What is “Mark to Market” Valuation?


By Staff Reporters



Marking to Market (MTM) means valuing the security at the current trading price. Therefore, it results in the traders’ daily settlement of profits and losses due to the changes in its market value.

  • Suppose on a particular trading day, the value of the security rises. In that case, the trader taking a long position (buyer) will collect the money equal to the security’s change in value from the trader holding the short position (seller).
  • On the other hand, if the security value falls, the selling trader will collect money from the buyer. The money is equal to the change in the value of the security. It should be noted that the value at maturity does not change much. However, the parties involved in the contract pay gains and losses to each other at the end of every trading day.


Examples of Mark to Market

An exchange marks traders’ accounts to their market values daily by settling the gains and losses that result due to changes in the value of the security. There are two counterparties on either side of a futures contract—a long trader and a short trader. The trader who holds the long position in the futures contract is usually bullish, while the trader shorting the contract is considered bearish.

If at the end of the day, the futures contract entered into goes down in value, the long margin account will be decreased and the short margin account increased to reflect the change in the value of the derivative.

An increase in value results in an increase in the margin account holding the long position and a decrease in the short futures account.

According to investopedia, for example, to hedge against falling commodity prices, a wheat farmer takes a short position in 10 wheat futures contracts on November 21st. Since each contract represents 5,000 bushels, the farmer is hedging against a price decline on 50,000 bushels of wheat. If the price of one contract is $4.50 on Nov. 21st. the wheat farmer’s account will be recorded as $4.50 x 50,000 bushels = $225,000.

DayFutures PriceChange in ValueGain/LossCumulative Gain/LossAccount Balance
1$4.50   225,000

Because the farmer has a short position in wheat futures, a fall in the value of the contract will result in an increase in their account. Likewise, an increase in value will result in a decrease in account value. For example, on Day 2, wheat futures increased by $4.55 – $4.50 = $0.05, resulting in a loss for the day of $0.05 x 50,000 bushels = $2,500. While this amount is subtracted from the farmer’s account balance, the exact amount will be added to the account of the trader on the other end of the transaction holding a long position on wheat futures.

The daily mark to market settlements will continue until the expiration date of the futures contract or until the farmer closes out his position by going long on a contract with the same maturity.


CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254


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