Module 4 Futures Trading

Chapter 6

Margin Calculator (Part 1)

203

M4-Ch6-title

6.1 – The Margin Calculator

In continuation with our discussion on margins in the previous chapter, we will now discuss about the margin calculator. Over the next two chapters we will discuss about the margin calculator and also learn few associated topics related to margins.

Do recollect, in the previous chapter we learnt about the various types of margins required at the time of initiating a futures trade. Margins vary from one future contract to another as the margins depend on the volatility of the underlying. We will talk about volatility in the next module, but for now just remember that the volatility changes from one underlying to another, hence the margins vary from one underlying to another. So how do we know what is the margin requirement of a particular contract? Well, if you are trading with Zerodha, chances are you would have come across the ‘Margin Calculator’.

Zerodha’s margin calculator is one of our popular offering, and rightly so. It is a simple to use tool that has a very sophisticated engine in the background.  In this chapter I will just introduce you to the margin calculator and help you understand the margin requirement for the contract you choose. We will revisit this topic on the margin calculator when we take up the chapter on Options in the next module, at that point we will understand the complete versatility of Zerodha’s margin calculator.

Let us take up a case where one decides to buy the futures contract of IDEA Cellular Limited, expiring on 29th January 2015. Now in order to initiate this trade one needs to deposit the initial margin amount. We also know that the Initial Margin (IM) = SPAN Margin + Exposure Margin. In order to find out the IM requirement, all you need to do is this –

Step 1 – The link to the Margin Calculator is https://zerodha.com/margin-calculator/SPAN/. As you can see from the image below, there are many different options that are available (I have highlighted the same in black). However, our focus for now will be on the first two options called ‘SPAN’ and ‘Equity Futures”. In fact, by default you will land on the SPAN Margin Calculator sub page, highlighted in red.

M4-Ch6-chart2

Step 2 – The SPAN Margin Calculator has two main sections within it, let us inspect the same –

M4-Ch6-chart3

The red section has 3 drop down menu options. The ‘Exchange’ drop down option basically requires you to choose the exchange in which you wish to operate. Select –

  1. NFO if you wish to trade Futures on NSE,
  2. MCX if you wish to trade commodity futures on MCX
  3. CDS if you wish to trade currency derivatives on NSE

The next drop down on your right is the ‘Product’; choose Futures if you wish to trade a futures contract, or if you wish to trade options, select Options. The third drop down menu is the list of symbols where all the futures and option contracts are made available. From this drop-down menu, simply choose the contract you wish to trade. Since we are interested in IDEA Cellular Limited expiring on 29th Jan, I have selected the same, please see the image below –

M4-Ch6-chart4

Step 4 – Once you select the futures contract, the Net Quantity automatically gets pre populated to 1 lot. If you wish to trade more than one lot, then you need to enter the new quantity manually. Notice in the image below, as soon as I select IDEA futures contract, the net quality has changed to the respective lot size, which is 2000. If I wish to trade say 3 lots, then I have to type in 6000 (2000 * 3). Once this is done simply click on the radio button, either a buy or sell (depending on what you wish to do) and finally click on the blue “add” button

M4-Ch6-chart5

Once you instruct the SPAN calculator to add the margins, it will do the same and it will give you the split up between the SPAN, Exposure, and the total Initial margin. This is as shown below, highlighted in the red box –

M4-Ch6-chart6

The SPAN calculator is suggesting the following –

SPAN Margin = Rs.22,160/-

Exposure Margin = Rs.14,730/-

Initial Margin (SPAN + Exp) = Rs.36,890/-

With this, you know how much money is required to initiate the futures trade on IDEA Cellular; it is as simple as that! The next interesting section within the margin calculator is the “Equity Futures”. We will discuss the same in the next chapter, however, before we proceed to understand this, let us quickly understand 3 more topics namely the Expiry, Spreads, and Intraday order types. Once we understand these topics, we will be placed better to understand the “Equity Futures” on the margin calculator.

6.2 – Expiry

In the earlier chapters, we briefly figured out what the ‘Expiry’ of a futures contract means. Expiry specifies the last date up to which the contract lasts, beyond which it will cease to exist. Consider this, if I buy IDEA Cellular Limited futures contract at 149/- expiring on 29th January 2015, with an expectation that it will hit 155, it simply means that this move to 155 has to pan out by 29th January 2015. Obviously if the price of IDEA is below 149 before the expiry then I have to book a loss. Even if the price of IDEA futures hits 155 (or in fact any price above 149) on 30th January 2015 (1 day after the expiry) it is of no use to me as the contract has already expired. In simple words, when I buy a futures contract, it has to move in my favor on or before the expiry day, else there is no point.

Does it really have to be so rigid? Is there any flexibility in terms of going beyond the stated expiry date? Let me illustrate what I mean –

I know that the Central Government budget is expected sometime around the last week of February 2015, which is a little more than a month away (considering today is 19th Jan 2015). I personally expect a good budget this time around, and I’m also hopeful that the manufacturing sector will significantly benefit from the budget in the backdrop of the ‘Make in India’ campaign. Given this, I would like to bet that Bharat Forge, a manufacturing major will significantly benefit from the upcoming budget. To be precise I expect Bharat Forge to rally from now, all the way till the budget (pre budget rally). Therefore in order to exploit my directional point of view on Bharat Forge, I would like to buy its futures today. Have a look at the snapshot below –

M4-Ch6-chart7

Bharat Forge  January 2015 contract is trading at Rs.1022/-, but here is a situation – my view is that Bharat Forge will rally from now, all the way till the last week of Feb 2015. But If I buy the futures contract as shown above, then it expires on 29th Jan 2015, leaving me stranded half way through.

