Stephens Inc. ("Stephens") is furnishing this document to you to provide some basic facts about purchasing securities on margin, and to 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 Stephens. Contact your financial consultant regarding any questions or concerns you may have with your margin account(s).
When you purchase securities, you may pay for the securities in full or you may borrow part of the purchase price from Stephens. If you choose to borrow funds, you will open a margin account with Stephens. The securities purchased are Stephens' 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, Stephens can take action, such as issue a margin call and/or sell securities or other assets in any of your accounts held with Stephens, 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 Stephens to avoid the forced sale of those securities or other securities or assets in your account(s).
- Stephens can force the sale of securities or other assets in your account(s). If the equity in your account falls below the maintenance margin requirements or Stephens' higher "house" requirements, Stephens can sell the securities or other assets in any of your accounts held at Stephens to cover the margin deficiency. You also will be responsible for any short fall in the account after such sale.
- Stephens can sell your securities or other assets without contacting you. Some investors mistakenly believe that Stephens must contact them for a margin call to be valid, and that Stephens cannot liquidate securities or other assets in their accounts to meet the call unless Stephens has contacted them first. This is not the case. Stephens will attempt to notify its customers of margin calls, but we are not required to do so. However, even if Stephens has contacted a customer and provided a specific date by which the customer can meet a margin call, Stephens 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 securities or other assets in your account(s) are liquidated or sold to meet a margin call. Because the securities are collateral for the margin loan, Stephens has the right to decide which security to sell in order to protect its interests.
- Stephens can increase its "house" maintenance margin requirements at any time and is not required to provide you advance written notice. These changes in Stephens' policy often take effect immediately and may result in the issuance of a maintenance margin call. Your failure to satisfy the call may cause Stephens to liquidate or sell securities in your account(s).
- 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.