Trading Within Your Roth IRA

on September 24 | in Business, Finance | by | with No Comments

Many people starting out in the working world grab as many different types of investments as they can. From Roth IRAs to traditional retirement accounts to a work-based 401K, there are a whole host of investment vehicles out there. But for those in the world that cannot afford to be in super exclusive hedge funds or buy superior trading software, it means that investing with your wits is the only options.

There are so many Roth IRA funds out there. The question is, can you use any of those funds to trade stocks?

It is an important question and one that deserves careful study. The initial instinct is to say no, because most institutional retirement accounts are meant to be buy-and-hold havens. You want to start sticking money in there as soon as possible, let it sit and allow compound interest to work its magic. Compound interest, over a long enough timeline, can bring you 8% growth, pretty much religiously, year over year. And that is nothing to sneeze at.

But there are possibly other gains out there to be gotten. It is very hard to day trade in a Roth IRA, but it is possible to actively trade within it, when you convert a Roth IRA to a brokerage account. It cannot be a margin account, but it can be an account that is actively traded. One of the best benefits of using your Roth IRA to trade is that you can avoid all the taxes on dividends and capital gains. Because all of your profits can be reinvested, tax free.

Because of the IRS restrictions related to trading within a brokerage account, you might be blocked from short selling or trading on margin. Basically all stocks and exchange traded funds are fair game. Other things like options or futures might require a Roth IRA trader to get extra permission.

What about day trading in a Roth IRA. Well, too much trading in a cash account, like the Roth IRA can get you caught up in the 3-day settlement rule if you are not careful. You need to keep your trading to a small percentage of your account.

Regardless of what account you might use to do your day trading, you want to be especially careful when day trading. You need your education in the area to be top notch. Most day traders lose money when they are out there on the open market. But what you can do to protect yourself from losing money is to learn as much strategy as possible. Using the right techniques to find stocks and enter them in quality positions at the right time is very important. Once you have a viable strategy, that is the only way to really feel good about day trading, whether that is in a Roth IRA or some other investment vehicle.


As you continue your journey through day trading and investing, whether you are in a Roth IRA or a regular brokerage account, you need to understand the importance of risk management. There really is no other way to make money as a day trader, other than playing it very safe on every single trade and only going for the grand slam when you know you have it.

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