Clearly since my directional view goes beyond the January expiry period, I need not be bound to buy the January expiry contract. In fact for reasons similar to this, NSE allows you to select a contract that suites the expiry requirement.

At any given point, NSE allows us to buy a futures contract with 3 different expiries. For example we are in the month of January; hence we have 3 contracts of Bharat Forge with different expiry –

  1. 29th January 2015 – This is called the near month contract or the current month contract
  2. 26th February 2015 – This is called the mid month contract
  3. 26th March 2015 – This is called the far month contract

Have a look at the image below –

M4-Ch6-chart8

As you can see, from the expiry drop-down menu, I can choose any contract between the current month, mid month, or far month based on my specific requirement. Needless to say, I would choose the mid month contract expiring on 26th Feb 2015 in this particular case (as shown below) –

M4-Ch6-chart9

One thing that stands out clearly is the change in futures price. The contract expiring on 26th Feb 2015 is trading at Rs.1,032/- while at the same time the contract expiring on 29th Jan is trading at Rs.1,022.8/-. Which means the mid month contract is more expensive compared to the current month contract. This is always the case; the larger the time to expiry, the higher is the price. In fact as I write this, Bharat Forge Limited’s March contract expiring on 29th March 2015 is trading at Rs.1,037.4/-.

For now just remember this – The current month futures price should be less than mid month futures price, which should be less than far month futures price. There is a mathematical reason for this, the same will be discussed when we take up the futures pricing formula.

Also, here is another important concept you need to remember – As I had mentioned earlier, at any given point the NSE ensures there are 3 future contracts (current, mid, and far month) available to trade. For now we know, Bharat Forge contract is expiring on 29th January 2015. This means the January contract can be traded till 3:30PM on 29th January 2015, after which it will cease to exist. So does that mean from 29th January 2015 onwards, the January contract goes out of the system leaving behind just the February and March contract?

Not really, till 3:30PM on January 29th 2015 the January contract is available, after which it will expire. On 9:15AM 30th January 2015, NSE will introduce April 2015 contract. So on 30th January we will have three contracts –

  1. The February contract would now graduate as the current month contract from being the mid month contract until the previous day
  2. The March contract would now be considered the mid month contract (graduated from being far month the previous day to mid month now)
  3. The April contract, which is newly introduced, becomes the far month contract.

Likewise when the February contract expires, NSE will introduce the May contract. Hence the market will have March, April, and May contracts to trade. So on and so forth.

Anyway, continuing with Bharat Forge Limited futures contract example, because I have a slightly long term view, I can buy the futures contract expiring on 26th February 2015 and hold the February contract till I deem appropriate. However, there is another alternative as well –  instead of buying the February contract, I can go ahead and  buy the January contract, hold on to it till around expiry, and very close to expiry, I can square off the January contract and buy the February contract. This is called a ‘rollover’.

If you watch business news regularly, around the expiry time the TV anchor’s usually talk about the ‘rollover data’. Well, don’t get too confused about this, in fact it is quite straight forward. All they are trying to convey is a % measure on how many traders have ‘rolled over’ (or carried over) their existing positions from the current month to the mid month. If there are many traders rolling over their existing long positions to the next month then it is considered bullish, likewise if a lot of traders are rolling over their existing short positions to the next month then it is considered bearish. This is as simple as that. Now is this a proven technique to draw any concrete inference about the markets? Not really, it is just a perception of the market.

So under what circumstances would one want to rollover rather than buy a long dated futures contract? Well, one of the main reasons for this is the ease of buying and selling aka ‘The liquidity’. In simple words, at any given point there are more number of traders who prefer to trade current month contract as compared to the mid or far month contract. Obviously when there are more traders trading the same contract the ease of buying and selling gets better.

6.3 – Sneak Peak into Spreads

We are now at a very interesting stage. You may find some of the discussion below a bit confusing, but just read through this and try to grasp as much as you can. At the right time in future we will talk more about this in detail.

Just think about these two contracts –

  1. Bharat Forge Limited Futures, expiring on 29th January 2015
  2. Bharat Forge Limited Futures, expiring on 26th February 2015

For all practical purposes these are two different contracts, priced slightly differently, both derives its value from the same underlying i.e. Bharat Forge Limited, hence they behave exactly the same. Meaning if Bharat Forge stock price in the spot market goes up, then both January futures and February futures price would go up. Likewise if Bharat Forge stock price in the spot market goes down, then both January futures and February futures price would go down.

At times there are opportunities created where by simultaneously buying the current month contract and selling the mid month contract or vice versa, one can make money. Opportunities of this type are called ‘Calendar Spreads’. How to identify such opportunities and setup trades is a different topic altogether. We will discuss this soon. But at this moment, I want to draw your attention to the margins aspect.

We know why margins are charged – mainly from the risk management perspective. Now, what kind of risk would exist if we are buying the contract on one hand and selling the same type of contract on the other? The risk is drastically reduced. Let me illustrate this with numbers –

Scenario 1 – Trader buys only Bharat Forge Limited’s January Futures

Bharat Forge Spot Price = Rs.1021/- per share

Bharat Forge January contract Price= Rs.1023/- per share

Lot Size = 250

After buying, assume the spot price drops to Rs.1011/- (10 point fall)

Approximate futures price = Rs.1013/-

P&L = (10 * 250) = Rs.2500/- loss

Scenario 2 – Trader buys January and sells February Futures

Bharat Forge Spot Price = Rs.1021/- per share

Long on Bharat Forge January contract at Rs.1023/- per share

Short on Bharat Forge February contract at Rs.1033/- per share

Lot Size = 250

After setting up this trade, assume the spot price drops to 1011 (10 point fall)

