Leverage in Stock Market - Meaning, Benefits and How to Use? | Espresso

What is Leverage in Stock Market?

Capital market investors often rely on leverage to increase their returns. Leverage uses borrowed funds to increase one's buying power, allowing investors to control much larger investments with a smaller amount of capital. In the stock market, leverage is typically obtained through margin accounts or options trades. This article will discuss the leverage meaning in trading and the benefits of using leverage trading in the Stock market.

Published on 03 March 2023

By understanding the concept of leverage, you can make more informed decisions when investing in your stocks. Let’s get started!

Leverage Meaning in Share Market

Investors use leverage to increase their potential returns from trading and investing in stocks, bonds, and other types of securities. Using leverage, traders can purchase and sell securities with borrowed funds to magnify the return on their investments. Leverage is often referred to as ‘gearing’ or ‘margin’ as it involves borrowing money against the value of an asset.

For example, if an investor has $5,000 worth of shares in a company listed on the stock exchange, they may have the ability to borrow up to $20,000 (known as margin) against their investment. This means that they are able to buy four times more shares than they would be able to with the $5000 they had initially.

How Does Leverage Work?

Leverage in the stock market is a powerful tool that can help investors increase their profits. Leverage allows an investor to control a larger amount of stock with less money, allowing them to make more profit from smaller moves in the stock price.

Essentially, leverage magnifies gains and losses, so it's essential to use it cautiously. For investors to use leverage, they must borrow money and then invest it into the stock they are interested in. The borrowed money and the investor’s own money are combined to buy a larger number of shares than if they bought it without leveraging.

How to Use Leverage in Stock Market

The main ways of using Leverage in the stock market are

Margin Trading

Margin trading involves borrowing money from a brokerage firm or bank to purchase an investment, such as stock. The value of your existing portfolio or assets secures the loan. Margin trading can increase your buying power and magnify returns; however, it also increases risk.

Leveraged ETFs

Leveraged ETFs are exchange-traded fund (ETFs) that uses borrowed money to amplify their returns. These funds seek to achieve multiple returns on the index or benchmark they track. Leveraged ETFs can be used for short-term strategies, such as day trading, but should not be held for more than one day due to their compounding effects.

Trading Derivatives

One of the most popular ways to use leverage in the stock market is by trading derivatives. Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is derived from a price movement in an underlying asset or security. Examples include options, futures, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). By trading derivatives, investors can make a larger bet on the direction of a particular security without putting up as much capital as they would if they were buying shares directly.

Advantages of Using Leverage Trading in the Stock Market

Leverage trading, also known as margin trading, uses borrowed money to increase potential gains from stocks. Leverage allows investors to access larger positions for relatively small investments, potentially resulting in greater long-term returns. Because of its ability to magnify profits, many traders view leverage trading as an effective and powerful tool. Here are some of the advantages that leverage trading offers:

1. Increased Exposure: The principal advantage of leverage is that it provides more exposure with less capital invested. This means that even with a small amount of capital, traders can open larger positions, exposing them to more opportunities and potentially higher returns.

2. Flexibility: Leverage allows traders to adapt their strategies to different market conditions. For example, suppose a trader’s capital is not sufficient to open a large position in an expensive stock. In that case, they can use leverage to take advantage of the potential returns from the stock without having to invest more than what’s available in their account.

3. Leverage Trading Can Help Reduce Risk: By using leverage trading, traders can reduce risk by diversifying across multiple assets. Since part of the funds comes from borrowed money, losses are limited only to the amount invested initially, rather than the total value of the position taken. This means that traders are less exposed to fluctuations and movements in price, which helps reduce risks associated with long-term investments.

The Bottom Line

Leverage in the stock market is a powerful investing tool that can be used to increase returns on investments. By using borrowed money or derivatives, investors can potentially magnify their gains and losses, making it important to understand how leverage works and practice sound risk management when using this strategy. Ultimately, leverage should be used judiciously and with caution, as it can lead to significant losses if not managed properly.

Chandresh Khona
Team Espresso

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