We are furnishing this document to provide you with basic facts about purchasing securities on margin, and to alert you to the risks involved with trading securities in a margin account. Before trading in a margin account, you should carefully review the margin agreement provided by your broker. Consult your broker 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 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 in your account, 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 in your account.
The firm can force the sale of securities in your account. If the equity in your account falls below the maintenance margin requirements under the law, or the firm’s higher “house” requirements, the firm can sell the securities in your account to cover the margin deficiency. You also will be responsible for any shortfall in the account after such a sale.
The firm can sell your securities 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 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 interest, including immediately selling the securities without notice to the customer.
You are not entitled to choose which security in your margin account is 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 requirement 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.
You are not entitled to an extension of time on 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 not 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.
Day‐Trading Risk Disclosure Statement – FINRA Rule 2270
You should consider the following points before engaging in a day‐trading strategy. For purposes of this notice, a “day trading strategy” means an overall trading strategy characterized by the regular transmission by a customer of intra‐day orders to effect both purchase and sale transactions in the same security or securities.
Day trading can be extremely risky. Day trading, generally, is not appropriate for someone of limited resources and limited investment or trading experience and low risk tolerance. You should be prepared to lose all of the funds that you use for day trading. In particular, you should not fund day‐trading activities with retirement savings, student loans, second mortgages, emergency funds, funds set aside for purposes such as education or home ownership or funds required to meet your living expenses. Further, certain evidence indicates that an investment of less than $50,000 will significantly impair the ability of a day trader to make a profit. Of course, an investment of $50,000 or more in no way guarantees success.
Be cautious of claims of large profits from day trading. You should be wary of advertisements or other statements that emphasize the potential for large profits as a result of day trading. Day trading can lead to large and immediate financial losses.
Day trading requires knowledge of securities markets. Day trading requires in‐depth knowledge of the securities markets and trading techniques and strategies. In attempting to profit through day trading, you must compete with professional, licensed traders employed by securities firms. You should have appropriate experience before engaging in day trading.
Day trading requires knowledge of a firm’s operations. You should be familiar with a securities firm’s business practices, including the operation of the firm’s order execution systems and procedures. Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position quickly at a reasonable price. This can occur, for example, when the market for a stock suddenly drops, or if trading is halted due to recent news events or unusual trading activity. The more volatile a stock is, the greater the likelihood that problems may be encountered in executing a transaction. In addition to normal market risks, you may experience losses due to system failures.
Day trading will generate substantial commissions, even if the per trade cost is low. Day trading involves aggressive trading, and generally you will pay commissions on each trade. The total daily commissions that you pay on your trades will add to your losses or significantly reduce your earnings. For instance, assuming that a trade costs $16 and an average of 29 transactions are conducted per day, an investor would need to generate an annual profit of $111,360 just to cover commission expenses.
Day trading on margin or short selling may result in losses beyond your initial investment. When you day trade with funds borrowed from a firm or someone else, you can lose more than the funds you originally placed at risk. A decline in the value of the securities that are purchased may require you to provide additional funds to the firm to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities in your account. Short selling as part of your day trading strategy also may lead to extraordinary losses, because you may have to purchase a stock at a very high price in order to cover a short position.
Potential Registration Requirements. Persons providing investment advice for others or managing securities account for others may need to register as either an “Investment Advisor” under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 or as a “Broker” or “Dealer” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such activities may also trigger state registration requirement.
Business Continuity Plan: FINRA Rule 4370
As a fully disclosed and omnibus clearing firm, we have developed a Disaster Recovery (“D/R”) Plan to ensure business continuity. In our capacity as clearing firm, we provide a variety of services that require the provision of continual technological and operational support to your broker. In connection with accomplishing business continuity, we have established a remote independent D/R Site as a major component of our D/R Plan. This Site has resources in place to operate and maintain business critical processes in the event that our headquarters in Dallas, Texas cannot be occupied due to anything from a natural disaster to a terrorist attack, whether or not such an event affects only our firm or is more regional in scope. The D/R Plan contemplates restoration of critical processes within a twenty‐four hour time span. Please note that the specifics of our D/R Plan are subject to modification. You may obtain a copy of our most current D/R Plan by submitting your request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIPC Information – FINRA Rule 2266
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.
Investor Education and Protection – FINRA Rule 2267
NASD Rule 2280 requires Apex Clearing Corporation to provide information about FINRA’s BrokerCheck program. An investor brochure that includes information describing the BrokerCheck program may be obtained from FINRA. The FINRA BrokerCheck hotline number is (800) 289‐9999. The FINRA web site address is www.FINRA.org.
