Day trading - How / Where?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by shortorlong, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. 1) It takes me 3 days for my funds to settle after selling stock. I experienced this at 2 brokerages. Do day traders have special accounts that allow their funds to settle instantly? What is the name of these accounts, how do we get them, what are the extra costs / minimums?

    2) Is there any website with an application to 'simu'-day-trade? I want to practice looking at charts, buying, selling, and seeing my P&L change taking into consideration commisions. Oanda had a great system to do this with Forex, is there any day-trading simulator for equities?

  2. rwk


    Interactive Brokers has what you need. Unfortunately, they are not very suitable for beginners.

    Margin account gives you immediate access to funds when you close a position. IB has an margin account for individual retirement account (IRA) that gives you immediate access to funds but without leverage (which is prohibited by IRS rules). IB universal account gives you access to stocks, futures, and forex worldwide. IB has a realistic simulator available for customers only.
  3. I use BMO and buy and sell 2-3 sometimes 4 times a day.
  4. I see. I think I will eventually go to IB since I spend a bit of time on automated trading. IB has a $10,000 requirement though, so I need to get enough in my main account to syphon over.

    Is there any way to paper-day-trade without setting up a brokers account somewhere?

    I hear that nothing is more valuable to learn than practicing with charts, so I'd like to get some chart-time (without having to track profit/loss on paper)
  5. rwk


    I am not a big believer in paper trading. It's fine for learning to use the software, but it is dangerous for learning to trade. It tends to make trading look easier than it is. When learning to trade, nothing beats putting real money at risk -- but keep it SMALL.
  6. Yeah, I hear what you're saying but the total value of my portfolio is only $10k and I keep about 20% in cash, and 30-60% in equities/options at any given time. So that leaves only a couple thousand - not enough yet for me to feel good daytrading/chart trading.

    I guess I'd like to chart the underlying equities, draw trendlines, look at the candles, look at the indicators and oscillators, etc. I did this with Forex at Oanda using their demo account and enjoyed it, but I am looking for an equity equivalent.

    Oanda also let you simu-buy/sell which is important, but if this doesnt exist, i may just have to throw it into excel.
  7. piezoe


    Thinkorswim is likely the best broker for what you need and want right now. Their paper trade feature uses real-time market data (not delayed or simulated) so is very realistic. Excellent trading platform for equities is free. You will have free access to their shadow trader broadcasts which are excellent for beginning traders. Refer to the Broker reviews on ET for more information.
  8. You'll need a minimum of $25K in the account to day trade
    #10     Feb 8, 2008