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To double your pleasure, double your fun and double your portfolio all at the same time, look no further than margin trading. But what is margin trading? And which broker offers the best margin trading platform? Well, for all of those answers and so much more, read our full review!

Best Margin Trading Platform 2021

For a quick overview of the best margin trading brokers in the business, see our list below. For in-depth analysis of each, you can also scroll down for more information:

  1. eToro – Overall Best Margin Trading Platform
  2. Robinhood – Best Margin Trading Platform for American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
  3. Libertex – Best Margin Trading Platform for Professional Investors
  4. TD Ameritrade – Best Margin Trading Broker for Advice and Support
  5. Fidelity – Best Margin Trading Platform for Research & Analysis
  6. Capital.com – One of the Best Margin Trading Brokers for Mobile Traders
  7. Interactive Brokers – The Best Margin Trading Platform for Cheap Financing
  8. Plus500 – The Best Broker for Margin Trading CFDs
  9. Charles Schwab – The Best Broker for Margin Trading Futures

Best Margin Trading Platforms Reviewed

Separating the wheat from the chaff, it takes more than a pretty face to make our list of the best margin trading platforms. Excelling in everything from margin limits, financing rates, account fees, and platform features, our nine candidates continue to outperform the competition.

eToro – Overall Best Margin Trading Platform

etoro logoWhether it’s currencies, commodities, ETFs, or cryptocurrencies, eToro can finance your positions with the maximum available leverage. Far and away from the best margin trading platform, not only are eToro’s margin limits exceptional, but the broker strictly adheres to regulations set forth by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

See for yourself:

  • 30:1 leverage for major currency pairs (3.33% margin)
  • 20:1 leverage for non-major currency pairs, gold, and major indices (5% margin)
  • 10:1 leverage for commodities (ex. gold) and non-major equity indices (10% margin)
  • 5:1 leverage for CFDs, stocks, and ETFs (20% margin)
  • 2:1 leverage for cryptocurrencies (50% margin)

Buy AAPL

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

In addition, not only does eToro provide access to more than 2,400 stocks and 17 international markets with trades that always execute commission-free, but overnight lending fees are calculated using a standardized formula. More than just lip service, instead of surprising you with hidden charges and random fees, eToro clearly displays all charges BEFORE you finalize your trade.

Pros:

  • Trade stocks, indices, ETFs, Bitcoin, commodities, and currencies with maximum leverage and the lowest fees
  • Putting clients first, equities listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) often incur a stamp duty tax of 0.50%. However, eToro waives this fee
  • Fractional shares allow you to purchase high-priced stocks with little upfront investment
  • eToro is fully regulated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the CySEC, and U.S. FINRA

Cons:

  • eToro’s platform lacks the necessary tools to conduct advanced technical analysis

Your capital is at risk.

Robinhood – Best Margin Trading Platform for American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

With no account minimum and 0% commissions, Robinhood is home to quality execution, transparent fees, and the highest security standards. Case in point: while the broker is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) – which protects accounts up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash) – Robinhood also insures 100% of direct losses that occur due to unauthorized account activity.

In addition, because best-in-class security is embedded on one of the best margin trading platforms, managing your investments on Robinhood never felt so good when you open a brokerage account with them.

Regarding margin limits, Robinhood adheres to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T – which requires a $2,000 minimum account balance and allows for 2:1 leverage (50% margin). And while Robinhood’s maintenance margin – the equity value of your position that needs to be maintained at all times – varies depending on “volatility and market liquidity,” typical percentages range from 25% to 35%.


Pros:

  • As one of the best margin trading brokers, Robinhood provides access to more than 5,000 stocks and 650 global American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
  • On Robinhood’s platform, you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies commission-free
  • In terms of pricing, Robinhood Gold members ($5 per month). receive access to stock research reports, Level II market data, and larger instant deposits
  • Robinhood is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and maintains membership in U.S. FINRA, according to its legal disclaimer

Cons:

  • Robinhood‘s platform does not offer access to bonds, mutual funds, preferred shares, futures trading, or joint accounts
  • It might be friendly in a first instance just for experienced traders

Your capital is at risk.

