Cobra Trading is furnishing this document to you to provide some basic facts about purchasing securities on margin, and 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 Cobra Trading Please consult a Cobra Trading representative regarding any questions or concerns you may have with your margin account.
When you purchase securities you may pay for the securities in full or you may borrow part of the purchase price from Cobra Trading If you choose to borrow funds from Cobra Trading you will open a margin account. The securities purchased are Cobra Trading'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, Cobra Trading 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, including:
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 interests, including immediately selling the securities without notice to the customer.
You are not entitled to choose which security in your account should be liquidated 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
The firm is not required to provide you with 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 the 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.
Options Trading Risk Disclosure
Options involve risks and are not suitable for all investors. It is very important that option investors read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options (Option Disclosure Document) before engaging in options trading. The risk disclosure document explains the characteristics and risks of exchange-traded options. You may also request a copy of the Option Disclosure Document by writing to the Options Supervisor at Cobra Trading, 825 Market Street, Suite 240 Allen, TX 75013
Cobra Trading also would like to inform investors of the inherent risks of trading the following strategies.
1. Bullish strategies have greater risk of loss in falling markets.
2. Neutral strategies have greater risk of loss in volatile markets.
3. Bearish strategies have greater risk of loss in rising markets.
There are many factors that an investor should be aware of when trading options including interest rates, volatility, stock splits, stock dividends, stock distributions, currency exchange rates, etc.
Cobra Trading or its clearing firm shall reduce any accounts that exceed applicable position limits to a level that is in compliance with such limits. Any losses as a result of these actions will be the sole responsibility of the investor.
Typically, the exercise of in-the-money equity options is automatic at expiration if the equity option is ¾ of a point or more in the money. For equity options in the money less than ¾ of a point, or out of the money, it is the obligation of the investor to request exercise. Cobra Trading or its clearing firm may, at its own discretion, exercise any open equity option that is ¾ of a point or more in the money on the date of expiration. Investors are obligated to monitor their options position(s) especially as the expiration date approaches.
Investors exercising their in-the-money equity options must have sufficient assets in their account to meet margin requirements. Cobra Trading or its clearing firm may, at its own discretion, reduce or close-out an investor's option(s) position prior to the close of business on the last day before exercise, if the account has insufficient assets to meet margin requirements.
Investors should only engage in options trading that is best suited to their financial condition and option experience and which considers current market conditions. Orders are accepted only on an unsolicited basis. Investors are solely responsible for any and all orders placed in their account(s) and at their own risk. Cobra Trading does not make any recommendations whatsoever regarding any options or options strategies. Additionally, your account(s) are accepted on a fully disclosed basis and solely at the discretion of Cobra Trading and Penson Financial Services, Inc., the company's clearing firm.