Thursday, May 21, 2020

Margin Loan Limits

So, Interactive Brokers finally allowed Australian clients to again borrow money. I enabled margin borrowing on both Moominmama's and my account. I was surprised at how low the buying power was. Much, much lower than the standard FAQ suggested. It turns out that retail clients borrowing power is capped at AUD 25k! This is stated in the footnote on that page. This seems crazily low to me. I currently have a loan cap of AUD 500k with Commonwealth Securities. But their margin rates are far higher. If I can show I am a wholesale investor  I could get the cap lifted. If they require individual income of AUD 250k and/or net worth of AUD 2.5 million, that would be tough/impossible to show and would probably need to get an accountant to assess it... So, looks like I should keep more assets with Commonwealth Securities than I was planning on. I'm not planning on borrowing big to buy shares, but having borrowing power is useful.


Actually, I easily qualify as a wholesale investor based on net worth. Turns out, I have 3/4 of our joint household net worth. My immediate thoughts are that this isn't optimal tax-wise and whether it is worth paying an accountant to certify it? On the other hand, borrowing in my name is a good tax move.

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