Libertex – Best Margin Trading Platform for Professional Investors

Libertex LogoClearly in the running for the best margin trading platform, Libertex ensures that all clients that are active traders can trade with maximum leverage. Providing access to online stocks, ETFs, commodities, currencies, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies, Libertex makes margin trading a breeze.

Like eToro, its margin limits are as follows:

  • 30:1 leverage for major currency pairs (3.33% margin)
  • 20:1 leverage for minor currency pairs, gold, and major indices (5% margin)
  • 10:1 leverage for commodities other than gold and minor indices (10% margin)
  • 5:1 leverage for individual equities and other reference values (20% margin)
  • 2:1 leverage for cryptocurrencies (50% margin)

What’s more, if you become a Professional Client – which requires that you make an average of 10 trades per quarter, have a portfolio value of more than €500,000 and/or have at least one year of experience in the financial services industry in a professional role – you can access leverage of up to 600:1 (0.167% margin).


Pros:

  • Sporting more than 23 years of operational experience, Libertex’s platform is fully functional on desktop, laptop, Apple iOS, and Android devices for charting
  • Libertex’s demo trading account allows you to trade CFDs with zero risk
  • You have free access to Libertex’s educational webinars, blog articles, financial news, and economic data
  • Libertex is regulated by the CySEC

Cons:

  • Commission-free trading is not available, but Libertex does off commission discounts in terms of trading costs
  • Despite being one of the best margin trading brokers, Libertex is best suited for accounts of €5,000 or more

Your capital is at risk.

TD Ameritrade – Best Margin Trading Broker for Advice and Support

Increasing your buying power with more leverage than a standard margin account, TD Ameritrade is one of the best margin trading platforms and stock brokers in the USA.

Dubbed ‘portfolio margin’, TD Ameritrade uses -15% and +15% risk bands for stocks and options and -12% and +10% risk bands for large and small-cap broad-based indices. Doing a little math, this works out 6.7x leverage for stocks and options, and 8.33x to 10x leverage for large and small-cap indices. However, to qualify for portfolio margin, you must have a minimum account balance of $125,000 and maintain a 30% maintenance margin at all times.

For accounts that are less than $125,000, TD Ameritrade adheres to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T, which again, requires a minimum account balance of $2,000 and allows for up to 2:1 leverage (50% margin).

TD Ameritrade Shares

On TD Ameritrade’s platform, you can trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, CDs, options ($0.65 commission per contract), non-proprietary mutual funds, futures, and currencies. For the majority of assets, trades execute commission-free, and TD Ameritrade also provides free access to interactive courses, webcasts, and the most advanced technical analysis tools.


Pros:

  • On top of 0% commissions on all major assets, TD Ameritrade charges zero platform fees, zero data fees and there are no trade minimums.
  • In the running for the best margin trading platform, TD Ameritrade is the only stock broker on our list that offers in-person customer support at more than 175 U.S. branches
  • TD Ameritrade is regulated by U.S. FINRA

Cons:

  • To access portfolio margin, you need a minimum account balance of $125,000

Your capital is at risk.

Fidelity – Best Margin Trading Platform for Research & Analysis

fidelity reviewHome to both standard margin and portfolio margin (for account balances of $100,000 to $150,000), Fidelity is clearly one of the best margin trading brokers in the USA and one of the best online brokers in the business. Like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade, Fidelity adheres to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T. As such, a minimum account balance of $2,000 can access up to 2:1 leverage (50% margin). However, like TD Ameritrade, portfolio margin accounts enjoy much higher leverage.

But in a unique fashion, Fidelity offers ‘limited margin’ for retirement accounts. To qualify, you need a minimum account balance of $25,000. And instead of borrowing directly from Fidelity, the broker allows you to finance new trades with funds from unsettled transactions (which would otherwise trigger a good faith violation).

