A day trade is when an investor buys and sells a financial instrument once or multiple times during a single trading day.
What is Pattern Day Trading?
Investors will be marked as Pattern Day Traders (PDT) if they execute four day trades in a rolling period of five trading days. If you’re marked as a Pattern Day Trader, you may be restricted from making additional buy orders for 90 days or more.
Important to Note
PDT rules come from the U.S. regulatory body FINRA, not from Stake. If you’re designated as a PDT, your ability to place buy orders will be restricted for the allotted time. You will still be able to place sell orders during this time if you wish to exit a position.
Investors marked as Pattern Day Traders could face further restrictions beyond the initial 90 days, these are at the discretion of FINRA and our U.S. broker-dealer, DriveWealth.
Exemptions from PDT
Restrictions only apply to PDT account balances under US$25,000.
Your PDT account balance consists of:
Total settled cash;
Unsettled stock sale proceeds; and
The value of held securities not on loan via Stock Lending
For this exemption to apply, your total PDT account balance must be over US$25,000 at the beginning of a given trading day.
Please note that while PDT account balance is measured via the above, only settled funds/buying power can be used to place a buy order.
What if I’m marked as a Pattern Day Trader?
If you’re ever marked as a Pattern Day Trader and would like to remove the trading restriction, you can fund your account above US$25,000 for the above exemption to apply. All deposits to your Wall St account (including instant deposits) only count towards your PDT account balance when the cash settles. You will need to maintain this minimum PDT account balance for each trading day you intend on placing buy orders.
Stake Day Trade Counter
To keep our customers on the right side of the rules, we’ve built a Day Trade Counter that allows you to keep track of your day trade count at any time. You can access this on the Stake app by tapping More > Settings > Trade settings > Day trade settings > Day trade protection.
We will also notify you as you place consecutive day trades up to and including your fourth. You’ll be alerted of the potential impact of placing a fourth day trade, however, you’ll always retain the right to place it if you choose to.
PDT and Stock Lending
If you participate in Stock Lending with Stake and a portion of your equities is currently on loan, the value of loaned equities is not included in your account balance for PDT purposes (i.e. your PDT account balance). As this can impact eligibility for the PDT rule exemption, it is recommended you opt out of Stock Lending if marked as a Pattern Day Trader. You can opt-out of Stock Lending at any time by opening your Wall St Account and clicking on Settings > Trade settings > Stock Lending settings > Turn off Stock Lending.
Day trading examples
We know day trading can get confusing, so here are some practical examples.