Approximate price of January Futures = Rs.1013/-

Approximate price of February Futures = Rs.1023/-

P&L on January Contract = (10*250) = Rs.2500/- loss

P&L on February Contract = 10*250 = Rs.2500/- profit

Net P&L = – 2500 + 2500 = 0

Scenario 3 – Trader sells January and buys February Futures

Bharat Forge Spot Price = Rs.1021/- per share

Short on Bharat Forge January contract at Rs.1023/- per share

Long on Bharat Forge February contract at Rs.1033/- per share

Lot Size = 250

After setting up this trade, assume the spot price increases to 1031 (10 point increase)

Approximate price of January Futures = Rs.1033/-

Approximate price of February Futures = Rs.1043/-

P&L on January Contract = (10*250) = Rs.2500/- Loss

P&L on February Contract =(10*250)= Rs.2500 /- Profit

Net P&L = – 2500 + 2500 = 0

Clearly, the point that I’m trying to make here is that when you are long on one contract and short on another contract, the risk is virtually reduced to zero. However it is not completely risk free, one has to account for the liquidity, volatility, and execution risk etc. But by and large the risk reduces drastically. So when risk reduces drastically, the margins should also reduce drastically.

In fact this is what happens, have a look at the following snapshots –

This is the margin requirement (Rs.37,362/-) when we intend to buy January contracts of Bharat Forge

M4-Ch6-chart10

This is the margin requirement (Rs.37,629/-) when we intend to sell February contracts of Bharat Forge

M4-Ch6-chart11

And this is the margin requirement (Rs.7,213/-) when we intend to buy January contract and sell February contract simultaneously.

M4-Ch6-chart12

As you can see, individually the January and February contracts require Rs.37,362/- and Rs.37,629/- respectively. Hence a total of Rs.74,991/-. However when a futures contract is bought and sold simultaneously the risk reduces drastically, hence the margin requirement. As we can see from the image above, the combined position just requires a margin of Rs.7,213/- only. Another way to look at it would be from a total of Rs.74,991/-, Rs.67,658/- i.e. Margin Benefit (highlighted in black) is reduced and the benefit is passed on to the client. But do remember this – A simultaneous long and short position is built only when opportunities arise. These opportunities are called the ‘Calendar Spread’. If the calendar spread opportunity is not there, then there is no point initiating such trades.


Key Takeaways from this chapter

  1. Zerodha’s margin calculator is a simple tool that lets you calculate the margin required for a futures contract
  2. The margin calculator has many versatile features inbuilt
  3. The margin calculator gives the split up between the SPAN and Exposure margin
  4. At any given point, NSE ensures there are three contracts of the same underlying which expire on 3 different (but consecutive) months
  5. A trader can choose the contract of his choice based on the expiry data
  6. The contract belonging to the present month is called ‘Current Month Contract’, the next month contract is called ‘Mid Month’, and the 3rd one is called “Far Month Contract’
  7. On every expiry the current month contract expires and a new far month contract is introduced. In the process, the mid month contract would graduate to the current month contract
  8. Calendar spread is trading technique which involves buying a certain month contract and selling another month contract simultaneously for the same underlying
  9. When a calendar spread is initiated, the margins required are lower since the risk is drastically reduced

 

203 comments

  1. Raju Shinde says:

    Sir,
    In the above example of Calender Spread, what will happen when we spare off any one of the trades?
    Regards.
    Raju Shinde.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      The margin benefit is given because of the risk offset i.e buying current month and selling the mid (or far) month contract. As long as these positions are held the margin benefit stays, moment you Sq.off any 1 position the margin benefit is not given. Hence you are either supposed to have the full margin or you need to sq off the other position as well.

  2. Raju Shinde says:

    Sir
    With reference to your above example of Bharat Forge, Suppose, I have Rs. 8000 as a balance and I want to place a spread order. As soon as I place (first) buy order, will it get accepted? Because the Margin required for the order is Rs. 37,362. How to place both the orders at a time?
    Please explain?
    With Best Regards.
    Raju Shinde.

  3. keshav says:

    Sir in spread order the profit becomes zero is it. How to take profit from this?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Usually in a spread order, the max profit you make is the amount of spread between the the two contracts. Yes, you can think about it as the spread narrowing (driving upto zero) and therefore profiting out of it.

  4. sushil 12 says:

    i want next chap sir.. 😛 🙂 🙂

  5. sushil 12 says:

    2nd good thing in coming week zerodha also launching own Depository service i heard news somewhere.. 🙂

  6. keshav says:

    Sir When will u upload remaining chapters..?

  7. keshav says:

    Sir please upload whole module at once
    I can’t wait

  8. Sumeet Nagar says:

    I really could not understand why one would place a spread order and benefit from it. Can u give an appropriate example to illustrate this..
    In the example which you mentioned in the chapter, the net profit is zero but still the initial margin of around 7k is blocked. Can you pl explain how one can make profits in spread order? If there is no profit then why to place the order?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Sumeet – this discussion is a precursor to one of the futures module that we have planned, where in we will discuss “Spread Trades” in detail. I just want the readers to take home the message that the margin requirements are drastically reduced when you intiate a spread trade. Why we do spreads, how to profit, when to do etc will be discussed very soon. Request you to please stay tuned 🙂

  9. Rohit says:

    Why wont 1always buy the futures contract for the longest possible period even if it is a bit expensive (which doesnt matter as it mimics the spot price so profit or loss would be the same).it gives one the maximum time and oppurtunity to get out with the profit.

