If I short 100 shares of a stock trading at 20$, what is my initial margin and my maintenance margin that I need to maintain with my broker?

I have a REG T margin account.

1 Answer 1


Depends on the stock involved, but for the most part brokerages allow you gain entry at 50%, meaning you can short twice the cash on hand you have.

Going forward, you need to maintain 30%, so on a $10,000 short, you'd have to maintain $3000 in your account.

Example, an account with $5000 cash - You can short $10,000 securities. Let say 100 shares of xyz at $100 per share.

After trade settles, you won't receive a margin call until your balance falls to $3000, probably right around the time xyz rises to $120 per share.

Riskier stocks will have higher margin maintenance requirements - leveraged vehicles like FAS/FAZ (triple leveraged) require 90% margin (3x30%) if they are allowed to be 'shorted' at all.

  • The margin requirement is 150% of the value of the position and it includes the credit received plus 50% of the credit received. So shorting $10k worth of stock requires $5k of cash or marginable securities and results in a total credit of $15k. If the maintenance requirement is 30% then the maintenance level is the total credit divided by 1.3 which in this case is $15k/1.3 or $11,538 which translates to $115.38 per share. Above that, it's a margin violation. Jun 26, 2020 at 17:19

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