Carrying Agreements – FINRA Rule 4311
The firm with which you have opened your securities account has retained Apex Clearing Corporation (Apex) to provide certain record keeping or operational services. These services such as the execution and settlement of securities transactions, custody of securities and cash balances, and extension of credit on margin transactions are provided under a fully disclosed Clearing Agreement between Apex and your firm. As a member of FINRA, Apex is required (under NASD Rule 3230 and NYSE Rule 382) to disclose to you the details of our fully disclosed Clearing Agreement with your firm, which are summarized below.
Extended Hours Trading Risk Disclosure: FINRA Rule 2265
• Risk of Lower Liquidity
Liquidity refers to the ability of market participants to buy and sell securities. Generally, the more orders that are available in a market, the greater the liquidity. Liquidity is important because with greater liquidity it is easier for investors to buy or sell securities, and as a result, investors are more likely to pay or receive a competitive price for securities purchased or sold. There may be lower levels of liquidity in extended hours trading as compared to regular market hours. As a result, your order may only be partially executed, or not at all.
• Risk of Higher Volatility
Volatility refers to the changes in price that securities undergo when trading. Generally, the higher the volatility of a security, the greater its price swings. There may be greater levels of volatility in extended hours trading than in regular market hours. As a result, your order may only be partially executed, or not at all, or you may receive an inferior price in extended hours trading to what you might receive during regular market hours.
• Risk of Changing Prices
The prices of securities traded in extended hours trading may not reflect the prices either at the end of regular market hours, or upon the opening of the next morning. As a result, you may receive an inferior price in extended hours trading to what you might receive during regular market hours.
• Risk of Unlinked Markets
Depending on the extended hours trading system or the time of day, the prices displayed on a particular extended hour’s system may not reflect the prices on other concurrently operating extended hours trading systems dealing in the same securities. Accordingly, you may receive an inferior price on one extended hours trading system than you might receive on another extended hours trading system.
• Risk of News Announcements
Normally, issuers release news announcements that may affect the price of their securities after regular market hours. Similarly, important financial information is frequently announced outside of regular market hours. In extended hours trading, these announcements may occur during trading, and if combined with lower liquidity and higher volatility, may cause an exaggerated and unsustainable effect on the price of a security.
• Risk of Wider Spreads
The spread refers to the difference in price between what you can buy a security for and what you can sell it for. Lower liquidity and higher volatility in extended hours trading may result in wider than normal spreads for a particular security.
• Risk of Lack of Calculation or Dissemination of Underlying Index Value or Intraday IndicativeValue (“IIV”)
For certain Derivative Securities Products, an updated underlying index value, or IIV, may not be calculated or publicly disseminated in extended trading hours. Since the underlying index value and IIV are not calculated or widely disseminated during the pre‐market and post‐market sessions an investor who is unable to calculate implied values for certain Derivative Securities Products in those sessions may be at a disadvantage to market professionals.
Callable Securities – FINRA Rule 4340
Once a security is deemed callable (callable security) by the issuer, DTC or the custodian will notify Apex of the call and we will implement a random lottery call process, based on client account eligibility. Eligibility for the random lottery process is based on the securities call classification of ‘favorable redemption call’ or ‘unfavorable redemption call’. The term favorable or unfavorable is based on a comparison between the call price and the market price. When the comparison between the call price and market price are beneficial to the client, the call is deemed favorable. Favorable redemption calls will exclude any account in which Apex or its associated persons have an interest until all other customers’ positions in such securities have been satisfied.
An unfavorable redemption call is when the comparison between the call price and market price are not as beneficial to the client and therefore deemed unfavorable. Apex will not exclude its positions or those of its associated persons (including those persons performing solely clerical and ministerial functions) from the pool of any securities deemed unfavorable and eligible to be called.
A determination will be made as to which redemption call the security is subject to (favorable or unfavorable) prior to commencement of the lottery process.
Once the terms of the call have been determined and eligible accounts have been selected, the random lottery process will occur to select accounts for the partial call redemption. A random start and jump number is executed at the beginning of the lottery to ensure the process is impartial, fair and consistent with the call allocation. When the redemption call has ended for each security, Apex is notified of the called account by its vendor and will inform the Introducing Broker (IB) who will notify the customer of the account status.