среда, 23 июня 2010 г.

Rationale

Day trading is a risky trading style as are all trading styles, being that all investments have some inherent level of risk. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) makes new amendments to address the intraday risks associated with day trading in customer accounts. The amendments require that equity and maintenance margin be deposited and maintained in customer accounts that engage in a pattern of day trading in amounts sufficient to support the risks associated with such trading activities.

In addition, the SEC believes that people whose account sizes are less than $25,000 may represent less sophisticated traders, who may be more prone to being misled by advisory brokers and/or tipping agencies. This is along a similar line of reasoning that hedge fund investors typically must have a net worth in excess of $1 million. In other words, the SEC uses the account size of the trader as a measure of the sophistication of the trader. The SEC maintains a website to receive comments on this rule: https://tts.sec.gov/acts-ics/do/question.

One argument made by opponents of the rule is that the requirement is "governmental paternalism" and anti-competitive in a sense that it puts the government in the position of protecting investors/traders from themselves thus hindering the ideals of the free markets. Consequently, it is also seen to obstruct the efficiency of markets by unfairly forcing small retail investors to use Bulge bracket firms to invest/trade on their behalf thereby protecting the commissions Bulge bracket firms earn on their retail businesses.

Another argument made by opponents, is that the rule may, in some circumstances, increase a trader's risk. For example, a trader may use 3 day trades, and then enter a 4th position to hold overnight. If unexpected news causes the equity to rapidly decrease in price, the trader is presented with two choices. One choice would be to continue to hold the stock overnight, and risk a large loss of capital. The other choice would be to close the position, protecting his capital, and (perhaps inappropriately) fall under the rule, as this would now be a 4th day trade within the period. If the trader was aware of this well-known rule however, he would not open the 4th position unless he intended to hold it overnight.

The rule may also adversely affect position traders by preventing them from setting stops on the first day they enter positions. For example, a position trader takes 4 different positions in 4 different stocks. To protect his capital, he sets stop losses on each position. There is then unexpected news that adversely affects the entire market. All the stocks he has taken positions in rapidly fall in price, triggering the stop losses. The rule is now triggered, as 4 day trades have occurred.

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