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What is Margin in Forex Trading?

For absolute beginners, Forex trading can be easy to learn, but if you want to make a profit, it is pretty hard to master. More experienced traders achieve their success mostly by ignoring their emotions and using their advanced knowledge. Trading without these traits can still be successful, but it is unlikely that your career will be sustainable.

For successful trading in the foreign exchange market, it is very important to understand the concept of margin. To open and maintain a new position in Forex, you are not required to put up the full amount of money. You can use a small amount of capital for it. The amount we're talking about is known as the margin. If you want to buy $50,000 worth of EUR/USD, you do not have to worry about the whole amount. You only need to pay a small portion of it, for example, $1000. The margin can differ depending on the requirement.

To understand the concept better, you can look at it as a good faith deposit which is required to maintain your new position. It should not be considered as a transaction cost or some sort of fee. This small portion of your capital is set aside from your account by your Forex broker, to make sure that you are capable of covering the loss of the trade.

After you close the trade, this specific margin will return to your account and you’ll be able to use it again for other trades.

The margin requirement is a specific percentage of the whole amount, also regarded as the "notional value” of your position. Margin depends on the forex broker and your currency pair. Margin Requirements can be as low as 0.25%, but some go as high as 10% or even higher. For example, EUR/USD (The currency pair we mentioned before), has a Margin Requirement of 2%.

Required margin is the exact amount of money, expressed in your currency. Let's keep using the same currency pair as an example. If you want to either buy or sell a 50,000 of EUR/USD with a Margin Requirement of 2%, your Required Margin will be $1,000. This amount of money will be used to open and maintain your desired position.

If you decide to trade with margin, the Required Margin, which will be used to open your trading position, will be calculated as a Margin Requirement, which is a percentage of your Notional Value. If you multiply your Notional Value by the Margin Requirement, the result will be your required margin.

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