@ Guy Fleury -
@Grant, you must be kidding, or pulling everyone's chain.
Trading on a $1k account is silly, especially with your talents.
I'm not kidding, but I do realize that there are some issues with trading relatively small amounts of capital. From the beginning, Q has been a curiosity and a hobby for me; it is no sillier than golf or building a ship in a bottle. If anything, Q and the community have come to take themselves too seriously. One rule I have for myself is that the hobby should be completely self-funded. Since I've only made $1K in capital so far, that's all I have to work with (I suspect if others interested in trading followed this rule, rather than speculating with money gained by actually working, i.e. producing value for others, the whole financial industry might collapse).
As a side note, last year, I went to the World Maker Faire in Queens, NY. The ethos is to make something from almost nothing just for fun. It's not about being practical (which most of us have in excess in our daily lives).
I suppose one solution to the regulatory problems would be to open a margin account with $25K, but lock up $24K in something prudent (e.g. an ETF that represents a chunk of my overall asset allocation).
There's also the issue of taxes. Trading in an IRA account might be the way to go, since paying short-term gains taxes will eat into profits, right?
I see that Alpaca.markets is working to offer a so-called "Power Account" which must be a margin account conforming to the regulations:
We are launching a new account type to unlock the unstoppable future intelligence. The Alpaca Power Account will provide you with the ability to short sell and leverage up to 4 times in staging.
It seems like if Alpaca offers this, and maintains zero-commission trading, it would be revolutionary (but maybe I'm missing something, or its just a teaser, and they'll end up charging commissions).