  10. priya says:

    Hi Karthik Sir,
    great work from you and your team sir. I have been reading many books on technical and fundamental analysis since last 6 months, only last month I came across zerodha varsity, this is truly an extract of everything I read in simple words. wonderfully explained. I wish I could be a part of your team and help zerodha in any way, I know it would be exciting to work with zerodha, please let me now if there is an opportunity. I am from Bangalore. I am fresher and not from commerce background. I am an engineer, work for an IT company.
    Thanks in advance. I am happy to just have an account with zerodha, if there is no open positions:):)

  11. priya says:

    Hi Karthik Sir,
    how do we trade markets on the day of expiry, your suggestions please.
    thank you

  12. Rushank Shukla says:

    Again commendable job done by Karthik sir and zerodha team. Sir Please correct me if I am wrong in above example “Scenario 3 – Trader sells January and buys February Futures” where spot prices rises to 10 point , I think it would affect future prices in inverse manner of what you have mentioned . Like if we are selling January then on increase in spot price will result into loss instead of profit.

  13. Roshan Choudhary says:

    Why there is no margin for BSE stocks and also the span calculator is only for NSE???

  14. aehsan4004 says:

    SIR , SIMILAR TO BHARAT FORGE example in section 6.3 .

    1) same thing possible in options as well ?

    2) we long call & long put at same strike price ,what happens ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Calendar Spreads on options is possible, but this is not as straight forward as futures

      2) Long Call and Put of the same strike, same expiry is a very popular delta neutral strategy called “Straddle”. We will discuss more about this and other strategies in the next module on Options Strategy.

  15. Sunil Tyagi says:

    Dear Mr Karthik,
    In the calendar spread example that you gave you mentioned selling mid month future. By ‘selling’ do you mean shorting (futures that are not currently owned) ?

  16. Rohit Sharma says:

    Sir as you explained example of Bharat Forge
    I have a question, if simultaneously I buy January contract and sell February contract obviously margin required will be very low. But what if I square off one contract before expiry and other left to hold. After this situation what will be required margin

  17. pavan says:

    In the website of Margin Calculator of Zerodha, when I click on Equity, I find that there are only 258 of them listed. Does this mean that only these 258 are available for intraday trading or does it mean that zerodha supports intraday trading in equity for only 258 stocks. Also is this number fixed and how does one arrive at / determine what stocks are available for intraday trading ?
    Thank You

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Margins are not applicable for all stocks. Its permitted only for stocks in ‘EQ’ segment.There are many stocks for which intraday trading is not permitted….this segment is called ‘BE’.

  18. Nisha says:

    Hi,

    I have a basic question about rollover

    Ex: I have 2 lots of Nifty April Future sell position with average of 7600.Nifty April Future is currently trading at 7936.I want to rollover my position to May. Nifty May Future is currently trading at 7976. If i rollover my position to May will i make a loss of 50400? If not how much loss will i make?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, you would. Rollover simply means you close this months position and initiate the same position in the next month series.

  19. Sooraj Jogendra Mishra says:

    Dear Karthik Sir,
    Does Kite software provide Braket order/ Cover order for intraday…?? becasue I find them on Pi software but not on Kite..

  20. Harshit says:

    Sir amazing work done by you…..
    But as you quoted Bharat forge of calender spread in which you buy and sell the same stock on different expiry date and getting margin advantage.But sir what will happen if sell one conract before expiry and keep other contract on hold??Do i need to pay extra margin then??and if yes by when and how much??Please explain me this with an example where in you settle one contract before expiry and hold the other contract and how will be the margin money affected and impacted.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, once you release a contract you will have to top up the margins. The margins will be as per SAPN+Exposure requirement as indicated in our margin calculator.

  21. Harshit says:

    Sir,Suppose i purchased at future contract of X company ny paying margin money of Rs 65000.The share of the company rose by 10% on that day but i didnt square off by selling it and on the next day the margin money got increased to Rs 95000 from Rs65000.So my question is should i pay difference in margin money or not on the next day (i.e Rs 30000)?????

  22. BAL KRISHAN says:

    Hi Team Zerodha
    I would like to know as to how to place spread orders for futures in Pi? I want to rollover long position of current month future to next month.

  23. Mike says:

    Thank you so much for your amazing explanation. Your style of explaining things is the same way a loving mother would explain things to her children. That’s why even though I typically need to re-read material twice or thrice to understand properly, one reading of your articles more than suffices. Grateful to you!

  24. Sudheer says:

    Hi karthik,
    The concept of calendar spread seems similar to hedging where the losses arising out of one position are negated by the profits in another opposite trade.Is my understanding right?

  25. Thahazeeb says:

    When checking for IDEA16DEC contract, the lot size is 5000 but on IDEA17JAN contract, the lot size is 7000. Why is that so?

  26. reachsupriyo says:

    The link https://zerodha.com/technology is not working . Can somebody help ?

  27. P.shunmuga perumal says:

    I have some doubt I heard that all future contract will expire at the last Thursday of that month then how the mid month contract works on I buy a Jan contract can I extend till may

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      At any given point, there are 3 futures contract available to you. Current, mid, and far month contracts. The one that expires on the last Thursday is the current month contract.

  28. Mehul says:

    Hi karthik
    Greetings for the day.
    I have one doubt, can you please guide
    From above eg of bharat forge if i buy one lot then i will be charged the brokerage for that particular lot, but instead if i buy 250 seperate shares then it may not be necessary that on the opposite side a seller is having 250 shares ready, so if there are 5 sellers with 50 shares each on the opposite side then would my brokerage will be 5 times more ( all in intra day)
    Thanks in advance.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I’m assuming you are trading with Zerodha. Brokerage on equity transactions (not intraday) is zero. It does not matter if you but 1 share of 100000 shares, we charge you nothing. Its completely free. However, equity intraday and futures trade is charged at Rs.20/- per executed order. Here is Zerodha’s complete charge list – https://zerodha.com/charges

      • Rajendra says:

        If I buy a 1lot (250) of future and its executed in multiple( like 5
        ) order to get the 250 shares. then Zerodhs will charge me 20/order*5= 100rs to me?

