21 Replies to “What is the Pattern Day Trader Rule and How to Avoid the PDT Rule”

  1. Wow that was overwhelming to read! Great job on breaking down the PDT rule. I think I get it. I don’t know much about trading, but my question would be why would someone open and close a trade in one day? From my understanding of stocks, isn’t it more of a long term investment?. Thanks.


    1. Great question Michael.

      There are countless different trading strategies. Some are longer term and some are very short term. Some traders make money by holding their stocks for a few minutes to hours so these are the traders that are affected by the PDT rule. 

  2. Thanks for clarifying the PDT rule! I currently trade on the FOREX, and have been starting to read about day trading stocks too but I soon found out that you need $25k. I wasn’t totally sure why this was, but your explanation on how to avoid the PDT rule was very helpful, i’m definitely interested in SureTrader.

    I also never thought about having a few different brokerage accounts to avoid the PDT rule. Although a bit tedious, could be a good option to get going.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Hi – I enjoyed reading the article above. I’m still a little confused on the rule. At the risk of sounding “sneaky”, would the following scenario count as a PDT:

    $5,000 Margin Account with TD Ameritrade (for example)
    Monday 10am – buy 10 shares of MSFT.
    Monday 4pm – sell 8 shares of MSFT.
    Tuesday 10 am – sell 2 shares of MSFT.

    I’m wondering if holding part of the original trade overnight would keep the overall transaction from being considered a PDT.

    I appreciate the help in understanding!

    1. Thanks for the great question. I am pretty sure that this still would count as a day trade. As long as you open and close a trade in one asset on the same day, it will be considered a day trade. Therefore, the closing trade at 4pm would still be considered a day trade as you just opened that trade on the same day.
      Hopefully, this helps.

  4. Wow!!! great post. I really have to book mark this site. I wish I knew more about day trading as the world of stocks and trading etc really fascinates me. All the information you have provided has thrown my brain into a whirl.I think I will have to come back to your site several times before I can begin to understand even a little about trading. I really thank you for providing this information.

  5. I found this article very interesting as I have recently began trading on the stock market.  I was not awar of this Pattern Day Trader Rule.  Thanks for this article it is very good and I’m pretty sure reading it I’ve got my heard wrapped around day trading now.  I also found the video very informative.  I’m glad I found your site, and will be checking back for sure.

  6. You have mentioned that margin accounts wih balance above $25K can day trade. Whilst I day trade in the account should I always have to leave an amount of $25k untouched in my account or could this balance have trades which are not day trades.Basically the balance of 25k should this be the cash balance or the net liquidity position of the account

    Second question what is the 6% restriction? If I have a margin account with lets say $75k of my money , Can i day trade with 50k and leave 25k untouched

    Thanks …..Rizvi

    1. Hi Rizvi,
      Thanks for your question. The PDT Rule states that you must maintain a minimum equity level of $25000. So you don’t have to leave $25000 in cash, just to day trade. As long as your equity stays above that threshold, you’re good to go.
      I’m not entirely sure what you are referring to with the 6% restriction. But yes, you would be able to day trade with a 75k account.
      I hope this helps.

  7. Louis thanks for the excellent article. If I buy and sell options on the same day with settled cash, would I be in violation of the rule?

    1. Hi George,
      Thanks for the comment. No, that would be fine. But note that you can’t short options in a cash account, so you would be limited to long-only options strategies.

  8. Another point to make is that a lot of daytraders, myself included scale an asset. 1 buy and maybe 3 or 4 sells all one 1 stock within minutes. I was checking out your info to confirm the rule for options. Thanks great information.

  9. I heard that the real reason that the PDT rule was created was for the brokers to get larger deposits – is this true?

  10. I have been restricted from 2 accounts and now after 90 day restrictions have 2 violations in each account. Wish I educated myself before more before trading.
    I thik someone mentioned this…….If I buy multiple shares or call options at once, I can sell these thoughout the day to prevent loss or take profit more that once in the same day. This is considered only on trade. Am I correct on this?

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