Fidelity Profits

Pros:

  • Fidelity offers standard margin, portfolio margin, and limited margin accounts that are tailored to your specific needs
  • All U.S. stocks, ETFs trade commission-free, while options are $0.65 per contract
  • As one of the best margin trading platforms, clients also receive access to analyst reports that cover more than 4,500 stocks and span more than 20 independent, third-party research firms.
  • Fidelity’s platform is available in both the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Fidelity is a registered broker-dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its U.K. operations are regulated by the K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Cons:

  • Fidelity does not list futures, CFDs or cryptocurrencies among its tradable assets

Your capital is at risk.

Capital.com – One of the Best Margin Trading Brokers for Mobile Traders

Capital-com LogoDue to Capital.com’s wide array of assets and low spreads, the U.K.-based broker is one of the best margin trading platforms for CFDs. Unlike the other brokers on our list that offer 2:1 leverage (50%margin), like to eToro and Libertex, Capital.com’s leverage structure is much more attractive:

  • 30:1 leverage for major currency pairs (3.33% margin)
  • 20:1 leverage for minor currency pairs, gold, and major indices (5% margin)
  • 10:1 leverage for commodities other than gold and minor indices (10% margin)
  • 5:1 leverage for individual equities and other reference values (20% margin)
  • 2:1 leverage for cryptocurrencies (50% margin)

Even better, because CFDs are exempt from stamp duty taxes, you can open both long and short positions at the cheapest possible rates.

In addition, Capital.com is home to 0% commissions across more than 3,000 tradable assets, including forex, and in the running for the best margin trading broker, Capital.com’s platform is fully functional on all desktop, laptop, Apple iOS, and Android devices. Likewise, customer support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7) through live chat, email, and telephone.

Capital.com trading platform

Pros:

  • Start trading CFDs with as little as $100
  • Trade more than 3,000 different assets, including cryptocurrencies and IPOs
  • Capital.com’s demo trading account allows you to practice trading with zero risk
  • Capital.com is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), CySEC and is in full compliance with the PCI Data Security Standards.

Cons:

  • Capital.com does not list options or futures among its tradable assets

Your capital is at risk.

Interactive Brokers – The Best Margin Trading Platform for Cheap Financing

Like TD Ameritrade and Fidelity, Interactive Brokers offers both standard margin and portfolio margin accounts. Within a standard margin account, clients are subject to the margin limits of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T ($2,000 account minimum and 2:1 leverage/50% margin). Likewise, to be eligible for a portfolio margin account, you must have a minimum account balance of $110,000.

However, Interactive Brokers allows you to trade U.S. listed stocks and ETFs commission-free and you can access tradable assets on 28 exchanges across 14 countries. What’s more, while commissions on options ($0.15 to $0.65 per contract) and futures ($0.25 to $0.85 per contract) are extremely competitive, even lower margin rates make Interactive Brokers the best margin trading platform for cost-conscious investors.

Pros:

  • Interactive Brokers platform is accessible across a wide variety of countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France.
  • Interactive Brokers margin rates are up to 50% less than comparable brokers
  • You can lend out your securities to short sellers and earn extra income
  • Interactive Brokers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), while its U.K. operations are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and regulated products are covered by the UK FSCS

Cons:

  • Designed for advanced traders, less experienced investors may find Interactive Broker’s platform intimidating

Your capital is at risk.

Plus500 – The Best Broker for Margin Trading CFDs

plus500 logoFilling a niche and prioritizing specialization, Plus500 is the best margin trading platform for CFDs. Offering a $100 account minimum and no withdrawal fees, Plus500 offers 30:1 leverage (3.33% margin) on nearly all of its tradable assets. What’s more, if you become a Professional Client, you can increase your maximum leverage to up to 300:1 (0.33% margin). However, to qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain sufficient trading activity over a 12-month period
  • Have a portfolio of at least €500,000
  • Have relevant experience in the financial services sector

Plus 500 forex trades

Also home to the Best Paper Trading Account for Leveraged CFDs, Plus500 has cemented itself as one of the best margin trading brokers. Likewise, all of Plus500’s platform features work seamlessly on Apple iOS and Android devices, while the broker allows you to make deposits in 16 different currencies, including an e-wallet.

