1 0 Tag Archives: Wall Street
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How to make money selling stocks short?

There is a little secret that is totally unknown to the new investor and even the average investor. That secret is that you CAN make money on a stock no matter what it is doing!! To be more specific, I’m saying you can make money if a stock is going up (the most popular way) in price. You can ALSO make money if a stock is staying flat OR even if the stock is going down in price.

Falling markets always cause investors grief. The media reports any selling in a mortally serious tone, while bullish cheerleaders comfort the masses with promises of better days ahead. Negative sentiment usually intensifies right along with the selling, and desperate prayers are offered to the heavens as everyone nervously holds their breath.

Selling stocks short is a simple way to make money when stocks drop. To “sell short” you simply borrow the stock from your broker, sell it, and then buy it back when the price drops. You then return it to the broker you borrowed it from and keep the profit. Yes, it’s perfectly legal!

Normal investors might scoff at the notion of shorting, but highly successful investors and stock traders aren’t normal. While accepting the fact that the stock market will go in whatever direction it pleases, the latest generation of market players knows how to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the down-side of repetitive market cycles. Maybe it’s time for you to consider short selling too.

Make Money on declining stocks by Short-Selling

You can make money when stock prices drop by implementing a strategy called short-selling. You can also buy put options on a declining stock or set up some options spreads.

If the stock is flat you can implement some short-selling options strategies. However, I would NOT recommend flat out buying a put option. Actually, ONLY buying a put or call option on a stock that is flat is a very bad idea and a sure way to lose ALL your investment in that trade.

I cover different options strategies on my site, so to keep this short and simple, I will just focus on the concept of short selling, or you can check out my other article on options.

Short-Selling vs Long Buying

First let’s discuss the differences and similarities between a “short” position and a “long” position. With a long position you buy something today and hope to sell it at a higher price for a profit tomorrow. With a short position, you borrow money to SELL something today and hope to BUY it back at a lower price tomorrow. With both long and short strategies you are buying low and selling high. The difference between the two is that the order is reversed.

Another major difference between short-selling and long-buying is that when you are long you can hold on to a stock forever. With a short position this is technically a loan since you sold stocks you don’t already own. what this means is that at some point you will be “required” to close out your position and in extreme cases you could be “forced” to do so via a margin call.

Numerous academic studies have shown that more than 90% of mutual funds failed to beat market over the long run and that more than 90% of individual investors lost money in the stock market. Too many people and too many Wall Street experts or mutual fund managers are buying and selling stocks like madmen, with no sound strategy or any hope of long term success. Ironically, they’re the ones who create opportunities for prudent, long term oriented investors.

To be successful in stock market, you either have to become an expert yourself or to seek help from real successful experts. Stock market is such a brutal place that there is no room for half-expert or expert pretenders. The truth is that only a small percentage of disciplined and experienced people earn disproportionate huge amount of return, many times at the expense of the rest. It is an insult to “Wall Street expert” professional title when so many of such “expert pretenders” failed to beat index or merely stay break-even

As you can see, you can make money in ANY market condition, you just need to pick the right strategy (and stock) for the particular market direction. The short strategy works perfectly in a declining market because YOU WANT PRICES TO DROP. On the flip side, you do not want to short a stock in a rising market.

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26. Jan, 2012
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Daytrading Stocks During a Bear Market

The US stock market appears to have entered a new bear market since its high at the end of April. While Wall Street generally defines a bear market as a 20% decline, the average bear market drops quite a bit more. As of this writing, the market has declined over 14% from its April high.

Daytrading stocks during market declines can prove to be quite the challenge for day traders no matter how much experience they have. This is due to the fact that market volatility has a tendency to increase during most market declines, whether they are short term corrections or the typical bear market. This increase in volatility can wipe out the trading capital of even the experienced trader if they do not adjust their trading.

Generally speaking, after large run-ups in stock prices, or in any market, there will be violent pull-backs. While this increase in volatility can produce some big directional moves, there may be sizable intraday swings that can catch a trader off guard.

With this in mind, how does a daytrader prepare for these changing conditions? Well, most daytraders are not in the business of forecasting market direction, but it can be very helpful to pay attention to some technical and psychological indicators that may provide a clue regarding market direction. Those indicators include price and volume, the TRIN, New 52 week highs and lows, the advance/decline line, the number of bullish vs. bearish investors, etc. A more detailed discussion regarding these indicators is more suitable for another article.

When a day trader becomes aware that the market character has changed to a bearish tone, then it is time to adjust their thinking when it comes to managing trades. First of all, due to the usual increase in market volatility, the trader should scale back position size. While it may have been reasonable to trade 1,000 shares in a stock during a bull move, 500 shares might be more reasonable in a bear move. The novice day trader will think they are losing out on a sizable profit opportunity by trading smaller during these major down moves. The experienced trader realizes that it is more important to preserve capital for time periods when the market is more predictable and less volatile.

One other issue facing daytraders during these bear markets is that the market has a tendency to have sharp intraday reversals, and there tends to be more sizable opening gaps. As some day traders actually do carry positions over night, it is a good idea to carry smaller positions over night due to the greater risk of a market reversal.

The day trader should also be aware that the overall long term market tendency is for stocks to trade higher each day. As such, even while the market is in a downtrend, quite a few trading days will close to the upside. During the current down move, nearly 40% of the trading days have closed to the upside. If a daytrader can recognize that even bear markets will pause for a breather, they will recognize significant opportunities to profit after these brief pauses when the market resumes its downtrend.

Day traders should also consider trading other vehicles besides individual stocks during bear markets. This is due to the fact that it costs the trader extra to short a stock, since they must first borrow the shares from their broker, and pay interest on those shares, in order to sell the stock short. Therefore, day traders should consider trading stock index futures, or ETFs that rise when the market falls. It is important that traders consider the cost of their trades, not just whether they make a profit or loss.

While it is definitely possible to trade profitably during bear markets, there are significant pitfalls. For many novice day traders, it may just be a good idea to sit on the sidelines and observe the market action so that they are prepared for the next bear market downturn when it comes along.

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04. Jun, 2011