Maintenance margin VS variation margin

Variation Margin is additional amount of deposit you need to make to your trading account in order to maintain sufficient money for loss deduction after significant losses have taken place.

Variation Margin - Introduction

Variation Margin, also known as Mark To Market Margin, is additional amount of cash you are required to deposit to your futures trading account after your futures position have taken sufficient losses to bring it below the "Maintenance Margin". Futures traders are typically required to provide variation margin through "Margin Calls".

This free tutorial shall explain in depth what Variation Margin is, how it is calculated and how it affects your futures trading. Read the full tutorial on futures margin.

What is Variation Margin in Futures Trading?

Variation Margin is one of three margin terms that all futures traders must understand. The other two being Initial Margin and Maintenance Margin. Variation margin derived its name from the fact that the amount of variation margin varies from case to case. Despite the fanciful name, variation margin is simply an amount of money needed to bring your margin balance back up to the inital margin level (not maintenance margin level) after sufficient losses have brought it below the required Maintenance margin level. Yes, variation margin in futures trading is simply topping up your futures account with more cash so that future losses can be deducted from. Simplistic Variation Margin Example

Assuming you bought one futures contract and made $1, 000 in initial margin requirement of $10. Assuming the position has a maintenance margin requirement of $5 ($5 x 100 = $500).

Assuming the underlying asset drops by $8 the very same day
You are left with a margin balance of $200. You will need to provide variation margin of $1000 - $200 = $800.

Assuming the underlying asset drops by $6 the very same day
You are left with a margin balance of $400. You will need to provide variation margin of $1000 - $400 = $600.

As you can see from the example above, the variation margin varies according to the amount of money you need to pay to bring your futures margin account back up to the initial margin level.

When Do You Pay Variation Margin?

You will be notified to provide variation margin whenever your margin balance goes below the maintenance margin level during the daily settlement or mark to market process. In futures trading, this process happens daily at the close of each trading day. When this happens, your broker gives you a notification known as a "Margin Call" telling you exactly how much cash needs to be provided in order to meet variation margin requirement. If you have sufficient cash remaining in your futures trading account, the cash needed to meet Variation Margin requirement will be automatically deposited.

So, what if you do not have sufficient cash to meet variation margin requirement?

If you do not have enough cash to pay for variation margin, your futures trading position will be forcefully liquidated by your broker. This means that your futures broker will close your position with whatever loss it has sustained so far.

How is Variation Margin Determined?

You are required to provide Variation Margin only when your margin account drops below the maintenance margin level. This level is different for each asset and/or market and is one of the pieces of information you must know before deciding to trade a particular futures contract. Once your margin account drops below the maintenance margin level, variation margin is determined by the amount of cash needed to bring your account back to the initial margin level.
FindingKing INRI Crucifix with St. Benedict Medal Gold Plated 3"
Jewelry (FindingKing)
  • This is a new gold plated Inri Crucifix with St. Benedict medal
  • St. Benedict is the patron saint of farmers, civil engineers, students and all members of religious communities
  • On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light!...
  • Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V...
  • Makes a great gift for yourself or a loved one

Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Order Granting ..  — Insurance News Net
ICE Clear Europe states that the changes to the Risk Policy amend the calculation of CDS initial margin requirements to comply with margin requirements under EMIR Article 41 and Article 24 of the implementing Regulatory Technical Standards. /5/ ICE ..

Lumen Mundi Pyx with St. Benedict Medal Gold & Silver Plated Religious Icon Hospital Church
Home (Lumen Mundi)
  • This is a new gold and silver plated Pyx with St. Benedict Medal
  • St. Benedict is the patron saint of farmers, civil engineers, students and all members of religious communities
  • On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light!...
  • Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V...
  • Perfect for holy communion
FindingKing St. Benedict Medal Gold Plated Enamel Red & Brown 1 1/4"
Art and Craft Supply (FindingKing)
  • This is a new gold plated red and brown enamel St. Benedict medals
  • St. Benedict is the patron saint of farmers, civil engineers, students and all members of religious communities
  • On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light!...
  • Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V...
  • Makes a great gift for yourself or a loved one
FindingKing 6 St. Benedict Revolving Key Rings Gold Plated 1 1/4"
Art and Craft Supply (FindingKing)
  • This is a new set of 6 gold plated St. Benedict revolving key rings
  • St. Benedict is the patron saint of farmers, civil engineers, students and all members of religious communities
  • On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light!...
  • Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V...
  • Perfect for any kind of keys
FindingKing Pyx with St. Benedict Medal Gold & Silver Plated
Art and Craft Supply (FindingKing)
  • This is a new gold and silver plated Pyx with St. Benedict Medal
  • St. Benedict is the patron saint of farmers, civil engineers, students and all members of religious communities
  • On the arms of the cross are the initial letters of a rhythmic Latin prayer: Crux sacra sit mihi lux! Nunquam draco sit mihi dux! (May the holy cross be my light!...
  • Above the cross is the word pax (peace), that has been a Benedictine motto for centuries. Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V...
  • Perfect for holy communion

Popular Q&A

avatar
Who had the biggest margin of victory in the UF vs FSU football series

The largest margin of victory in the series is 49 points when Florida defeated Florida State, 49-0, in 1973.

Related Posts