Plus 500 telegram channel

Pros:

  • Plus500’s demo trading account allows you to trade CFDs with zero risk
  • Customer support is available 24/7 through live chat and email
  • Plus500 is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Cons:

  • Plus500 does not allow scalping where positions are held for two minutes or less

72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Charles Schwab – The Best Broker for Margin Trading Futures

Also adhering to the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation T, standard margin accounts at Charles Schwab requires a minimum deposit of $2,000 and allow for 2:1 leverage (50% margin). However, for long positions in stocks, ETFs, preferred shares, and warrants that are priced at less than $3.00, you need to maintain a 100% maintenance margin at all times.

But still in the running for the best margin trading platform, stocks, ETFs, preferred shares and REITs always trade commission-free on Charles Schwab’s StreetSmart Edge platform, while futures ($1.50 per contract) and options ($0.65 to $1.50 per contract) are also priced competitively. Even better, Micro E-mini futures – which are 1/10th the size of normal futures contracts – also come with lower margin requirements.

margin loan

Pros:

  • At Charles Schwab, you can trade thousands of products, including stocks, fractional shares, ETFs, bonds, futures, options, and mutual funds
  • Charles Schwab’s Idea Hub can be used to find bullish and bearish trade ideas in real-time
  • Charles Schwab is a registered broker-dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Charles Schwab’s platform is available in the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong, and other international jurisdictions

Cons:

  • Charles Schwab does not list cryptocurrencies among its tradable assets

Your capital is at risk.

Best Margin Trading Platforms Fee Comparison

For a breakdown of our brokers’ fee structures, please see the table below:

Platform Trading Fees Non-Trading Fees Margin Fees
eToro 0% commissions for stocks and ETFs, variable spreads for cryptocurrencies and CFDs Free deposits

$5 withdrawal fee

$10 inactivity fee

Conversion fee from 50 pips

Overnight fee for CFDs (company rate + LIBOR)
Robinhood 0% commissions for stocks and ETFs, ADR fee of $0.01-$0.03 per share No deposit, maintenance, or inactivity fees $5 (for $1,000 margin) to 2.5% (for > $1,000 margin)
Libertex 0%-0.46% commissions Free deposits

€1 to 1% withdrawal fee

Overnight fee for CFDs (company rate + LIBOR)
TD Ameritrade 0% commissions on stocks and ETFs, options ($0.65 per contract), futures ($2.25 per contract plus exchange & regulatory fees), currencies (variable spreads) No deposit or withdrawal fee via ACH transfer

$75 outbound transfer fee

$25 wire transfer fee

7.50% (for margin > $250,000) to 9.50% (for margin < $10,000)
Fidelity 0% commissions on stocks and ETFs, options ($0.65 per contract) No deposit, withdrawal, transfer, or wire fees 4.0% (for margin > $1,000,000) to 8.325% (for margin < $25,000)
Capital.com 0% commissions but variable spreads on all assets No deposit or withdrawal fees Overnight lending fee for cryptocurrencies, stocks, and thematic investments is based only on the leverage provided, while the overnight lending fee for indices, commodities, and currencies is based on the entire value of your position
Interactive Brokers Commissions are tiered and range from as low as $0.35 per transaction to 1% of the trade value No deposit or transfer fees

1 free withdrawal per month

To avoid an inactivity fee, you must spend $10 or more per month on commissions

0.86% (for margin > $3,500,000) to 1.59% (for margin < $25,000)
Plus500 0% commissions but variable spreads for CFDs No deposit, withdrawal, or account fees

$10 inactivity fee (if you don’t log in to the platform for at least 3 months)

2.70% (for margin on major currencies) to 18.6% (for margin on stock CFDs)
Charles Schwab 0% commissions on stocks, ETFs, preferred shares, REITs, and Schwab mutual funds (all other mutual funds are $49.95), options ($0.65 per contract), futures ($1.50 per contract) No account, deposit, or withdrawal fees

$15 online wire transfer fee

6.575% (for margin > 250,000) to 8.325% (for margin < $25,000)

 

What is Margin Trading?

Margin trading is an efficient way to increase returns and grow your portfolio. Whether you trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, ETFs, commodities, or currencies, you can increase the dollar value of your positions by borrowing money from your broker. For example, when using 2:1 leverage (50% margin), you can open up a $10,000 trading position with only $5,000 of your own funds.

