MARGIN Definition

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MARGIN is a. in accounting see GROSS MARGIN; or, b. in securities, it is the process whereby investors are allowed to buy securities on credit. By buying on margin, the investor significantly increases the leverage, or risk/return potential, of the investment. For example, a purchase of $100 worth of stock with cash of $50 means a four to one increase in value if the stock doubles (versus a two to one increase if the purchase is all cash). On the other hand, if the stock declines, the investor would be forced either to put up more cash or sell the stock at a loss to meet margin requirements established by the Federal Reserve Bank. The margin rules currently stipulate that an investor must maintain 50% of the total market value of the securities in the account in cash. 

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SINGLE AUDIT ACT is federal legislation requiring state and local governments that receive federal aid of $500,000 or more in a fiscal year to have an audit under the act. A government that receives less than $500,000 can have an audit under the act or with specific laws and regulations of programs in which the government participates. Auditors report whether the audited entity has followed laws and regulations that may have a material effect on each major federal aid program.

BALANCE SHEET GEARING is the ratio of interest-bearing debt to equity.

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