Fixed margin will isolate your margin to the individual position you have made in an instrument. So if you have 1 bitcoin in your account and you put 0.2btc margin for a Weeklies Futures long position, and it gets margin-called, you still have the 0.8btc left. However, if you're on cross-margin, also known as portfolio value margin, then your whole balance on the site is going to be used to back all your positions, and if you get margincalled, it's because you have run out of money on your whole account.
Now, if that margin-call does not get filled and the price continues to fall, then I'm making profits on my contract but nobody is paying for it since the counterparty who got margin-called didn't get the liquidation order filled. So what happens is that at settlement time of the contract, that unfilled liquidation loss to the system will be deducted from the profits of ALL traders before they are distributed.
Each Fund may purchase illiquid securities, including securities that are not readily marketable and securities that are not registered (“restricted securities”) under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”), but which can be sold to qualified institutional buyers under Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. A Fund will not invest more than 15% of the Fund’s net assets in illiquid securities. The term “illiquid securities” for this purpose means securities that cannot be disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the amount at which the Fund has valued the securities. Under the current guidelines of the staff of the SEC, illiquid securities also are considered to include, among other securities, purchased OTC options, certain cover for OTC options, repurchase agreements with maturities in excess of seven days, and certain securities whose disposition is restricted under the federal securities laws. The Fund may not be able to sell illiquid securities when the Advisor considers it desirable to do so or may have to sell such securities at a price that is lower than the price that could be obtained if the securities were more liquid. In addition, the sale of illiquid securities also may require more time and may result in higher dealer discounts and other selling expenses than the sale of securities that are not illiquid. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to value due to the unavailability of reliable market quotations for such securities, and investments in illiquid securities may have an adverse impact on NAV.
An increase in cryptocurrency mining increased the demand of graphics cards (GPU) in 2017.[49] Popular favorites of cryptocurrency miners such as Nvidia’s GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 graphics cards, as well as AMD’s RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs, doubled or tripled in price – or were out of stock.[50] A GTX 1070 Ti which was released at a price of $450 sold for as much as $1100. Another popular card GTX 1060's 6 GB model was released at an MSRP of $250, sold for almost $500. RX 570 and RX 580 cards from AMD were out of stock for almost a year. Miners regularly buy up the entire stock of new GPU's as soon as they are available.[51]
Bitcoin (BTC) has been engaged in a predictable up and down pattern where it absolutely crashes at the beginning of any year and then sky-rockets as the year nears its end. Bitcoin held steady at around $19,000 in December 2017, and then sure enough – crashed big time to around $6,000 at the beginning of 2018. At the time of writing, March 8th 2018, the price of Bitcoin is relatively stable between $10,000 and $12,000. In my opinion, the price will run again soon.
  •   ADRs represent the right to receive securities of foreign issuers deposited in a bank or trust company. ADRs are an alternative to purchasing the underlying securities in their national markets and currencies. Investment in ADRs has certain advantages over direct investment in the underlying foreign securities because: (i) ADRs are U.S. dollardenominated investments that are easily transferable and for which market quotations are readily available; and (ii) issuers whose securities are represented by ADRs are generally subject to auditing, accounting and financial reporting standards similar to those applied to domestic issuers.

•   Market Price Variance Risk — Fund shares are listed for trading on the [                ] Exchange and can be bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market price of shares will fluctuate in response to changes in the value of the Fund’s holdings, supply and demand for shares and other market factors. ProShare Advisors cannot predict whether shares will trade above, below or at a price equal to the value of the Fund’s holdings. Given the fact that shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units, as defined below, ProShare Advisors believes that large discounts or premiums to the value of the Fund’s holdings should not be sustained. The Fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the Fund. Investors purchasing and selling shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by Authorized Participants creating and redeeming directly with the Fund. To the extent that exchange specialists, market makers, Authorized Participants, or other participants are unavailable or unable to trade the Fund’s shares and/or create or redeem Creation Units, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the Fund’s shares may widen and the Fund’s shares may possibly be subject to trading halts and/or delisting.


