Your brokerage firm is furnishing this document to you to provide some basic facts about purchasing securities on margin, and to alert you to the risks involved with trading securities in a margin account. Before trading stocks in a margin account, you should carefully review the margin agreement provided by your firm. Consult your firm regarding any questions or concerns you may have with your margin accounts.
When you purchase securities, you may pay for the securities in full or you may borrow part of the purchase price from your brokerage firm. If you choose to borrow funds from your firm, you will open a margin account with the firm. The securities purchased are the firm’s collateral for the loan to you. If the securities in your account decline in value, so does the value, so does the value of the collateral supporting your loan, and as a result, the firm can take action, such as issue a margin call and/or sell securities or other assets in any of your accounts held with the member, in order to maintain the required equity in the account.
It is important that you fully understand the risks involved in trading securities on margin. These risks include the following:
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 the firm that has made the loan to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities or assets in your account(s).
The firm 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 the firm’s higher "house" requirements, the firm can sell the securities or other assets in any of your accounts held at the firm to cover the margin deficiency. You also will be responsible for any short fall in the account after such a trade.
The firm can sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. Some investors mistakenly believe that a firm must contact them for a margin call to be valid, and that the firm cannot liquidate securities or other assets in their accounts to meet the call unless the firm has contacted them first. This is not the case. Most firms will attempt to notify their customers of margin calls, but they are not required to do so. However, even if a firm has contacted a customer and provided a specific date by which the customer can meet a margin call, the firm can still take necessary steps to protect its financial interests, including immediately selling the securities without notice to the customer.
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, the firm has the right to decide which security to sell in order to protect its interests.
The firm can increase its "house" maintenance margin requirements at any time and is 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 the member to liquidate or sell securities in your account(s).
You are not entitled to an extension of time for a margin call. While an extension of time to meet margin requirements may be available to customers under certain conditions, a customer does not have a right to the extension.
The IRS requires Broker Dealers to treat dividend payments on loaned securities positions as a "substitute payment" in lieu of a dividend. A substitute payment is not, a "Qualified dividend" and is taxed as ordinary income.
Industry regulations may limit in whole or in part, your ability to exercise voting rights of securities that have been lent or pledged to others. You may receive proxy materials indicating voting rights for a fewer number of shares than are in your account, or you may not receive any proxy materials.
*AutoShares is a Division of ViewTrade Securities, Members FINRA and SIPC.
As a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), funds are available to meet customer claims up to a ceiling of $500,000, including a maximum of $250,000 for cash claims. For additional information regarding SIPC coverage, including a brochure, please contact SIPC at (202) 371-8300 or visit www.sipc.org. Our Clearing firm has purchased an additional insurance policy through a group of London Underwriters (with Lloyd's of London Syndicates as the Lead Underwriter) to supplement SIPC protection. This additional insurance policy becomes available to customers in the event that SIPC limits are exhausted and provides protection for securities and cash up to an aggregate of $600 million. This is provided to pay amounts in addition to those returned in a SIPC liquidation. This additional insurance policy is limited to a combined return to any customer from a Trustee, SIPC and London Underwriters of $150 million, including cash of up to $2.15 million. Similar to SIPC protection, this additional insurance does not protect against a loss in the market value of securities.System response, trade executions and account access may be affected by market conditions, system performance, quote delays and other factors. The risk of loss in electronic trading can be substantial. You should therefore consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial resources and circumstances. * Commission rates are negotiated. You may qualify for rates shown based on your activity. Other fees and conditions may apply, please see our commissions and routing fees.
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