If you are reading this, then you already know FINRA imposes a $25,000 minimum to have access to unlimited day-trades in a margin account. Otherwise you get 3 day trades or round-trips every 5 rolling trading days. (I explain round-trips here.) Let's discuss a few options to get around this:
1) Use a cash account. If you use a basic cash account, you can buy with settled cash and sell the same day. There is no restriction on how many trades you can make as long as the cash is settled! To check your settled cash amount, simply look at how much is available to withdraw. You can buy that much during the day, sell it by close and not have any issues.
This is due to settlement rules; commonly referred to as T+2. Fidelity has a great article explaining cash liquidation, good-faith, and free riding violations to help you avoid any issues during your cash account trading. https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/trading-investing/trading/avoiding-cash-trading-violations
2) Open multiple brokerage accounts. If you have $15,000 you can open, for example, 3 brokerage accounts with $5,000 each. This will give you 9 day trades per 5 days (3 in each account) if using margin accounts. Or you could use a cash account and rotate to a different broker each day to ensure you have settled cash available.
I recommend Robinhood, Webull & First Trade (all 3 are commission free!) I personally saved $10,770 in commission by using Robinhood in 2018. As long as you have your own sources for research (EX: finviz.com and stockcharts.com) using a commission-free brokerage is awesome. If you want real-time charting; Ameritrade & Etrade offering nice platforms for this. You could even open an Ameritrade account with a small amount just to use the charts and research; while still placing trades through the commission-free brokers.
3) Trade for a Proprietary Firm. If you have $7,000 but less than $25,000; a prop firm may be of interest to you. A prop firm will allow you to have access to firm capital once you complete their training and pass the Series 57 exam. Many firms will make you put up $5k-$10k of your own money. If you lose, you lose your money. If you win, you get a portion of what you make. The good news is, with your capital plus the firms capital you'll be able to day-trade with very little restrictions (if the firm has its own rules). This route is geared at those looking to make trading their primary source of income. Here are a few prop firms:
T3 Trading Group https://www.t3trading.com/ SMB Capital http://smbcap.com/ Great Point Capital https://www.greatpointcapital.com/proprietary-trading/ Seven Points Capital https://www.sevenpointscapital.com/
A google search will provide many more prop firms; however; you should do in-depth research on these firms as some have bad reputations. If they won't sponsor your Series 57 exam, or have bad ratings on review sites, avoid! Also note, most 'remote' prop firms are for futures and forex trading. You pay a monthly fee and may or may not be actually using real money. Topstep Trader funded over 1,000 futures traders last year. They are the best option for this type of remote prop trading in my opinion. https://www.topsteptrader.com/
4) Trade Futures, Forex, or Cryptocurrency. These trading vehicles do not have day-trading restrictions. Although there may be other margin maintenance requirements. With the advent of micro futures contracts, just about anyone can trade these. Ameritrade offers futures and forex trading and will soon offer Cryptos as well. Robinhood offers Cryptos. Though, there are many brokers willing to trade contracts/cryptos; it is important to research any firm before depositing money with them.
If you have any questions contact me on twitter.
There are no affiliate links on this page. If you would like to setup an account at Robinhood or Webull, etc; contact me about how I can help you get a free share of stock when you open an account.
This blog posted has also been posted on OnlineTradersForum.com