FAQs – Trading


Good Faith Violation (GFV)

A Good Faith Violation (GFV) occurs when you have liquidated stocks that were bought on unsettled proceeds.

Cash accounts have T+2 settlement period. When you sell stocks, the amount received from that sell is considered unsettled funds until two business days later.

Please note that when these funds are not settled, we allow our customers to use them for opening a new position, but if you close the new position within T+2, your buying power will only replenish on the next business day.

Here’s an example.

On Monday Nick sells 100 settled shares of ABC, which generates proceeds of $100. This trade will settle on T+2, which is Wednesday. He then uses the funds to purchase shares of XYZ on the same day. On Tuesday Nick sells the shares of XYZ. Because the shares of XYZ were bought and then sold using unsettled funds from the ABC sale, a GFV will be issued and funds will not be made available in buying power. To avoid a GFV, the customer would need to hold the XYZ shares until Wednesday (when the sale of original ABC trade settles), before selling.  In the example above buying power will be replenished the following day once the funds settle.

Each GFV will automatically expire 12 months after the violation date. No cash deposit or stock liquidation will alleviate the violation. 

After the second GFV occurs, the account’s buying power will be restricted to settled funds. Selling positions will no longer increase buying power until settled (T+2). After four violations, your account will be restricted for 90 days. After your fifth violation, your account will be closed for 90 days.

For more trading-related terms, please visit “Glossary-Trading” section

What is day trading?

1) With a margin account, both settled and unsettled funds can be used for day trading. With the net account value no less than $25,000, you have unlimited access to day trading. For an account below $25,000, you can make 3 day trades within 5 successive business days. Your remaining day trades will be automatically counted and displayed in the Home tab.

2) With a cash account, only settled funds can be used for day trading. For example, if you have $1,000 settled funds, you can make five day trades for $200 each, or you can use all the money for just one day trade. When you run out with settled funds, you are no longer eligible for day trading. If you insist to buy stocks with unsettled funds and sell them out before (T+2) settlement, you will trigger GFVs.

Stop-Limit Order

A stop-limit order goes live at your pre-determined stop price and will be filled at your predetermined limit price or better.

 Assume the current market price of a stock is $100: 

1) If you submit a buy stop-limit order with the stop price at $110 and limit price at $120, and later the market price rises to $110, the buy limit order will be triggered and filled at a price no more than $120. 

2) If you submit a sell stop-limit order with the stop price at $90 and limit price at $80, and later the market price drops to $90, the sell limit order will be triggered and filled at a price no less than $80.

What is a DT call?

A Day Trading (DT) call occurs whenever opening trades exceed the day trading buying power issued on a given day. A DT call has nothing to do with the times of day-trades executed in the last 5 business days.

What happens to fractional shares generated for corporate actions?

After a stock split happens, there may be shares that are equal to less than their full value left over in customers’ accounts. These fractional shares resulting from a corporate action are usually dealt in one of three ways. 

1) Cash-in-Lieu: the value of the fractional share will be paid out as cash into the customer’s account. These payments will normally show up in your account within two to three weeks. 

2) It will be rounded up into a full share. 

3) It will be rounded down into nothing. 

Example: You own 100 shares of WEB stock, and WEB has a 1:6 reverse stock split. You will technically now own 16.6 shares of WEB. As we don’t support fractional shares, the fractional share could be paid as one of the above-mentioned outcomes, depending on what the company decides to allocate.

Market Order

A market order is triggered immediately when placed and will be filled at the current market price (not the last sale price). The fill price may be different from the market price you saw when placing the order due to low liquidity and/or bid/ask spreads of certain stocks. If you want to have control of the range of your fill price, a market order may not be a suitable choice.

Why did my order get canceled when the market closed?

1) All open day orders will be automatically canceled at the market close. 

2) All open GTC orders will be automatically canceled 60 days after placement.

Can I buy penny stocks on GPS?

Most penny stocks are not available for trading here. For the rest of them that are tradeable here, there is a minimal share to buy requirement. Please see below to know more about that requirement.