How Does Margin Trading Work?

To enjoy the benefits, you first need to open up a margin-eligible account. Thereafter, you can borrow funds from your broker (which is easily done using any of the above brokers’ online platforms) and use the financing to purchase nearly any asset.

Remember though: if your position increases in value, the return is much higher than an all-cash purchase. However, if your equity value falls below the brokers’ maintenance margin (often 25% to 35% of the total position), the broker can issue a margin call and ask you to deposit more money. If you don’t, the broker has the right to sell all of your holdings.

How to Get Started with the Best Margin Trading Platform

Easily winning the platform wars, margin trading on eToro is as easy as 1.2.3. To get started, simply follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open an Account and Submit Your ID

By clicking the “Join Now” button at the top of eToro’s homepage, you’re only a few steps away from accessing the best margin trading platform available.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Next, you’re prompted to enter a username, password, and email address. You also have to provide your first and last name, date of birth, home address, and mobile number. For security purposes, eToro also confirms your mobile number via text message.

Step 2: Confirm Your Identity

To verify your identity, you need to submit a copy of a valid driver’s license or passport, plus a utility bill or bank statement issued within the last three months. Most often, verification takes less than a few minutes and you can begin margin trading immediately.

Step 3: Deposit Funds

Requiring a minimum despot of $200, you can choose from the following U.K. payment methods:

  • Debit/Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro)
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • UK Bank Transfer

Even better, apart from a U.K. bank transfer, the above deposit methods are processed instantaneously.

Step 4: Choose an Asset and Click TRADE

Whether it is EUR/USD, Bitcoin, or Netflix, after choosing your desired target, follow the steps below to easily finance your position:

  1. Click on the asset’s logo and a popup window with the trade parameters will appear
  2. Select the appropriate tab at the top for Sell (short) or Buy (long) for your trade
  3. Set the amount of capital that you wish to invest and set your leverage multiplier. For example, a 2:1 leverage multiplier implies a 50% margin.
  4. Set your Stop Loss and Take Profit parameters. A Stop Loss limitation is required in order to mitigate risk.
  5. Click SET ORDER to place your trade. Trades are executed immediately when the market is open.

Also, be aware that leveraged trades are processed as CFDs.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Conclusion

While the marginal buyer is often viewed as the sucker in financial markets, margin trading is the exact opposite. Allowing you to increase your exposure with little upfront costs, margin trading can be a gateway to a more prosperous future.

However, before taking the plunge, it’s important to hitch your wagon to the right horse. Offering the unparalleled combination of 0% commissions, maximum leverage, cheap financing rates, and best-in-class service, if it wasn’t clear before, it should be clear now, that eToro is 2021’s best margin trading platform. What’s more, sign up is a breeze and you can begin trading with as little as $200.

So what are you waiting for?

eToro – Best Margin Trading Platform with 0% Commission to Trade Stocks

etoro logo

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does margin trading work?

Mechanically, margin trading is identical to standard equity trading. However, because positions are partially financed with debt, you can make more or lose more than you would with an all-equity position.

Can you trade margin with leverage?

Yes. Margin trading is analogous to leverage. Similar to taking out a mortgage loan on your home, trading on margin allows you to purchase more of an asset than you otherwise could with only cash.

How does margin affect percentage profits and losses from trading futures?

Like any asset, margin trading futures results in a higher ROI when your positions increase and a larger loss when your positions decrease.

What is a margin call?

When the equity balance of your position falls below a certain value, your broker can insist that you deposit more funds. And if not, the broker reserves the right to liquidate all of your holdings.

Is it efficient to trade on margin?

Absolutely. With interest rates at historic lows, margin loans are more affordable now than ever. In addition, because your interest incurred is tax-deductible, the net-cost of financing is actually less than it appears.

Michael Graw
Michael Graw

Michael Graw is a freelance journalist based in Bellingham, Washington. He covers finance, trading, and technology. His work has been published on numerous high-profile websites that cover the intersection of markets, global news, and emerging tech. Michael has also written for TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, StockApps, Buyshares and LearnBonds.

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