The Pattern Day Trade Rule also known as PDT requires traders to maintain a balance of $25K in their account in order to day trade. This rule does not apply to Swing Traders.
with a couple of thousand and swing trade. What this means is you can take an options position on Monday and let close it on Tuesday or later in the week.
Low risk options trading is excellent in that your cost is merely the options premium so in order to buy say five contracts of Facebook you may only pay $1.20 or so per contract times number of contracts of say 5 which allows you to essentially control 500 shares so 1.20 x 5 x 100 equals $600 plus commission. That is your max risk and max loss if buying puts and calls.
There are also brokerages such as Sure Trader which allows you to open up an account with a mere $500 who will provide 6:1 margin. This means with $500, you will have buying power of $3K to trade stocks with. Sure Trader is also exempt from PDT because they’re in not in the U.S. The founder of Sure Trader is a former day trader who wanted to create a brokerage for the little man, folks just starting out with less than $25K. I have used them along with the above-referenced brokers and all are good in my opinion. What matters most is your trading strategy! However you will only have your $500 to use for options with Sure Trader.
If you manage your trades intelligently , you can very quickly double your $500 and build you account. Note; Sure Trader does not allow options spreads so you will want to consider TD Ameritrade or Etrade for more creative options trading!