or sell securities or other assets in any of your accounts held with us, in order to maintain the required equity in the account.
Risks Associated with Margin Borrowing
Buying stock on margin is not for everyone. It is for investors who are able to sustain significant losses, if they should occur.
You should know:
- You can lose more funds than you deposit in the margin account. A decline in the value of securities that are purchased on margin may require you to provide additional funds to M&T Securities to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities or assets in your account(s)
- M&T Securities can force the sale of securities or other assets in your account(s). If the equity in your account falls below the maintenance margin requirements or our higher "house" requirements, we can sell the securities or other assets in any of your accounts held at M&T Securities to cover the margin deficiency. You also will be responsible for any short fall in the account after such a sale
- M&T Securities can sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. Some investors mistakenly believe they must be contacted first for a margin call to be valid, and that securities or other assets in their accounts cannot be liquidated to meet the call unless they've been contacted first. This is not the case. We will attempt to notify you of margin calls, but are not required to do so. However, even if we have contacted you and provided a specific date by which you can meet a margin call, we can still take necessary steps to protect our financial interests, including immediately selling the securities without notice to you
- You are not entitled to choose which securities or other assets in your account(s) are liquidated or sold to meet a margin call. Because the securities are collateral for the margin loan, we have the right to decide which security to sell in order to protect our interests
- M&T Securities can increase our "house" maintenance margin requirements at any time and are not required to provide you advance written notice. These changes in firm policy often take effect immediately and may result in the issuance of a maintenance margin call. Your failure to satisfy the call may cause us to liquidate or sell securities in your account(s)
- You are not entitled to an extension of time on a margin call. While an extension of time to meet margin requirements may be available to you under certain conditions, you do not have a right to the extension
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