Day trading and Ameritrade

So, I’ve got 2 weeks off from work, and I’m trying out daytrading using Ameritrade. Only problem is, after I buy and sell a stock, the funds I used aren’t available for trading again for a couple of days. Is this because Ameritrade isn’t suited for the day traders needs? Is their another online broker I can use that’s more suited for the day trader, that’s as inexpensive to use as Ameritrade (since I’ll only be doing this for a few weeks)?

X-Ray - First off what kind of stocks are you trading? It makes a difference. For instance I own quite a bit of Pfizer and if I sold on a Monday, my broker couldn’t post the sales till Thursday to my bank account. Now if I were to tell my broker to sell shares of Mony Group on a Wednesday, I would have the funds available electronically by the close of the business day. This is a rarity though…Buying and selling stocks is not a quick money venture. It is a slow process meant to turn a small sum into a larger sum over time. Two weeks is a gamble in my eyes…unless you are going into something you know will turn around quickly, and if you knew that, I’d say you were friends with Martha Stewarts broker :slight_smile:

Some stocks that do well all the time are pharmaseuticals like Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson. Other Sin stocks do well too like Anhauser Busch and tobacco companies. But if you are wanting to make money in two weeks…thats a bit slim…

I don’t want the money in my bank account Phlosphr, I just want to be able to buy shares again with the money I just got back from stocks I sold. What I 'm trying to do is buy shares at one price, hold on to it for a few minutes or hours, and sell it as soon as it goes up a few cents a share. I made about $800 since Monday doing this. I called Ameritrade and asked why the money is not back in my Ameritrade account so I can keep doing this, and they told me since I bought and sold in the same day, the money won’t be available for more trading until the transactions clear (whatever that means.)

Oh I get it…sorry I misread your OP. I’m sick today and a little skiddish…

Yes, that is a facet of Ameritrade people do not like. I would suggest using a brokerage like TD Waterhouse , they allow you to do what you are talking about. I use a personaly broker through Merrill Lynch, but that is because they are good at diversification, and that is where I like to make my money. Try TD Waterhouse, they are a very reputable house, and you can manage your accounts online.

Thanks Phlosphr, I’ll check them out.

Have you checked the “Datek” portion of Ameritrade? When they were separate, they seemed to market more to the day-trading crowd, which would imply that your cash would be available to you immediately after selling (there’s a DATEK LOG-IN button on the Ameritrade site (or at least the www.datek.com address of the Ameritrade site).

not sure of the exact answer, but the standard for clearing transactions is the transaction date plus 3 days (T+3). I would expect every brokerage will be the same.

Are you approved for margin trading? That may help.

Also, stocks under $5 you may have problems with because additional regulations can apply to these (penny stocks).

Uh oh. What kind of problems LemonThrower?

Definitely check to see if you are cleared for margin trading. Even if you do not plan to buy on margin, you need this enabled for quick-turnarounds.

A friend and I have been day-trading with Ameritrade on our days off for about 6 weeks now. I’ve had my account for a while and had margin enabled. He opened a cash account. When I sell a stock the money is available for me as soon as the transaction clears (ie almost immediately, but within one minute). When he sold the same stock it would take a couple of days for the money to be available to him.

Sometimes when buying and selling I go a little bit negative on the cash balance (say, $100). With a margin account this is no big deal, but with a cash account they won’t let you go negative, so the money has to actually wend it’s way through all the wickets before they’ll let you use it again.

Also, my experience has been the same whether I’m trading an OTC stock for $.70/share or a large company for $30/share.