  29. Mehul says:

    Thanks karthik for the reply.
    I am going through all the modules and then will join zerodha for sure.
    I got your point karthik, just still confused with the term ” per executed order”.
    For eg if i place order of 1000 shares, my order might be executed in one go or say partially like 100 + 500 + 200 + 200 = 1000. So in this case i got my 1000 shares but from 4 different sources , so should i consider these as 4 executed orders wherein brokerage charged will be 4 times say 20*4 ? Am i correct in my interpretation ? If yes then how often these partial execution happen ( all in INTRA DAY)
    Thanks karthik in advance.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      As long as you press ‘buy’ once it will be considered as 1 order for us. After you place the order, the order can get executed in 1 trade or maybe 10, it does not matter. All that matters to us is how many executed orders. Also, please note the difference between ‘executed order’ and trade.

  30. Mehul says:

    Hello karthik,
    I have one more query please.
    As I was going through stock watch on nse website, I found that SBIN opened at 277.00 and that is the high throughout
    In whole day it has traded below its opening price(even though a gap up of 8 points from previous day. My question for the stock shown in green, the gap up is the factor considered ? Because whoever would have taken the position today for intra day would not have benefited at all even though with so called positiveness in the scrip.
    Thanks in advance.

  31. Prathamesh says:

    I have seen that in some cases the price of the mid month and far month contract is lower than spot price. In this case is it possible to buy mid or far month futures and square off in the current month itself….it seems that this wouldnt be possible though.
    Thanks for the inputs!!

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yeah, but to do this you will have to estimate the fair value of the futures. For the position to be hedged, you need to ensure long on mid/far month contract and short on current month.

  32. Ashok says:

    Lets say i bought one lot of Nitfty with 50,000 margin for swing trading. I am in long position. Next day because of some serious news nifty opens below 1000 points and continue going down (just a hypothetical scenario). I only have 50,000 in my account but as soon as the market opens i am in loss of Rs.75000 (1 lot has 75). So what happens? I need to pay extra Rs.25000?

  33. P.shunmuga perumal says:

    Can I buy a future contract in equity commodity currency and niffty

  34. rakesh says:

    Is it ok, if i point out small mistakes, like spelling mistakes and different word used.
    In this chapter, on step 4, line 3 it’s written quality, but it should be quantity.
    Let me know if it’s ok, to point out such mistakes, as i found them in other modules too.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Please do. I know that I make a lot of these silly typos, I’ll be happy to take note and correct. Thanks.

  35. zerodhabdj says:

    Please advice if it is possible to get benefit of calender spread when we short position in profit from current month future by buying new current month future at lower price same day. Thanks.

  36. dj9564 says:

    Hi Karthik.
    You have mentioned some business news giving information of monthly rollover.
    Can we get separate data of bullish and bearish roll over for any contract?
    Thanks

  37. zerodhabdj says:

    Thank you Karthik

  38. Ankit says:

    Hello karthik sir,
    i have a question in this chater tooabout ROLLOVER
    Assume i have a nifty April futures and margin deposited is (imagined word) 55000 Rs
    and at expiry i decided to rollover this to may . so what is the difference between me and a fresh buyer of may future after all we both had purchased a may future from start it should not matter for media house what ever a trader is doing it should be simple as a fresh postion is created in market for may future. If not thrn we are all rolling over our possitions month by month like this Buy jan then square it at expiry then again buy /sell feb and then square it off at expiry->_>_>_>_>_>Now again 1st april HAPPY NEW YEAR
    OR i have option do not close a particular months option and carry forward it to the next month
    Then expiry date is useless right
    Please have light on my thoughts
    Thank you sir…

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Rollover is a debatable concept. I’m not sure how the numbers are calculated by media. So I’d advice you to look at it with a pinch of salt.

  39. pushkar says:

    “Which means the mid month contract is more expensive compared to the current month contract. This is always the case; the larger the time to expiry, the higher is the price.”
    sir, please look into the links for images for infy futures on 25 may 2017 and 29 june 2017.
    the mid month contract https://ibb.co/dUhEd5 i.e. 29 june 2017 is for 924
    and current month contract https://ibb.co/mE89BQ i.e. 25 may 2017 is for 933.95
    please correct me sir if i am missing anything here.

    moreover the far month furure contract https://ibb.co/n9ORrQ 27 july 2017 for infy is priced at 930.90

    the prices are as of 6 May 2017.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, there is a spread, but it does not seem to justify a trade. Usually, something like 3% or more would qualify as a juicy trade.

      • pu says:

        sorry but i did’nt get you here.
        should we take the june futures or may futures ?
        i mean clearly the liquidity of the may futures will be more but i get a better profit on the june futures

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Yes, May futures has the highest liquidity, so its best to consider May – or in general the near month futures.

  40. rohit sharma says:

    Hi karthik
    I have 2 doubts
    First calendar spread means shorting one month contract and buying another month contract
    Is it compulsory to buy near month and short another month contract?
    My second doubt is regarding margin
    Today I (zerodha client) short future contract of Nifty of may series
    About 54000 margin was blocked and about 25000 was left in my account
    At 3:25 I decided to long nifty June series contract and did not square off my position but message displayed “margin required………. ”
    Please let me know why this was displayed
    Thanks

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) No it can be the other way round as well
      2) Yes, this is because you need 54K as margins per lot. First 54K was blocked for May futures, after which you were left with 25K. For June futures you need another 54K, since you were short of funds, the system did not allow you to take the position.

