After I sell my stock, when do I get my cash?

TL;DR: You can buy stock with the proceeds of your sale the morning after the sale executes. If you want to move those funds to your bank account, it takes about a week.

When is my sell order executed?

Right now, Stockpile executes orders using end-of-day prices. Because our time-machine is in the shop, we must wait until the actual end of the trading day at 4pm Eastern to get your price. Sometimes it takes a little while to reflect the updated positions in your account, but you should see the cash in your account by the following morning.

 

So I can make another trade with my proceeds right away?

Yes! As soon as the sale is reflected in your Stockpile account, you can use that cash to purchase more stock. Just keep in mind that your purchase order will execute using the end-of-day price. So if you place your sell order on a Monday at 8am, your cash will be available for trading Monday around 5pm, and if you place a buy order that evening, your purchase order won’t execute until Tuesday at 4pm.

 

What I really want is to sell and move the proceeds to my bank account.

It takes about a week for two reasons: 1) there’s a settlement period for a stock sale, and 2) there’s a clearing period for the transfer to your bank. A sample timeline looks like this:

  • Monday at 8am: You place your sell order.
  • Tuesday morning: Cash is made available to you in your Stockpile account for trading, but not for withdrawals to your bank because…
  • Wednesday: Behind the scenes, when you sold your stock on Monday, our clearing firm arranged to finalize your transaction two days hence. So it isn’t until now that your cash actually settles into your account. Why does it work this way? You have to imagine a paper-based world where you might sign a contract on Monday agreeing to sell stock at a specific price, and everyone gets 2 days to get their paperwork and funding in order to complete the transaction. Stock trading has moved past the paper, but the clearing process is still how the entire industry works.
  • Wednesday evening: Now that funds are available for withdrawal, you can move them to your bank. This process, for similar reasons described above, takes about 3 business days.
  • Next Monday: So 3 business days after you made your withdrawal, funds arrive in your bank account.