Bug? Unable to close positions (using TradingView)

When I click the X button, the position grays out for a while, but it doesn’t close:

Is it because I’m using a small fractional share? Does it need to find other people to close with at the same time, or something?

Apparently that’s not it. I tried it with 1 whole share of IREN, and I cannot close the order!

I’m stuck in the position, although I believe there’s plenty of volume (176k at writing), and no spread in the DOM.

Is there a bug?

EDIT: I tried to exit all positions here, but it wouldn’t let me:

Here are my positions, all of which I cannot exit currently (this is posted before the above EDIT at 7:31am):

If I try to cancel positions in Alpaca account UI, I see 403 errors:

Screenshot 2024-07-01 at 7.34.54 AM

Clientside stack trace in case it helps:


I tried the Webull broker in TradingView with two small cap stocks, and I was able to buy one unit each and shortly thereafter cancel my positions. Seems to be an Alpaca issue.

@trusktr The issue was the order to close IREN was rejected because of “Pattern Day Trade Protection (PDT)”. Here was the specific error

\"code\":40310100,\"message\":\"trade denied due to pattern day trading protection\"}

Unfortunately TradingView doesn’t expose the error text. You just saw a 403 error. It may have made more sense if the entire text was also displayed.

You had already bought and sold NVDA, AAPL, and TSLA that day. You then bought IREN. When you tried to sell it, that would have created a 4th day trade and the sell order was therefore rejected. There is more info on PDT protections here.

Ah, I see, Alpaca marks all accounts as margin accounts, and there is no way to make a non-margin (cash-only) account, so the PDT rule will apply even if I’m not using margin:

I was hoping to use my own cash only, to trade freely while I have a small amount of funds.

Will Alpaca offer non-margin accounts in the future?

It would be neat if an account could start as a cash account and then transition to a margin-account when needed.

@trusktr Cash accounts are definitely on the roadmap. Primarily to support IRA and other non-taxable accounts.

Cash accounts aren’t as fun as one would imagine. A huge benefit of margin accounts, even if one never uses margin, is ‘limited margin’. This is the ability to trade on unsettled funds. For example, in a margin account if one sells $1000 of stock XYZ one can immediately use those funds to buy another stock. In a cash account, one must wait 1 day until those funds settle before using them to buy another stock. Additionally, in a margin account one doesn’t always need to even wait for stock XYZ to sell before buying a new stock. One can place a sell $1000 XYZ and a buy $1000 ABC simultaneously. The requirement to wait for settled funds isn’t just an inconvenience, but can increase the complexity of one’s algo for sure. Just my 2 cents.

Yeah, I totally understand benefits, but I don’t have $25,000 to unlock that capability. I started with $50, and won’t be employing algos until I know what I’m doing, although I’m sure I can factor spending power into any algo once I do.

Losing earnings because PDT rules stopped me from exiting, on my first three days of trading, led to an undesirable experience for me as a beginner, especially because my investment could be destroyed by next open. I’d rather have the ability to enter and exit as needed while not having $25k.

I tried to exit at the top of this incredible mountain before PDT blocked me and all I could do was watch ride the downturn:

That was a ~6.7% price increase I was unable to exit, followed by a negative ~8.3% drop.

With a cash account I could have exited! First trading lesson learned! :smiley:

A $50 account could allow me 25 trades of $2 each in a single day (plus I could deposit more to keep going if I really wanted to), which is good for the experience compared to how many trades I’ll be able to make with a margin account and a small balance. I want a high volume of practice without needing to sell my car :laughing:.

Basically, for learning how to trade, I believe cash-only accounts would be great to start with until a margin account can be afforded.