Last PriceBUY
min quantity
Do you support dividend reinvestment (DRIP)?

GPS doesn’t currently support dividend reinvestment, but we may in the future. We’ll be sure to update our user base when this feature is available.

What is a Regulation T (RT) call? And how did it happen?

A Regulation T (RT or Reg T) call occurs when a margin account executes an opening buy or short sell trade and does not meet the minimum initial requirement. A Reg T call is most often caused by an option assignment or holding a position overnight that was established with intra-day leverage (Day Trade Buying Power).

If the call is not met before the due date (T+4), a forced liquidation will be performed to satisfy the call. The clearing firm may charge fees if forced liquidations are made to meet the call. You can click the link at the end to know how to meet an RT call. Please note: GPS may force liquidate to meet the RT call at any time and at our discretion.

If a Reg T call goes past due or your equity falls below the SRO requirement of 25% and you meet the call by liquidation you will be issued a liquidation penalty. A liquidation penalty is synonymous with a Good Faith Violation and an account is allowed 3 every rolling 12 months – meaning a 4th penalty will result in a restriction. If the Regulation T call is caused from an option exercise/assignment and is met in full on T+1 no liquidation penalty will apply.

Furthermore, if you trade into 3 or more RT calls within 90 days this trading activity constitutes an abuse of intra-day leverage (DTBP) and will result in a restriction or review of your account. 

I bought stock on the NYSE/ NASDAQ. It has now been delisted and is currently being traded on the OTC markets. What should I do?

If a stock you purchased via GPS gets delisted from a major exchange, you cannot buy the stock anymore but you can still sell the stock on the OTC market. Please contact us via Help Center if you need any help. 

When can I place an order?

Orders can be placed from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm EST on business days. However, if you want to trade during extended hours (4:00 am to 9:30 am, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm), only limit orders are available.

Will my positions be liquidated forcibly due to market value decline?

For a cash account, your position will not be liquidated forcibly.  For a margin account, once the value of your position declines dramatically, making your margin equity drop below the margin maintenance requirements (25%-100% of the market value or higher depending on stock’s volatility), you will get an RM call on the next business day.  If the call is not met before the due date (T+4), we will liquidate enough holdings to satisfy the call. 

Can I trade in pre and post market with my GPS account?

GPS allows you to trade during extended trading hours including pre-market and after-hours.

Pre-market trading hours:  from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EST

After-hours trading hours: from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST

The price volatility is much higher during extended hours, compared to the price volatility during normal market hours. We suggest using limit prices to place an order.

Can I receive dividends from stocks that were loaned?

Cash distributions paid on securities on loan in the Stock Lending Income Program will be credited to your GPS account in the form of a “cash-in-lieu” payment. Receipt of cash-in-lieu payments may have different taxable consequences than receipt of the actual dividends from the issuer.

Exchange Circuit Breakers

Stock exchanges take measures to ease panic selling by invoking Rule 48 and halting trading when markets have severe downside movements. Under the 2012 rules, market-wide circuit breakers, or curbs, kick in when the S&P 500 index drops 7% for Level 1; 13% for Level 2; and 20% for Level 3 from the prior day’s close. A market decline that triggers a Level 1 or 2 circuit breaker before 3:25 pm EST will halt trading for 15 minutes, but will not halt trading at or after 3:25 p.m.

LevelMarket DeclineHalt Trading Time 
Level 17%15 minutes
Level 213%15 minutes
Level 320%Close
Can you choose lots in GPS?

No. Currently, GPS only uses the First-In, First-Out(FIFO) method when selling stocks.

Margin Trading

Margin trading is a form of borrowing that allows you to leverage the funds and securities you already own to purchase additional securities. With a margin account, you can borrow funds from your brokerage firm. This provides an opportunity for you to leverage your investment to help increase your return. However, margin trading is quite risky and can magnify your losses.

Why didn’t my order execute immediately?

