How Much You Need to Trade the E-mini Nasdaq-100

  • Matt Hagemann
    Matt Hagemann

    Portfolio Manager

What amounts are required to trade the Nasdaq-100 index? We answer and explain margin requirements for the E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures contracts here.

What is the Nasdaq-100

The Nasdaq-100 is an index of the 100 largest non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange based on market capitalization. It began on January 31, 1985 at a base value of 125 and mainly serves as a benchmark for US technology stocks, although it also includes companies in other sectors.

Even though the Nasdaq-100 itself is an index, you can trade it with futures contracts such as the E-mini Nasdaq-100 (NQ) or its smaller brother Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 (MNQ).

As soon as you get the hang of stock market whipsaws, you will want to hedge against downturns. The NQ and MNQ were made precisely for efficient portfolio hedging. Brokerages charge low trading fees and you can hedge with low margin requirements. Use our short signals to know when to hedge your portfolio.

E-mini Nasdaq-100 Margin Requirements

According to official specifications, margin requirements are

  • $16,000 for the E-mini Nasdaq-100 (NQ), and
  • $1,600 for the Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 (MNQ).

Example: The Nasdaq-100 index is currently at 13,144 and because the futures contract has a multiplier of $20, one contract’s value equals $262,880. This means that you can hedge a quarter of a million-dollar portfolio efficiently by shorting just one contract of the E-mini Nasdaq-100 with a $16,000 margin.

You need $16,000 to trade one contract. You don’t have to put up another $262,880 to hedge as you would need with an ETF.

Overnight maintenance margins are generally a little higher. Margin requirements at Interactive Brokers, for example, are currently $22,863.47 per NQ contract and $2,286.35 per MNQ contract. To hold positions overnight, you need to meet overnight maintenance margin requirements.

Technology investors can use futures contracts to hedge against downtrends and remove the hedge when the fog clears. Use our long and short signals to stabilize your portfolio as professionals do.

If your portfolio is heavily exposed to the dynamic technology sector, the NQ and MNQ are ideal instruments for hedging downtrends.

Copying our trading signals is easy. We send you live notifications for when to buy or sell the E-mini Nasdaq-100. Write to us if you want to know more about out how NQ Signal could solve your trading challenges.

Author Bio
Matt Hagemann
Matt Hagemann

Portfolio Manager

Matt is the founder of NQ Signal. As a former Securities Analyst, he was bored juggling with Excel sheets and secretly reverse-engineered when the “big boys” buy and sell. Now anyone can succeed financially with the trading signals shared here.

Published March 31st 2021

Ready to take your trading to the next level?

Request access today. Enter your email address and we’ll send you a few more details on how the trading signals work.

Copyright © 2021 Overscout, Inc.

Trading involves the possibility of financial loss. Only trade with money that you are prepared to lose, you must recognise that for factors outside your control you may lose all of the money in your trading account. Many futures brokers also hold you liable for losses that exceed your trading capital. You may stand to lose more money than is in your account. NQ Signal takes no responsibility for loss incurred as a result of our trading signals. By signing up as a customer, you acknowledge that we are not providing financial advice and that you are making a the decision to copy our trades on your own account. We have no knowledge on the level of money you are trading with or the level of risk you are taking with each trade. You must make your own financial decisions, we take no responsibility for money made or lost as a result of our signals or advice on futures related products on this website.