  41. rohit sharma says:

    Hi karthik
    Thanks for clearing my doubts and
    Sorry to bother you again, still I have one doubt
    If I long one mid month contract and short one current month contract (calendar spread)
    For both the contract 55000 +56000=11000(approx)
    amount is needed
    After execution of order margin blocked would be around 20000(approx)
    After execution balance remaining in account would be around 95000,If I withdraw this amount and after that I square off my one position, then what will happen to another contract, will that be square off automatically?
    Thanks

  42. rohit sharma says:

    55000+56000=110000

  43. dhanendra says:

    hi sir,
    suppose i took position in option spread like sell bank nifty 22600 pe and buy 22200 pe. how much total margin i have to pay?
    I used zedodha calculator, if i sell only 22600 pe then i have to pay Rs. 60400 as a margin and if i add buy position of 22200 pe, then Rs.57800
    i get only 3000 benefit in option spread margin. is it ok?

  44. Dr. Bharatkumar Bhate, Surgeon, Rajkot says:

    I do not get time to keep eye on market flactuations. Can I just keep stoploss and relax. I am told that it many times results in losses. Pl. give proper suggesion.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Stop loss orders are valid only for the day. You cannot carry forward the today’s SL order over to tomorrow.

  45. Rahul says:

    Is it better to place SL or SLM for liquid scrips?

  46. Roshan says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Site link has changed, don’t see link to check SPAN Margin
    https://zerodha.com/technology.

  47. jitu says:

    What is exact amount to sell bank nifty, your margin calculator is showing exposure margin as zero, is it right???

  48. jitu says:

    I mean for banknifty options

  49. Zia says:

    Hi,

    I am reading your detailed chapters today and enjoying. And as someone said, just one reading more than suffices. Amazing work!
    But while reading, it seems to me that you have tried to explain things heavily from a buyer’s perspective and not a seller’s perspective. And it really matters to the beginners like me to be able to know the nuances of placing a sell order also in the futures trade. The questions like, what is a short position in a futures contract?, Do we need to own the the future securities in order to short it? need to be answered explicitly. In fact, I could not understand the term ‘short’ when I first encountered it in your article!! It was nowhere explained before! I hope this is taken care of! Even if it isn’t, I have no words to thank you for the amount of effort you have put in writing all this for free!
    Since I am new to stock trading I want to ask–and I am sure you will help–how do we research about a stock to form a trading opinion about it, I mean which websites to look for?, which softwares to use and how? Is it necessary to use the softwares at all? How to interpret different news about a stock? etc. I know this requires a long answer, but I believe you could still guide this beginner to some extent as I don’t want to go just with the flow and do some blind trading. I would be much obliged. Thanks!

    Regards
    M. Zia ul Haq

  50. Asmita S says:

    Hello Karthik,
    Nice platform for discussion,

    If i have long future in current month , and after i week i sense that market may fall, with this anticipation , if i decide to short equity of same stock ( same number of shares as in future lot) ;
    Do i need to pay ? or it will consider as hedge position ?
    pls reply
    Thanks in advance
    Regards

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Remember you can short the stocks only on an intraday basis. You cannot carry forward your short position. I don’t think you will get a margin benefit for this.

  51. MANIDEEP says:

    Hi Karthik, Does margin requirment change from broker to broker or is it same across all brokers?

  52. SHANTARAM PATIL says:

    Dear Sir,

    ROLLING OVER CONTRACT AS EXPLAINED IN MARGINN CALCULATOR PART 1 IS QUOTED BELOW :

    QOTE:
    ” Anyway, continuing with Bharat Forge Limited futures contract example, because I have a slightly long term view, I can buy the futures contract expiring on 26th February 2015 and hold the February contract till I deem appropriate. However, there is another alternative as well – instead of buying the February contract, I can go ahead and buy the January contract, hold on to it till around expiry, and very close to expiry, I can square off the January contract and buy the February contract. This is called a ‘rollover’.

    UNQUOTE:
    1.Squaring off position is as good as closing previous contract .
    2.Will not be there any change in buying price? as Near Month/Mid Month /Far month future prices are different.

    Kindly guide on above.

    Please also throw light on below mentioned statement as per given by 1 of the company:
    Board meeting is on 03/11/2015 to declare Q2 result. Trading window will be closed from 01/11/17 to 15/11/17.

    What is meant TRADING WINDOW WILL BE CLOSED.

    Thanks & Regards.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Yes
      2) Yes, there will be slight difference in prices
      3) Trading window is for the company insiders. They cannot buy/sell the companies shares during that window period.

  53. SHANTARAM PATIL says:

    Dear Sir,

    Pl read Board Meeting as on 01/11/17 instead 03/11/15 as typographic mistake.

    Thanks.

  54. Raghuram says:

    Hi karthik,
    I am a new client. I have loaded 6000/- in TA. I was trying to place a MIS equity order for testing purpose in kite mobile app. I could not find how many shares i am entitled under normal mis, BO and CO. What i understand now is that i have to go to margin calculator by opening any browser and there i have to find out the same. To be frank, this is just a big downside . How is it convenient for a person wanting to trade on mobile on the go to use a web browser to first ensure from margin calculator and then use kite app and place order. A lot of time will have elapsed and he would surely miss the bus. What is the purpose of mobile app then ? I am sure nobody has raised this issue. But, before i go any further, kindly confirm if what i am fearing is true or not. If it is true, then there is no use of kite android app in intraday for a scalper which i want to be. Thanks

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Raghuram, this is completely a valid point. This is something we are working on, this should be in place sometime soon.

  55. Sachin Singh says:

    1) Can you give a link where one can see which all shares are in the F & O category?
    2) Is it worth buying futures of a share which is low on liquidity? Guess the answer here is no. So then, how would you define ‘low liquidity’? What criteria?
    3) Though I understood the concept the of a rollover, I didn’t get why one would go for one. Like in your example, why wouldn’t someone straight away take the February (mid month) contract when the Budget is coming in that month only? Is it because that early (when you bought the January contract), the mid month liquidity isn’t that high? Even then, one could wait till somewhere around the end of January contract or the first day of February contract? Or is the reason something else entirely?