Electronic orders are usually executed quickly.  However, investors should be aware that high trading volumes can cause delays in executions. Market volatility and delays in executions due to trading volume can result in trade executions at prices significantly different from the quoted price of the security at the time the order was entered. Place limit orders to minimize such scenarios. The speed of the Internet Service Provider used by an investor may also have an effect on an order’s execution. Timing in execution of orders may also be impacted by market volume, order queues at market centers, possible delays in order transmissions by brokers, and other system issues.

Can I trade with bracket orders on GPS?

Yes. Bracket orders (stop-loss/take-profit orders) can be submitted with a parent order. When the parent order is filled, the sub-bracket orders will be activated. You can also utilize stop loss/take profit order to close a position.

Assume the current market price is $61. You are hoping to buy the stock at $60 and sell out if the price rises to $70 (take profit) or drops to $50 (stop loss). You can submit a buy limit order at $60 (parent order) along with the bracket orders (child orders) including a sell limit order at $70 and a sell stop order at $50. 

Later, if the market price drops to $60, the parent order will be triggered and filled at a price no greater than $60. Assuming you get into the position at $60, the bracket orders will be placed in the market and wait to be triggered. 

Then, if the market price rises to $70, the sell limit order will be triggered, and the position will be sold at no less than $70. Or, if the market price falls to $50, the sell stop order will be triggered, and the position will be sold at that market price.

Why are some stocks suddenly unavailable to trade?

Most U.S. listed equities, options, ADRs and ETFs are supported for trading on GPSl Platforms. However, bonds, mutual funds, pink sheets and penny stocks on the OTC markets are not supported. 

However, if one stock is going through a corporate action, the affected stock will be temporarily unavailable for trading while the changes are being processed by our clearing firm. A corporate action may even temporarily remove your position from a stock until the event is complete. If you still don’t see your position after the corporate action is complete, please contact us through Live Help.

The following corporate actions will affect trading in stocks:

CategoryDescriptionSuspension Duration
Name ChangeIncluding changes in symbols,CUSIP and stock namesGenerally 1 – 2 trading days
Change to OTCStocks move to OTC markets from a major exchangeUnless stocks move back to major exchanges
DelistedThe removal of a listed security from a stock exchange.Permanent
SplitCompany divides its existing shares into multiple shares to boost the liquidity of the shares.Generally 1 – 2 trading days
Reverse-SplitCompany consolidates the number of existing shares of stock into fewer, proportionally more valuable, shares.Generally 1 – 2 trading days
OthersStock bonus, business merger, spin off and other corporate actions.Generally 1 – 2 trading days

Additionally, due to the share price volatility, some stocks may turn into penny stocks. Due to the inherent risks of penny stocks, these stocks are not tradable on GPS. If you would like to close your existing positions on these stocks, please contact us through Help Center.

If the stock is not going through a corporate action, then please contact us through Live Help, and we will have a representative with you shortly.

What are the requirements for margin accounts?

Margin Requirements

For a general guidance on our margin requirements for margin approved securities, please see the table below.For Margin Approved Stocks:

Type of SecurityInitial RequirementMaintenance RequirementDay Trade Requirement
Priced above $550% * M.V.25% * M.V.25% * M.V.
Priced b/w $3 & $4.9950% * M.V.50% * M.V.25% * M.V.
Priced below $2.99100% * M.V.100% * M.V.25% * M.V.
2x Leveraged ETFs50% * M.V.50% * M.V.50% * M.V.
3x Leveraged ETFs75% * M.V.75% * M.V.75% * M.V.

For Short Stocks:

Type of SecurityInitial RequirementMaintenance RequirementDay Trade Requirement
Priced above $16.62530% * M.V.30% * M.V.25% * M.V.
Priced b/w $5 & $16.625$5 per share$5 per share25% * M.V.
Priced b/w $2.51 & $4.99100% * M.V.100% * M.V.25% * M.V.
Priced below $2.50$2.50 per share$2.50 per share25% * M.V.
2x Leveraged ETFs60% * M.V.60% * M.V.50% * M.V.
3x Leveraged ETFs90% * M.V.90% * M.V.75% * M.V.

