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THE RISK OF LOSS IN STOCK MARKET TRADING AND/OR OPTION TRADING CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL. YOU SHOULD, THEREFORE, CAREFULLY CONSIDER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES WHEN DECIDING WHETHER SUCH FORMS OF TRADING ARE SUITABLE FOR YOU. IT IS EXPECTED THAT YOU WILL CAREFULLY REVIEW THE RISK DISCLOSURE STATEMENT AND THE CURRENT BOOKLET ENTITLED “CHARACTERISTICS AND RISKS OF STANDARDIZED OPTIONS,” BOTH OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FROM YOUR BROKER.
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In considering whether to trade, you should be aware of the following points:
- The national securities markets are extremely efficient and competitive. Successful trading typically requires skill and discipline as well as experience and knowledge of the capital markets. There is no guarantee that you will be successful in implementing your investment strategy. A substantial number of traders will not be successful. Moreover, changes in market structure and competitive conditions also may affect your continued success. Only risk capital should be used for trading. Market structure and competitive changes in the markets may cause formerly successful traders to become less successful.
- Trading can involve a volume of activity. Each trade generates a commission and the total commissions on such trading can be in excess of any earnings.
- Persons who are new to trading should strictly limit both the number of trades they do and the size of their trades to reduce the risk of large dollar losses during the learning process.
- Trading activity may result in losses that can exceed 100% of your initial capital. You are solely responsible for any losses in your account.
- Placing contingent orders, such as “stop-loss” or “stop-limit” orders, will not necessarily limit your losses to the intended amounts, since market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders. Similarly, using “market orders” can be very risky, since large gaps can occur in price movements of active stocks.
- Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position quickly at a reasonable price. This can occur, for example, when the market for a stock suddenly drops, or if trading is halted due to recent news events or unusual trading activity. The more volatile a stock is, the greater the likelihood that problems may be encountered in executing a transaction.
- In addition to normal market risks, you may experience losses due to system failures. The firm and its clearing broker rely upon sophisticated computer software and hardware to execute transactions, which are subject to failure due to a variety of factors. Among other events, you may experience losses due to: system crashes during both peak and low volume periods; the loss of orders and, delayed, conflicting and inaccurate confirmations on orders or cancellations that you initiate.
- The use of any margin or leverage in an account can work against you as well as for you. Leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains. You may sustain a total loss of the initial margin funds and any additional funds that you deposit with your broker to establish or maintain a position, and you may incur losses beyond your initial investment. If the market moves against your position, you may be called upon to deposit a substantial amount of additional margin funds, on short notice, in order to maintain your position. If you do not provide the required funds within the time required, your position may be liquidated at a loss, and you will be liable for any resulting deficit in your account.
- You should consult your broker concerning the nature of the protections available to safeguard funds or property deposited in your account. ALL OF THE POINTS NOTED ABOVE APPLY TO BOTH STOCK AND OPTION TRADING OF DOMESTIC EQUITY SECURITIES. THE RISK OF DAY TRADING AND/OR OPTION TRADING MAY BE SUBSTANTIAL. THIS BRIEF STATEMENT CANNOT DISCLOSE ALL THE RISKS AND OTHER ASPECTS OF TRADING. ONLY RISK CAPITAL SHOULD BE USED FOR TRADING.
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