What is Short Selling & How to Short a Stock

The opposite of a short position in stocks is a long position, which is opening a position with a buy order instead of a sell order. In short, the opposite of shorting a stock is buying it. But rather than fall in price, GameStop shares surged in January 2021, at one point reaching $350. In short, GameStop had caught the fancy of retail traders who had clubbed together on Reddit and other platforms to drive the stock up.

  • Once you find the security you’d like to short on Robinhood, click the “Trade” button and then the “Trade Options” button that appears.
  • Placing a sell order in a product in which you currently hold a long position will sell your existing shares.”
  • If the stock rises too far against the seller, it can trigger a margin call and forced liquidation where the broker automatically starts to buy-cover the shares in the open market.
  • Gives you the right to exercise a trade on or before the contract’s expiration.
  • But there will be people who … get in and lose their shirt.”

Shorting stocks is a standard trading option for investors that have a lot of experience. It is also popular amongst hedge fund managers as it allows them to protect their portfolios from downside risks. Commission fees for the brokers would apply on both stages of the transactions, so many zero commission brokers do not offer short selling transactions. https://www.bigshotrading.info/ The risks in short selling seem to outweigh the short selling benefits. The only attractive feature in shorting is the hedging it offers to large portfolios from downside risk. The maintenance requirement for short stock is typically 30% or $10 a share, whichever is greater. Some stocks may have elevated margin requirements, such as volatility products.

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There’s no standard regulation on how long a short sale can last before being closed out, meaning the investor returns the share to the lender. But the lender of the shares does have the ability to request that the shares be returned at any time, without much notice. If that happens, the short sale investor must return the shares to the lender regardless of whether the price has gone up or down. So that means the investor may end up taking a loss on the trade. Short sellers use shorting to express a view that a security is overvalued or to hedge against risk. Investors pursuing bearish options can use downward moves in the market to capitalize on an underlying asset. Like short selling, a put option works during a bear market.

Further, the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve set and monitor minimum values for the amount of funding which must remain in margin accounts— known as maintenance margin. In this step, you Shorting a Stock will need to choose the intended maturity date you would like trade options on Robinhood. Because we want to short on the Robinhood app, we would need to buy a put option or sell a call option.

What is Short Selling Stocks?

Prior to buying or selling options, investors must read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure (17.8 MB PDF), also known as the options disclosure document. It explains in more detail the characteristics and risks of exchange traded options. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Review the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure before you begin trading options. Options investors may lose the entire amount of their investment or more in a relatively short period of time.