The notional value of a position is the real amount at risk, excluding margin relief. If we own 100 shares of stock at $50.00 per share, we have $5000 of notional value at risk. If the stock price drops to $0.00, we stand to lose $5000. In a margin account, we are offered 2:1 leverage on stock purchases. What does this mean? Basically, that same 100 shares of stock would only require $2500 of capital to purchase. What we have to remember is that we still have that same $5000 of notional value. In other words, we only have to put up $2500 at first, but if the stock price goes to $0.00 we still lose $5000.
Understanding the difference between leverage & notional value is one of the most important concepts to learn.
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