May 5, 2009
I would propose that no new rules in this area are needed, at least and particularly in the general, permanent category. Short selling, in my opinion, no more hastens the decline of a stock, in general, than does buying a hot stock accelerates its increase. Traders, such as myself, need to be able to short-sell in times of market decline to make needed money. Short-sellers add liquidity and insure future sales (probably in the near future as short-sellers are probably short-term traders, not long-term investors). Even, if short-sellers drive down a stock's price a little, buyers will move in, if the selling produces a price which is lower than justified by fundamentals.
So, please do not let yourselves be swayed by ignorant or pandering, posing politicians (what other categories of politicians are there?), or an ignorant public.
While I am writing to you, I would like to protest the ridiculous pattern day trading rule. It serves no good purpose. It adds to all the factors that a trader must consider in making a trade, contributes to making bad decisions, and can sometimes force a trader to take an otherwise unnecessary loss (when he has to hold a bad position an extra day). 4 trades a week hardly makes a real day trader (who might easily make 4/day).
I can only assume that this rule was passed under pressure form crybabies and whiners who want government paternalism and the politicians who represent them, at the cost of freedom and opportunity for the rest of us. Steps could be taken to regulate the unscrupulous trading shops that may have once existed. A requirement that new traders sign a statement acknowledging that they understand and have been warned of the dangers of short-term trading should be adequate. In a free country citizens should be free to determine what risks they take, so long as they do not harm others.
Having less than 25 thousand in an account, does not mean to one does not know how to trade intelligently and responsibly. Nor does having more, mean that one does. Personally, as an example, I have a brother who made tens of millions in the hotel business. Once he retired, he loss millions in stocks, because he did not know what he was doing, refused to take losses ("I can't sell now. I'm lost too much already." These 2 sentences illustrate his stupidity and foolishness). He never takes the time to really analyze investment opportunities ("A friend told me that this might be a good opportunity"). Yet He could and did put millions in a brokerage account. He is now in financial difficulty, as he cannot resist a bubble (lost millions during the internet bubble, loaded up in highly-leveraged real estate during the re bubble) and has too fragile an ego to take a loss. Yet he was allowed to throw away his fortune, while your rule hampers those who trade intelligently, have studied and taken courses in trading and stock analysis and trade responsibility but have less than the proscribed amount in their account. This makes no sense. Of course, you are a government agency. Government agencies seem to make decisions based upon politics rather than reason and fairness.
Please consider repealing this unfair rule, or at least greatly increase the number of day trades allowed in a week.