Please note that at any time the initial and maintenance requirements on any security or exact security can change without prior notice and can go into effect immediately.  Furthermore, accounts whose account equity falls below the required maintenance requirement can be liquidated without prior notice. To prevent forced liquidations, we advise clients to keep a buffer above the minimum equity requirement. 

For short positions, the margin requirements will vary depending on the type of security. Margin requirements for specific stocks can change without prior notice.

Disclaimer Regarding Risks of Short Selling Hard to Borrow Stocks

1) You agree that any ”short” sale shall be designated as such to us at the time you place such an order and you hereby authorize us to mark such order ”short.” 

2) You acknowledge that a short sale is the sale of a security you do not own and that to facilitate a short sale IBKR must borrow stock to cover the delivery to the purchaser(s). 

3) If the stock is recalled by the lender(s) of the securities, IBKR, the clearing firm will attempt to re-borrow the securities, but IBKR may be forced to cover your short position on the open market at the then-current market price. You will be liable for any debit balance remaining after a short position has been closed out. 

4) If any securities that you borrow are deemed “hard to borrow”, an additional fee will be charged. 

5) If you happen to be short a stock on the date that a dividend is credited to shareholders—also known as the record date—you’re responsible for paying that dividend to the person from whom you borrowed those shares (payment in lieu of dividends).

Why did I receive an EM call? I haven’t day traded recently.

In general, once your account has been labeled as a pattern day trader, you will continue to be regarded as a PDT even if you have not exceeded your day trade limit within the last five-day period. If your account falls below the $25,000 requirement, you will not be permitted to day trade until your account value is raised (either through deposits or rising share prices) to meet the $25,000 minimum equity level.

What is a pattern day trader (PDT)?

A pattern day trader is a regulatory designation for investors that execute four or more day-trades during five business days’ time. The PDT rule applies to margin accounts only. If your margin account receives this designation while it has a net account value below $25,000, an EM call occurs.

Stop Order

A stop order goes live at a pre-determined stop price and will be filled at market price (it becomes a market order). If the market price never reaches the stop price, the order will not be triggered. The stop price cannot guarantee you with any certain filled price (because it executes as a market order). If you hope to set a bottom line to stop loss, please consider a stop-limit order. 

Assume the current market price of a stock is $50: 

1) If you submit a buy stop order at $55, and later the market price rises to $55, the buy stop order will be triggered, become a market order, and begin to be filled at the closest price to $55 depending on volume at that price. 

2) If you submit a sell stop order at $46, and later the market price drops to $46, the sell stop order will be triggered, become a market order, and begin to be filled at the closest price to $46 depending on the volume at that price.

How do I long/short a stock?

To long a stock, buy it first and sell it later. If you want to short a stock, sell it first and buy it back later.

Buy >>Hold a long position >> Sell
Sell >>Hold a short position >> Buy
I have deposited/liquidated enough to cover my account’s margin call. When will my account be returned to good standing?

Margin calls will be lifted one business day after the required action. If you still can’t buy stocks, please reach out to the Live Help Center.

What is an MD (Money Due) Call?

An MD (Money Due) Call occurs when a cash account exceeds its buying power. MD Calls can be triggered during excessive trading in volatile markets as price swings can impact market order values as they are executed. An MD Call can be met by depositing money in full amount of the call. If the MD Call is not met before the due date, a forced liquidation will be performed to meet the call. 

Why do I see some IPOs that are not available for order?

GPS tries to offer our clients as many offerings as possible. However, we are sometimes  unable to get certain stocks if the underwriter has already found enough buyers, or is already working with other selling groups. This often happens with IPOs that are in high demand. However, we are actively trying to make new partners to increase our offering selection.  

Why did I only receive part/none of my IPO or Secondary Offering Order?

When you place an order for an IPO or Secondary offering you are not buying the stock; instead, you are placing an IOI (indication of interest). When placing an indication of interest, it is never guaranteed that you will receive your entire order. Depending on the stock’s demand, your past IPO participation, and other factors, you may receive less than your indication or none.