    Thanks!

  56. Sachin Singh says:

    I recently opened a account with Zerodha. Please help with these two queries-

    1) I transferred 1 lakh into my account (equity). Under the ‘margin available’ column, it’s showing Rs 1,99,989 & under the ‘Total account value’ column, it’s showing Rs 99,989. Why the difference? And I presume the 11 rupees which have been deducted are due to the payment getaway charges (Rs 9 + GST) ?
    2) If I had to buy a future contract, say Dec nifty 50, for which the total margin required is approx. Rs 60k. So, should I transfer the margin amount to another category where it’ll be blocked? Or since 1 lakh is already there in my account, Zerodha will automatically block that amount from my (equity) account when I place the order?

    Thanks!

    • Sachin Singh says:

      1) Now, it’s showing the same value for both columns. Don’t know why it was different yesterday.

    • 1. The Rs 11 deducted is actually the Payment Gateway charges(Rs 9+18% GST= Rs 10.62). Funds was showing only 99,989 yesterday because the remaining 1 lac was showing under Payin. This has been added to your account in the daily ledger update which happens after market hours
      2. With your Equity Balance, you can trade, Cash Equity, Futures & Options and Currency, so, you don’t need to add funds separately.

  57. Lalit Mohan Gupta says:

    How do we make profit in calendar spread scenario?
    How do we identify an opportunity of calendar spread?
    Can you explain this with example

  58. jyotshna says:

    spread margin benefit is there in commodity, currency also ?

  59. sravan says:

    Sir,
    Unable to open the next chapter(margin calculator part 2) section.
    Plz check.

  60. sravan says:

    Sir,
    Unable to open the next chapter(margin calculator part 2) section.
    Trying since morning.
    Plz check.
    Thanks in advance

  61. Kiran says:

    who sets the price in a Futures contract?

    In Forwards contract it’s set and agreed by the buyer and seller. But I am confused about the price setting of futures

    Let’s say, if I want to buy the futures of Idea, which is currently at 102.25. But my outlook is that the price will go down and I want to short it. Then how can I make money by buying it? I can only make money when the price goes above 102.25, which, I think, is unlikely.

    Please clarify

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      The price is decided by the market participants. This is also called ‘price discovery’. If you expect the price to go down, then you need to short it and buy it back later.

  62. sahil swaroop says:

    hii kartik my name is sahil i just wanted to know when is the favourable time to do rollover say holding xyc contract and expiry is of the contract is 27 jan and today is 26 jan and i know i might have to hold it for couple more days so should i sell the contract on 26th jan and simountaniously buy feb contact or i should sell the contract on expiry day and buy the feb at the same time and if yes what is the time one should prefer to do rollover around what time should be it 2:30 to 3:30 or earlier

  63. SANTHOSH says:

    Will this effect to Leverage when we take margin benefit

  64. Arshad says:

    What is the “REAL WORLD APPLICATION” of futures in equities? At the end it is zero sum game. Is not it purely betting? Only the government and broker (in terms of taxes and brokerage) benefit and those who win the bet. In normal equity market you buy a part in company but what about futures?

  65. Nikhil says:

    If the “rollover” is just a term. Where in you actually are doing two transaction (Selling one month and buying the other month future).
    So it would be impossible to calculate the rollover data by Media House. Can you please clarify how do they get the rollover data.

  66. RG says:

    Hi Karthik,

    1. If I just place a sell order on a futures contract(wout having a long position) of let’s say IDEA, it basically means I am shorting it right?
    2. If I already have a long position in IDEA futures and I sell it before or on the expiry date, this means i’m squaring off and not shorting right?
    3. Are all the concepts of TA applicable for futures (NIFTY futures, stocks futures etc..) candlestick charts as well?

    For now, I have understood all the concepts you have explained in this module.
    Just an yes or no on the above questions will do:)

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Yes, that is how shorting is done
      2) Yes, that is correct. When you short, you basically initiate a fresh position. Closing an existing position is also called square off.
      3) Yes, TA (in any form like Dow, Candlestick) is applicable to any asset with time series data.

      Good luck, and happy learning!

  67. RG says:

    Hi Karthik,

    On shorting, let’s say I short TCS shares intraday and I forgot the buy back the share before 3:20PM and I have 0 cash balance in my trading account. What will Zerodha do in this case as 3:20? How will it square off the intraday short? Will it use its own funds to buy back the shorted TCS shares? If yes, how will it recover the funds from me?

    • RG says:

      To add to this, along with 0 trading balance, I don’t have any stocks in my portfolio as well for Zerodha to sell. What happens in this case?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      The position will be squared off. Also, its best if you use MIS as the product type if you are shorting intraday.

  68. barun says:

    Hi i plan to sell options and the margin calculator shows i need a total margin of Rs 145000.
    do i need to keep that much of cash in zedoda account?
    if I have Rs 10 lakh worth of shares in my dmart account, from where do i known how much F&O margin that gives me? can i utilise the same to write the options.
    please guide
    regards

  69. Aashish says:

    Sir
    What is the difference between trading strategy and trading system?

  70. Mohan says:

    Sir,
    I have one basic doubt. In futures say when you buy long on intraday, you pay margin amount as per requirement, when you square off later in the day by selling say with profit, will the margin amount + profit will be added back to my funds on same day. Please clarify.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, it would. Check for the funds balance the next day morning to see the final amount after adjusting for brokerage and charges.

  71. aman says:

    sir i have confusion in calendar spread as you are saying Trader buys January and sells February Futures.my Confusion is do we have to buy both jan and feb contract first at same time before selling feb contract as how we can sell feb contract without buying.can you please ellaborate more on this.

