Margin accounts can be used to add much more power to a trade. By trading on margin, it is possible to increase the amount of money you win or lose on trades by huge amounts. Getting a margin account at eTrade is a simple process that can add a tool to your trading arsenal. A margin account can be opened in as little as fifteen minutes.
Go to eTrade.com and click the "OPEN AN ACCOUNT" button on the right-side of the top navigation bar. Click the green "APPLY NOW" button, under the INVESTING & TRADING heading.
Follow along the first few pages, filling-in all of your personal information, including your address, name, phone number and your social security number. Fill out an additional section about your current employer.
Answer all of the questions regarding your trading habits and your assets.
Fill out the information about your account preferences. The main difference between the four accounts is the amount of money that is FDIC insured. Sweepmax and an International Sweep Deposit account are insured for $250,000. The Extended Insurance Retirement Sweet account is insured up to $500,000 and the Extended Insurance Sweep account is insured up to $1,250,000.
Wait for everything to be verified, and start trading with your new margin account.
Utilize margin very carefully when making trades: If used carelessly, it can clean your account out very quickly and even leave you in debt.