E*Trade launches portfolio margin for active traders; updates Pro Platform

Source: E*Trade

E*Trade Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) today announced that E*Trade Securities LLC now offers qualified customers access to portfolio margin accounts - retail brokerage accounts that calculate margin requirements using risk-based methodology, potentially increasing buying power and trading flexibility for well-diversified investors who use options to hedge risk.

"Portfolio margin is geared toward sophisticated investors who understand risk and want more flexibility in how they manage risk and leverage capital," said Michael Curcio, President, E*TRADE Securities. "Through portfolio margin, investors have access to potentially lower margin requirements, thereby unlocking capital and maximizing their trading potential."

E*TRADE's portfolio margin accounts are available to customers who meet specific eligibility criteria, including:

  • $100,000 minimum equity requirement (maintained at all times)
  • Level 4 options trading approval

Portfolio margin requirements are based on the net risk to a given portfolio for theoretical changes in market conditions, rather than using position-level formulas and pre-defined options strategies, such as spreads.

An added benefit to E*TRADE's portfolio margin accounts is that no additional "up front" capital is required on top of maintenance requirements, as the initial and maintenance margin requirements are the same.

Separately, E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC - News) today announced that E*TRADE Securities LLC has introduced a number of enhancements to its premier, customizable desktop trading platform, E*TRADE Pro, in conjunction with the launch of E*TRADE's new "Pro Elite" program for sophisticated traders.

E*TRADE Pro offers active traders real-time access to the markets along with idea generation tools, customization capabilities, and charts and screeners, and has recently added several new features, including:

  • Options strategies: Customers can now trade all option strategies, including multi-legged orders, and weekly options are fully supported (as available on etrade.com)
  • Expanded CNBC content: Video-on-demand capabilities, as well as additional live content from CNBC Europe and Asia, are accessible to customers
  • Logarithmic charts: The E*TRADE Pro chart window includes a logarithmic scaling option, giving investors a powerful new tool to analyze price trends
  • Cloud-based layouts: The same personalized layout and experience can be enjoyed by investors from any desktop computer
  • E*TRADE Community: The platform is integrated with E*TRADE Community, offering direct access to an exclusive network where E*TRADE customers can exchange ideas and insights with like-minded investors

The company announced separately today the availability of Portfolio Margin, also accessible on E*TRADE Pro, which offers qualified investors* risk-based margin to increase their buying power at competitive rates.

"Active traders have specialized needs, and we continue to invest in E*TRADE's Pro platform to ensure customers have the tools, features and access they need to make informed, real-time trading decisions," said Michael Curcio, President, E*TRADE Securities. "E*TRADE's Pro Elite program combines this premier trading platform with competitive pricing and priority service and support to deliver the best investing experience."

The enhanced E*TRADE Pro platform is part of E*TRADE's new Pro Elite program. In addition to no-fee access to E*TRADE Pro, exclusive benefits for Pro Elite customers include:

  • Elite service and support: Priority call-routing to a specialized service team
  • Low commissions: $7.99-$9.99 stock and options trades, $0.75 per options contract and low margin rates
  • Access to all key markets: Stocks, options and futures, including access to dedicated trading specialists

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