Have you ever tried to buy a stock or option through Fidelity and received the message: “(013014) The buy order you are about to place exceeds your settled cash balance”?
Here is the full warning:
(013014) The buy order you are about to place exceeds your settled cash balance. Selling these shares before paying in full for the trade could result in a Good Faith Violation.
This message appears when there isn’t enough money in your account to cover the purchase.
In simpler terms, you don’t have enough “settled” cash in your Fidelity account.
Why Does It Happen?
Let’s break it down with an example:
Imagine you have $1,000 in your account. You want to buy a stock worth $1,200. This is where the notice pops up because you’re $200 short.
Your overall account balance may have over $1,200, but some of that cash isn’t settled yet. As a result, you’re unable to execute the trade.
Fidelity Cash Settlement Times
When you buy or sell something on Fidelity, it takes two days for the money to settle. This is called the “T+2” rule.
But there’s an exception: if your account balance is $25,000 or more and margin is enabled, this rule doesn’t apply.
Trading with Unsettled Funds on Fidelity
Here’s an important point: even if you don’t have enough settled cash, you can still make a trade. But, and this is crucial, if you do, your account will get what’s called a “Good Faith Violation” or GFV.
Think of a GFV as a warning. It happens when you try to buy and sell without using the cash that has settled.
You’re using money that’s in transit, which can be risky. You’re allowed to have three GFVs within 12 months. If you exceed this limit, your Fidelity account will have restricted trading for 90 days.
How to Avoid Cash Account Good Faith Violation
Avoiding GFVs is simple:
- Buy with Settled Funds: Only make a purchase if you have enough settled cash to cover the entire cost.
- Maintain a $25,000+ Balance: If your account balance stays above $25,000 and you have margin enabled, you won’t face the T+2 settlement rule.
Fidelity makes it easy for you to keep track of your settled cash. Simply go to your account balances, and you’ll see exactly how much you can use for trading.
Fidelity customers have shared some helpful tips:
Isabelle C: Explains her experience with ETFs and expresses concern about buying and selling on the same day. It’s a good point to remember that certain securities might have different rules.
Matt C: Mentions the T+2 rule, emphasizing the importance of having enough settled cash to avoid GFVs.
John S: Offers practical advice. He highlights that as long as you have enough settled cash, you can buy and sell freely. However, he also cautions against overdoing it, as repeated GFVs can lead to trading restrictions.