FundRobot » Fund Price » How to day traders go without violating Regulation T?

Old   #1 (permalink)
Posts: 2,604
Default day traders go without violating regulation t

I have an account with Scottrade, and it's a cash account.

I was considering a Margin account since I've only had gains all year and I'd like to double them, you know...

Then I was reading along some pages on and I read about Day Traders making tens of trades a day, and it's always been my goal with the stock market.

If I were to purchase a stock for $10,000 then I decided to sell it for a gain of whatever $10,300, then I were to decide to purchase the stock again a few hours later at a lower price, and repeat this process a few times through the day, how would I keep from violating the T + 3 Day rule? Would I have to keep tens of thousands of dollars in my account to support the amount of each trade that I'd made through the day?

If that were the case, I would only be able to day trade for one day, then I'd have to wait three days for all of the prior purchases to settle, which would keep me from trading three whole days.

OR, would it be okay to trade without waiting for the settlement as long as I have gains?

I am so, so, SO confused.

I may not even know what the three day rule is. I know what it is, but I'm not sure of why it is. I'm pretty sure it's to be sure that the stocks are paid for and the money is actually given to the seller, but is that even the case?

Please explain the situation in small detail. Take all day if you must, because this is something that is really tedious for me to wrap my head around.

TheGreat33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old   #2 (permalink)
Posts: 2,557
Default day traders go without violating regulation t

Hello Little Monster. I should be able to explain this pretty well for you.

Yes, you need at least $30,000 in your account to perform a day-trade. Unfortunately our big brother named the Securities and Exchange Commission created this regulation to protect people (and the economy) from their own good.

A day trade only counts when buying and selling the same stock in a particular day. If you hold the stock overnight before selling (or rebuying), then it does not count as a day trade.

Now, you don't need to wait T+3 if you have a margin account (which can be held with less than $30k). A margin account means Scottrade loans you money and charges interest on it. The only time you have to wait T+3 is if you trade in a cash account. A cash account means all money in that account is yours - none is borrowed.

Even though we live in the digital age, it still takes 3 days for money to officially clear through the banks. Therefore if you don't want to wait the 3 days before using unsettled funds, then Scottrade loans you this money in the meantime (margin account).

So to recap:

Cash account: Any amount of money; must wait T+3 before reinvesting the money
Margin account: $2k minimum for Scottrade; can perform up to 3 day trades in a five-day period; otherwise must only wait 1 day before reinvesting.
Margin account with $30k+: No restrictions (theoretically; there are some technicalities that aren't worth mentioning though)
NewTech0 is offline   Reply With Quote


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