The Advisor and its affiliated persons may come into possession from time to time of material nonpublic and other confidential information about companies which, if disclosed, might affect an investor’s decision to buy, sell, or hold a security. Under applicable law, the Advisor and its affiliated persons would be prohibited from improperly disclosing or using this information for their personal benefit or for the benefit of any person, regardless of whether the person is a client of the Advisor. Accordingly, should the Advisor or any affiliated person come into possession of material nonpublic or other confidential information with respect to any company, the Advisor and its affiliated persons will have no responsibility or liability for failing to disclose the information to clients as a result of following its policies and procedures designed to comply with applicable law. However, each Matching Fund is managed using what is commonly referred to as an index strategy in an attempt to simulate either the daily movement or a multiple, the inverse or an inverse multiple of the daily movement of its index, and the use of such index strategies may reduce conflicts of interest compared to funds using non-index investment strategies.
Daily access to the PCF and IOPV file is permitted (i) to certain personnel of those service providers that are involved in portfolio management and providing administrative, operational, or other support to portfolio management, including Authorized Participants, and (ii) to other personnel of the Advisor and the Funds’ distributor, administrator, custodian and fund accountant who are involved in functions which may require such information to conduct business in the ordinary course.
For the three most recent fiscal years, each Fund that was operational for the period indicated paid ProShare Advisors the amount set forth below pursuant to the Management Services Agreement. Because the New Fund was not operational at the end of the Trust’s last fiscal year, information on fees paid pursuant to the Management Services Agreement by the New Fund is not included in this SAI.
Interest Rate Risk — The Fund intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in U.S. Treasury securities and is subject to interest rate risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that debt securities may fluctuate in value due to changes in interest rates. Commonly, investments subject to interest rate risk will decrease in value when interest rates rise and increase in value when interest rates decline. The value of securities with longer maturities may fluctuate more in response to interest rate changes than securities with shorter maturities. A wide variety of factors can cause interest rates to rise (e.g., central bank monetary
The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject a purchase order transmitted to it by the Distributor in respect of any Fund if (a) the purchaser or group of purchasers, upon obtaining the Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of any Fund; (b) the Deposit Securities delivered are not as specified by ProShare Advisors and ProShare Advisors has not consented to acceptance of an in-kind deposit that varies from the designated Deposit Securities; (c) acceptance of the purchase transaction order would have certain adverse tax consequences to the Fund; (d) the acceptance of the purchase transaction order would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (e) the acceptance of the purchase order transaction would otherwise, in the discretion of the Trust or ProShare Advisors, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of beneficial owners; (f) the value of a Cash Purchase Amount, or the value of the Balancing Amount to accompany an in-kind deposit, exceeds a purchase authorization limit extended to an Authorized Participant by the Custodian and the Authorized Participant has not deposited an amount in excess of such purchase authorization with the Custodian prior to the relevant cut-off time for the Fund on the transmittal date; or (g) in the event that circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and ProShare Advisors make it impractical to process purchase orders. The Trust shall notify a prospective purchaser of its rejection of the order of such person. The Trust and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of purchase transaction orders nor shall either of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.
R-1 (high) – Short term debt rated “R-1 (high)” is of the highest credit quality, and indicates an entity which possesses unquestioned ability to repay current liabilities as they fall due. Entities rated in this category normally maintain strong liquidity positions, conservative debt levels and profitability which is both stable and above average. Companies achieving an “R-1 (high)” rating are normally leaders in structurally sound industry segments with proven track records, sustainable positive future results and no substantial qualifying negative factors. Given the extremely tough definition which DBRS has established for an “R-1 (high)”, few entities are strong enough to achieve this rating.
•   Investments by a Fund in options, futures, forward contracts, swap agreements and other derivative financial instruments are subject to numerous special and complex tax rules. These rules could affect the amount, timing or character of the distributions to shareholders by a Fund. In addition, because the application of these rules may be uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future Internal Revenue Service guidance with respect to these rules may affect whether a Fund has made sufficient distributions, and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements, to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid fund-level tax.
An initial coin offering (ICO) is a controversial means of raising funds for a new cryptocurrency venture. An ICO may be used by startups with the intention of avoiding regulation. However, securities regulators in many jurisdictions, including in the U.S., and Canada have indicated that if a coin or token is an "investment contract" (e.g., under the Howey test, i.e., an investment of money with a reasonable expectation of profit based significantly on the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others), it is a security and is subject to securities regulation. In an ICO campaign, a percentage of the cryptocurrency (usually in the form of "tokens") is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for legal tender or other cryptocurrencies, often bitcoin or ether.[62][63][64]