  72. aman says:

    or your point of saying is that we have to buy shares in spot market then sell these shares as feb future in market and buy its jan future from market

  73. Chanu says:

    in topic 6.2 the rollover of contract, is making old contract new one or purchasing a new one?

  74. Chanu says:

    Today Bank of Baroda OPEN=149, HIGH= 152.05, If I would have placed an intraday trade at 149 & sells=high using 50000 and margin available 14xMIS (AS GIVEN https://zerodha.com/margin-calculator/Equity/), What would be my intraday profit?

    Number of shares that can be bought

    CNC 1x MIS 14x
    335 4793

    please correct me if I m wrong!

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Your profit or loss calculation is straightforward its the – Difference between the buying and the selling price * Number of shares.

  75. Daljeet says:

    Which stop loss order for future NRML order until i exit the position?

    Suppose I buy one lot of NRML future of XYZ Company on August 6, 2018 and if I want to hold the position till August 21, 2018. Which stoploss order should I put? Should I place stoploss order everyday when the market opens. Should I place stop loss each and everyday until I exit my position? Can you share your insight on this.

    Thank you.

    • Yes, you will need to place a stoploss order under NRML product type every day after market open(You can also place an AMO order every day if that’s convenient for you(between 4 PM and 9AM))

  76. Vaibhav says:

    There is a grammatical error in section 6.3 –

    “For all practical purposes these are two different contracts, priced slightly differently, both derives its value from the same underlying i.e. Bharat Forge Limited, hence they behave exactly the same.”

    It should be “derive” and not “derives”.

  77. Subhajit says:

    Hello, recently discovered these gem of a series! I have a dumb question, when the exchange issues a new “far month” futures contract (a day after expiry of current month’s contract), is there a fixed number of lots (each lot = some fixed no. of shares) issued? I’m trying to compare this with say an IPO, where (if my understanding is correct) a fixed number of shares are introduced to the the spot market.
    Thanks for this great series!

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Subhajit, each contract will have the same lot size and would not vary, unless there is some sort of corporate action in the stock, leading to change in lot size.

  78. L.KAMALAKSH RAO says:

    I have been trading mainly in cash segments and sometimes in options in Zerodha.
    From the write ups ,I have three doubts .
    1.Huge cash minimum 7to 8 lakhs is required to invest in equity shares to keep as hedge as lot size or price are very high to trade in futures .
    2.If future price on expiry is higher ,one may have to sell the shares to compensate for loss in futures.Coud you tell me from your experience,will such large chunk of shares get sold say in 1 or 2 days before expiry?,
    3.Are the returns generally above 9% p.a. ,after paying brokerage,STT,income tax.What has been past exprience?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Not really, if you intend to hedge with futures, then the margin is about 70K
      2) This really depends on the liquidity of the stock and also the value of the transaction you are talking about
      3) Well, this no one can really predict, depends on your trading strategy.

  79. Ramesh says:

    A particular stock future X require total margin of 50K in Normal leverage. I want to go for ‘Long’ position with buy price as 200 RS in Normal leverage. Another sell position at 198 Rs in Normal leverage which act as Stoploss(with SL-market order). Another sell position at 204 Rs in Normal leverage(with limit order) which act as target. How much amount I want in my trading account to place all the three orders at the same time?

  80. Ramesh says:

    If I buy stock future X, one lot in Normal and another lot in MIS at the same price 300 Rs/share and selling both of them at same price 301 Rs./share. My understanding is that only profit % varies between Normal and MIS but the actual Profit value remains same for both Normal and MIS (if the buy and sell price is same). Am I right?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      The profits measured as a % over margins would differ. Clearly, it will be higher for the MIS trade. The actual profit remains the same.

  81. Vishnuprasad Venukumar says:

    Sir,

    Great presentation, good job.
    In the snapshot you have shown above the underlying value of the current month contract and mid month contract are different, also the previous close is shown different. I am a bit confused. Can you explain?
    Thanks in advance.

    Vishnu

  82. Arun Poddar says:

    Hi Karthik,

    I have read almost all the previous sections and literally I am learning quite a lot.
    I have one small doubt in calender spread, how can I decide which stock I need to buy/sell or which contract I need to sell/buy?
    Can we term it as arbitrage opportunity due to pricing mismatch between two months.
    Further I want to get one more idea like I am regularly trading in cash segment. So can I pledge my securities and trade which the money I have received in future segment

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      As a thumb rule in arbitrage, you always buy the cheaper asset and sell the expensive one. Yes, you can pledge your shares to trade. But you may want to think twice before doing so 🙂

      • Arun says:

        Can you just elaborate what are the starting point of such arbitrage.. to be more precised what is the trigger point for a stock which induces an investor to do such arbitrage

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          The only trigger point is the difference in price, Arun. Apart from price mismatch, there is no other reason to initiate an arbitrage trade.

  83. MJ says:

    Whats the current intrady margin for stock sort options in zerodha. Is it 50 percent or 40 percent of total value.
    Thanks

  84. Hits says:

    Sir, As simultaneous long and short position will create almost zero profit then why would anyone do that??

  85. Omi says:

    When margin falls below what is required position gets squared off. Is there any difference for this for futures or short options.

  86. Rohit says:

    You need to update the URL for STEP 1 to access margin calculator. The current link does not list the calculator. The correct link should be https://zerodha.com/margin-calculator/SPAN/

  87. Anurag says:

    In the spread example, Span margin got reduced to around 2000 from around 24000.
    How was it calculated? Also total margin got reduced to around 7000. What was the calculation behind it?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Anurag, if the position is hedged, then there is very little risk, hence the reduced margins. I’ll check for an explanation for the margin calculation, don’t have it handy for now.

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