If I sell a stock and the trade is done. Can I use the cash to buy a new stock/fund immediately?

Or I have to wait until tomorrow?


You have to wait for three (business) days. That's the time it takes for the settlement to complete and for the money to get to your account. If you don't wait - brokers will still allow you to buy a new stock, but may limit your ability to sell it until the previous sale is settled.

Here's a FAQ from Schwab on the issue.

  • 2
    Does it apply to every broker or just Schwab?
    – Love
    Mar 12 '15 at 15:42
  • 3
    That FAQ applies just to Schwab, but littleadv's answer applies to every broker
    – Bishop
    Mar 12 '15 at 16:07
  • 1
    You have that backwards. You can always close a position whenever you want, but if the funds haven't settled, the broker may not let you open a new position.
    – 7529
    Mar 12 '15 at 17:04
  • 2
    I don't see the logic here. The purchase order will also settle in T+3 which means the cash isn't needed earlier.
    – MSalters
    Mar 12 '15 at 21:01
  • 2
    @MSalters That's true, and I have done it, however anyone who does this and wants to sell it soon thereafter has to be aware of a rule in Reg T that says you should not realize proceeds from selling a stock that was bought with unsettled funds until those funds are settled. If you do, it's a Free Riding violation. Mar 13 '15 at 0:40

It depends on the broker. The one I use (Fidelity) will allow me to buy then sell or sell then buy within 3 days even though the cash isn't settled from the first transaction. But they won't let me buy then sell then buy again with unsettled cash. Of course not waiting for cash to settle makes you vulnerable to a good faith violation.

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