  •   Theft, loss or destruction. Transacting on a blockchain depends in part specifically on the use of cryptographic keys that are required to access a user’s account (or “wallet”). The theft, loss or destruction of these keys impairs the value of ownership claims users have over the relevant assets being represented by the ledger (whether “smart contracts,” securities, currency or other digital assets). The theft, loss or destruction of private or public keys needed to transact on a blockchain could also adversely affect a blockchain company’s business or operations if it were dependent on the ledger.
Homero Josh Garza, who founded the cryptocurrency startups GAW Miners and ZenMiner in 2014, acknowledged in a plea agreement that the companies were part of a pyramid scheme, and pleaded guilty to wire fraud in 2015. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission separately brought a civil enforcement action against Garza, who was eventually ordered to pay a judgment of $9.1 million plus $700,000 in interest. The SEC's complaint stated that Garza, through his companies, had fraudulently sold "investment contracts representing shares in the profits they claimed would be generated" from mining.[88]
 	•	 	Government regulation could adversely impact the operation of the Bitcoin Network or the use of bitcoin. As bitcoin and other digital assets have grown in popularity and in market size, certain U.S. federal and state governments, foreign governments and self-regulatory agencies have begun to examine the operations of bitcoin, digital assets, the Bitcoin Network, bitcoin users and related issues. Although currently bitcoin is not regulated or is lightly regulated in most countries, including the United States, some countries have, and one or more countries may in the future, take regulatory actions that severely restrict the right to acquire, own, hold, sell or use bitcoin or to exchange bitcoin for fiat currency. Regulation in the U.S. and foreign jurisdictions may restrict the use of bitcoin or otherwise materially impact the global demand for bitcoin. Regulation of initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) and other cryptocurrencies may have an impact the price of bitcoin. If Bitcoin Exchanges become subject to regulation, that may also impact trading in bitcoin as trading may be concentrated in a smaller number of regulated exchanges, which may impact price, volatility and trading volumes. Also, most Bitcoin Exchanges currently require bitcoin trading accounts to be fully funded, but if margin trading is introduced, there may be additional risks, including increased volumes, higher volatility and higher risk that the exchanges would suffer counterparty defaults. Finally, the Bitcoin Exchanges may be required to comply with tax and other reporting obligations that make it more costly to transact in bitcoin (which may have an impact on price, volatility, or the trading of bitcoin more generally).

The Fund generally does not expect to invest directly in futures contracts, option contracts and swap agreements (“Bitcoin Instruments”). The Fund expects to gain exposure to these investments by investing a portion of its assets in the ProShares Cayman Bitcoin Futures Strategy Portfolio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fund organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands (the “Subsidiary”). The Subsidiary is advised by ProShare Advisors, the Fund’s investment advisor, and invests directly in Bitcoin Instruments. Unlike the Fund, the Subsidiary is not an investment company registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund’s investment in the Subsidiary is intended to provide the Fund with exposure to commodity markets related to bitcoin in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. The Fund will invest up to 25% of its total assets in the Subsidiary. Except as otherwise noted, references to the Fund’s investment strategies and risks include the investment strategies and risks of the Subsidiary.


