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Stocks, Options, and Margin

Yes, you can trade OTC Bulletin Board stocks (also referred to as Pink Sheet or penny stocks) in your brokerage account. Typically these stocks — securities not specifically authorized to trade on the automated system offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) — are either lower-priced securities or ADRs (American Depository Receipts) and are thinly traded. As a result, buy orders for bulletin board stocks must be placed as limit orders.

Note: Alfa99 can't guarantee the accuracy of any quotation information on our site for these securities. You can usually place bulletin board trades on your own using our online system. However, sometimes the information you need may not be available for some thinly traded stocks. You may find it easier to get a current quote or place an order through one of our brokers over the phone by calling (305) 777-6952. You may not sell short, buy or sell mutual funds, or trade stocks with a market value of less than $10 per share until seven business days after your account application is approved. All customers will be charged an additional $25 for Broker-Assisted trades.

An option is a contract to buy or sell a specific financial product officially known as the options' underlying instrument or underlying interest. To get started trading options, you need to first upgrade to an options-enabled account. Or if you haven't yet opened an Alfa99 brokerage account, get started now.

Important Note: Options transactions are intended for sophisticated investors and are complex, carry a high degree of risk, and are not suitable for all investors. An options investor may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time.

Yes. Once you are approved for margin trading you can borrow against the assets in your brokerage account. When you borrow on margin, you pay interest on the loan until it is repaid. Alfa99 offers some of the most competitive margin interest rates in the industry. The minimum balance required for a margin account is $2,000.

Margin calls may be triggered by market fluctuations, maintenance requirement changes, option exercises and assignments, interest charges, or other events. You may hold other offsetting positions, which may alleviate a margin call. Margin call due dates vary by situation, but may need to be resolved immediately, by depositing funds, depositing securities, or liquidating a position. Please note, the firm can sell your securities without contacting you.

ETFs & Mutual Funds

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are baskets of stocks or other securities designed to track a market, industry, or trading strategy. This means an index ETF attempts to match, not outperform, the market.

Yes. Alfa99 offers nearly every exchange-traded fund sold, that you can buy and sell without paying trading commissions.

Note: The fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing.

Yes. Alfa99 offers more than 6,500 leading mutual funds, including 4,000+ no-load, no-transaction fee funds.

Note: The fund's prospectus contains its investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information and should be read and considered carefully before investing.

Futures

To trade futures, you must have a margin-enabled brokerage account or eligible IRA account. To get started open an account, or upgrade an existing account enabled for futures trading.

Alfa99 takes the protection of your assets very seriously. In order to ensure we are providing our customers with available financial safeguards, the Firm will only keep assets in the Futures account that are needed to satisfy the margin requirement of an existing futures position. Funds not required for futures margin will be automatically moved back to your linked brokerage or IRA account where they are given SIPC or FDIC insurance.

If your linked margin brokerage account already has sufficient funds, there is no need to make additional transfers to separately fund futures trading. The minimum margin requirement for futures positions held overnight will be automatically transferred to your Alfa99 futures account, including commission and fees, and any deficiency funds required to satisfy margin calls. Conversely, any excess margin and available cash will be automatically transferred back to your margin brokerage account where SIPC protection is available.

Please note: The above applies only to linked margin brokerage accounts at Alfa99. For unlinked Alfa99 accounts, there is no automatic transfer of minimum margin requirements or deficiency funding. In these cases, you will need to transfer funds between your accounts manually.

There is no minimum funding requirement for futures.

Each futures trade is $1.50 (per side, per contract, plus exchange fees), excluding cryptocurrency futures trades, which are $2.50 (per side, per contract, plus exchange fees).

CME Group, ICE U.S. and CFE listed products, as well as their options accordingly (at a 6 month out range).

If a futures position is held overnight, customers must margin their futures account with 100% of exchange minimum margin requirements. Futures account intraday margining for all products except Bitcoin is 50% of initial margin requirements. These requirements can be increased at any time.

Eligible futures IRAs are set to 200% of initial requirements, and minimum equity is $25k at all times.

Alfa99 currently absorbs all CME Group and CFE quote fees for non-professional clients. ICE U.S market data fees are passed through to clients.

Futures traders at Alfa99 may trade BTC-CME Bitcoin Futures (/BTC).

Bitcoin is what is known as a cryptocurrency—a digital currency secured through cryptography, or codes that cannot be read without a key. Bitcoin is the most popular of several cryptocurrencies.

IPOs

An IPO, or initial public offering, is the process by which a company lists and offers its shares for sale to the public.

To see current IPOs:

  1. Log in to your Alfa99 account
  2. Hover over 'Trade'
  3. Select 'IPOs & Other New Issues'
  4. Select the 'Equity Offerings' tab to see the list of available offerings
  5. To learn more about an offering and view the preliminary prospectus, select the company name

There are certain regulatory restrictions as to which customers may participate in an IPO. For example, FINRA rules prohibit "restricted persons" (certain persons associated with the financial services industry) from participating in the purchase of new issue offerings. However, any eligible customer who completes and passes an investor profile may submit a conditional offer to buy for an IPO.

To apply to participate in an IPO, customers need to meet the following initial criteria:

  1. Be a U.S. resident
  2. Have an active Alfa99 account
  3. Complete the Investor profile questionnaire in order to determine whether or not an account is eligible to participate in a particular offering

Eligible account types

  1. Individual
  2. Joint
  3. IRAs

Employees and all other account types are NOT eligible to participate in our equity new issue offerings.

The first step in the IPO process is the Investor Profile Questionnaire. Customers will need to complete an Investor Profile for the account through which they would like to participate in an offering. The Investor Profile will determine whether or not an account is eligible for participation in a particular offering based on a number of factors including investment experience, objectives, residency, financial background, and affiliations with the issuing company or other financial institutions. Due to regulatory requirements, all accounts deemed eligible to participate are required to access and acknowledge the prospectus prior to submitting a conditional offer to buy for an offering. The prospectus contains important information about the issuing company and the offering.

Alfa99 will make an exception for a client with visual impairment to complete and submit "offline" (e.g. with the help of the Customer Service team) any and all required materials, documents, etc. related to the new issues process. Eligibility to participate will still be governed by the steps listed above. Further, eligibility does not guarantee that a customer will receive an allocation of shares.