What are the differences between a margin account and a cash account?

The main differences between margin and cash accounts are:

  1. Availability of funds
  2. Trading capacity
  3. Day trading limits

Margin accounts with a balance of $2000 or more (not including option positions) can trade with leverage; cash accounts can only trade with the client’s own funds.

Margin accounts with a total account equity of $2000 or more can place short sale orders; cash accounts can only sell positions that they already own.

Margin accounts are subject to a day trading limit. For margin account with a total account equity below $25000, investors can day trade up to 3 times within five consecutive business days; Cash accounts can day trade with settled funds.