ProShare Advisors is responsible for substantially all expenses of the Unitary Fee Funds except for: (i) brokerage and other transaction expenses and other fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses (such as stamp taxes) incurred in connection with the execution of portfolio transactions or in connection with creation and redemption transactions (including without limitation any fees, charges, taxes, levies or expenses related to the purchase or sale of an amount of any currency, or the patriation or repatriation of any security or other asset, related to the execution of portfolio transactions or any creation or redemption transactions); (ii) legal fees or expenses in connection with any arbitration, litigation or pending or threatened arbitration or litigation, including any settlements in connection therewith; (iii) compensation and expenses of the Independent Trustees; (iv) compensation and expenses of counsel to the Independent Trustees, (v) compensation and expenses of the Trust’s chief compliance officer and his or her staff; (vi) extraordinary expenses (in each case as determined by a majority of the Independent Trustees); (vii) distribution fees and expenses paid by the Trust under any distribution plan adopted pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act; (viii) interest and taxes of any kind or nature (including, but not limited to, income, excise, transfer and withholding taxes); (ix) fees and expense related to the provision of securities lending services; and (x) the fee payable to the Adviser. The internal expenses of pooled investment vehicles in which a Unitary Fee Fund may invest (acquired fund fees and expenses) are not expenses of such Unitary Fee Fund, and are not paid by ProShare Advisors. The payment or assumption by ProShare Advisors of any expenses of a Unitary Fee Fund that ProShare Advisors is not required by the investment advisory and management agreement to pay or assume shall not obligate ProShare Advisors to pay or assume the same or any similar expense of such Unitary Fee Fund, on any subsequent occasion.

In February 2014 the world's largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, declared bankruptcy. The company stated that it had lost nearly $473 million of their customers' bitcoins likely due to theft. This was equivalent to approximately 750,000 bitcoins, or about 7% of all the bitcoins in existence. The price of a bitcoin fell from a high of about $1,160 in December to under $400 in February.[85]
A distribution will be treated as paid on December 31 of a calendar year if it is declared by a Fund in October, November or December of that year with a record date in such a month and is paid by the Fund during January of the following year. Such distributions will be taxable to shareholders in the calendar year in which the distributions are declared, rather than the calendar year in which the distributions are received.
You could imagine the spread going the other way, though. If everyone really was clamoring to short bitcoin, and if the futures offered a more convenient way to do it than the bitcoin exchanges, then you'd expect the short sellers to pay a premium to short via futures. Instead of selling a bitcoin at $18,000 today, they'd be willing to sell a synthetic bitcoin for $17,500, paying the spread to an arbitrageur who was willing to do the actual shorting for them. But the fact that the spread is mostly positive, and that bitcoin's price has been mostly going up, suggests that the demand has mostly been for synthetic long positions, not short.

While it is likely that regulatory laws surrounding ICOs will only be settled in court (perhaps even the Supreme Court), if ICO tokens are legally classified as securities, any exchange that wants to list those tokens needs to either register as a national securities exchange or operate under an exemption and set itself up as an alternative trading system (ATS).
In May 2018 Bitcoin Gold (and two other cryptocurrencies) were hit by a successful 51% hashing attack by an unknown actor, in which exchanges lost estimated $18m.[90] In June 2018, Korean exchange Coinrail was hacked, losing US$37 million worth of altcoin. Fear surrounding the hack was blamed for a $42 billion cryptocurrency market selloff.[91] On 9 July 2018 the exchange Bancor had $23.5 million in cryptocurrency stolen.[92]
BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN AND BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY TRUST, OWNERS OF THE SHARES OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. BOFA MERRILL LYNCH AND THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL BOFA MERRILL LYNCH OR THE EXCHANGES AND ENTITIES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS), EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

