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keithohalloran

Understanding how to use margin (setting up SIM to emulate live trading)

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I've been with BBT since January 2021 and I'm on my 4th month of SIM. Trying to plan ahead for live trading and practice as if it were the real deal of course.
 
Like others in the BBT community, I use hotkeys that are set to Equalized $Risk (always risking the same amount with a stop - I mainly use $25). This is calculated based on buying power (0.97*BP). I'm in Canada, IB MMR is 30%, I plan to start with $5K, IB leverage is 3.33:1, so BP could be $16,650.
 
If buying power = equity + loaned leverage, that means I'm basically using all the margin I am given on every trade? I'm confused because I thought using your entire margin amount is a recipe for not maintaining margin requirements and getting a margin call... 30% of $16,650 is $4,995, so if my account drops slightly I get a margin call? Does this mean I shouldn't use hotkeys that use 0.97*BP? Should I half it? Trying to figure out how to consider leverage in the trading equation...
 
Also how does the settlement period after you buy and sell stock fit into this as well? Are you using margin after you've made 1 trade in the day that used all your BP? 
 
Thank you so much!

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