In general, the Code defines (1) “short-term capital gain dividends” as distributions of net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses and (2) “interest-related dividends” as distributions from U.S. source interest income of types similar to those not subject to U.S. federal income tax if earned directly by an individual foreign shareholder, in each case to the extent such distributions are properly reported as such by a Fund in a written notice to shareholders.
Under current law, income of a RIC that would be treated as UBTI if earned directly by a tax-exempt entity generally will not be attributed as UBTI to a tax-exempt entity that is a shareholder in the RIC. Notwithstanding this “blocking” effect, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize UBTI by virtue of its investment in a Fund if Shares in a Fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of Code section 514(b).
In pure financial theory, the value of a futures contract is based on a "no arbitrage condition" from the interest rates in each asset. We have Bitcoin and US Dollar. Bitcoin interest rates tend to be less than US Dollar interest rates, so when you want to replicate the future value of bitcoin in US dollars, you have to borrow USD at, say, 5%, and invest in Bitcoin at 1% return. This requires a premium on the futures exchange to be able to hedge that trade. 
Bitcoin (BTC) has been engaged in a predictable up and down pattern where it absolutely crashes at the beginning of any year and then sky-rockets as the year nears its end. Bitcoin held steady at around $19,000 in December 2017, and then sure enough – crashed big time to around $6,000 at the beginning of 2018. At the time of writing, March 8th 2018, the price of Bitcoin is relatively stable between $10,000 and $12,000. In my opinion, the price will run again soon.

On 21 November 2017, the Tether cryptocurrency announced they were hacked, losing $31 million in USDT from their primary wallet.[89] The company has 'tagged' the stolen currency, hoping to 'lock' them in the hacker's wallet (making them unspendable). Tether indicates that it is building a new core for its primary wallet in response to the attack in order to prevent the stolen coins from being used.


A Fund will incur a loss as a result of a short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the Fund replaces the borrowed security. A Fund will realize a gain if the price of the security declines in price between those dates. The amount of any gain will be decreased, and the amount of any loss will be increased, by the amount of the premium, dividends or interest a Fund may be required to pay, if any, in connection with a short sale.
Litecoin (LTC) is similar to Bitcoin in many of its characteristics and is also one of the more veteran cryptocurrencies out there. However, there are two main differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin: Speed and amount. While it takes 10 minutes to create a Bitcoin block, Litecoin demands roughly 2.5 minutes to create a block – meaning 4 times the speed. Moreover, Litecoin attracts many users, as it can produce 4 times the quantity of Bitcoin! However, as Litecoin uses highly complex cryptography, often mining it is more complicated than other cryptocurrencies.
Mass adoption of bitcoin will also require an accommodating regulatory environment. A lack of expansion in usage of bitcoin and the Bitcoin Blockchain could adversely affect the market for bitcoin and may have a negative impact on the performance of the Bitcoin Instruments and the performance of the Funds. Even if growth in bitcoin adoption continues in the near or medium-term, there is no assurance that bitcoin usage, or the market for Bitcoin Instruments, will continue to grow over the long-term. A contraction in use of bitcoin may result in increased volatility or a reduction in the price of bitcoin, as well as increased volatility or a reduction in the price of Bitcoin Derivatives, which could adversely impact the value of an investment in a Fund. Conversely, a rapid expansion in the use of bitcoin may result in rapid appreciation in the price of bitcoin, which could adversely impact the value of a Fund which takes a short position in bitcoin futures contracts.
In the event an order is cancelled, the Authorized Participant will be responsible for reimbursing the Fund for all costs associated with cancelling the order, including costs for repositioning the portfolio, provided the Authorized Participant shall not be responsible for such costs if the order was cancelled for reasons outside the Authorized Participant’s control or the Authorized Participant was not otherwise responsible or at fault for such cancellation. Upon written notice to the Distributor, such cancelled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day, with a newly constituted Portfolio Deposit or Fund Securities to reflect the next calculated NAV.
How can this be? How can you have more futures contracts for gold than actual gold? Because you don't have to deliver a bar of gold when the contract matures. Many futures contracts settle on a "cash" basis – instead of physical delivery for the sale, the buyer receives the difference between the futures price (= the agreed-upon price) and the spot (= market) price.

Changes in the laws of the United States and/or the Cayman Islands, under which the Parent Funds and the Subsidiaries are organized, respectively, could result in the inability of a Parent Fund and/or its respective Subsidiary to operate as described in this SAI and could negatively affect a Parent Fund and its shareholders. For example, the Cayman Islands does not currently impose any income, corporate or capital gains tax, estate duty, inheritance tax, gift tax or withholding tax on the Subsidiaries. If Cayman Islands law changes such that a Subsidiary must pay Cayman Islands taxes, Parent Fund shareholders would likely suffer decreased investment returns. See “Taxation” below for more information.
Investment income and gains received by a Fund from foreign investments may be subject to foreign withholding and other taxes, which could decrease the Fund’s return on those investments. The effective rate of foreign taxes to which a Fund will be subject depends on the specific countries in which its assets will be invested and the extent of the assets invested in each such country and, therefore, cannot be determined in advance. If more than 50% of a Fund’s assets at year end consists of the securities of foreign corporations, the Fund may elect to permit shareholders to claim a credit or deduction on their income tax returns for their pro rata portions of qualified taxes paid by the Fund to foreign countries in respect of foreign securities that the Fund has held for at least the minimum period specified in the Code. In such a case, shareholders will include in gross income from foreign sources their pro rata shares of such taxes paid by the Fund. A shareholder’s ability to claim an offsetting foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of foreign taxes paid by the Fund is subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code, which may result in the shareholder’s not receiving a full credit or deduction (if any) for the amount of such taxes. Shareholders who do not itemize on their U.S. federal income tax returns may claim a credit (but not a deduction) for such foreign taxes. Even if a Fund were eligible to make such an election for a given year, it may determine not to do so. Shareholders that are not subject to U.S. federal income tax, and those who invest in a Fund through tax-advantaged accounts (including those who invest through individual retirement accounts or other tax-advantaged retirement plans), generally will receive no benefit from any tax credit or deduction passed through by the Fund.
RD – Restricted default. ‘RD’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch’s opinion has experienced an uncured payment default on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation but which has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure, and which has not otherwise ceased operating. This would include:
You can find other information about ProShares on the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov) or you can get copies of this information after payment of a duplicating fee by electronic request at publicinfo@sec.gov or by writing to the Public Reference Section of the SEC, Washington, D.C. 20549-0102. Information about ProShares, including their SAI, can be reviewed and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room in Washington, D.C. For information on the Public Reference Room, call the SEC at (202) 551-8090.
One traditional attraction of trading futures is the ability to use relatively small amounts of money to potentially achieve outsized returns. In many futures markets the margin, the amount of money that your broker requires up-front before executing the trade can be quite small compared to the ultimate value of the contract. For example, as of 22-Dec-2017, each E-mini S&P 500 contract was worth $134K ($50*S&P 500 index value)—this “list price” of the contract is called its notional value.  The CME only requires you to maintain a minimum margin of $4.5K (3.4% of notional) to control this contract (brokers often require additional margin). Margin requirements this low are only possible because the volatility of the S&P 500 is well understood and your margin account balance is adjusted at the end of every trading day to account for the winnings or losses of the day. If your account balance falls below the margin minimum of $4.5K you’ll need to quickly add money to your account or your position will be summarily closed out by your broker. On the plus side, if you’ve predicted the S&P’s direction correctly your profits will be that same as if you completely owned the underlying stocks in the index. A +1% daily move in the S&P500 would yield $1340 in profit even though you only have $4500 invested— a 29% return—this multiplier effect is called leverage.
×