You are currently viewing Short selling for Long term investors

Short selling for Long term investors

Long term investors and novice investors are usually anxious and skeptical due to regular market fluctuations and news, on top of which comes the regular inflow of information. The idea of making instant gains from risky active short-term trading strategies is an offer that seems inviting to every investor. Short selling is one such strategy that goes through every investor's mind. Let’s understand how it can be beneficial or harmful for you.


In the stock market, going long on a stock means buying it with the expectation that its price will rise. This strategy mirrors betting on a team to win a match—you anticipate a favorable outcome and stand to profit from it. Conversely, going short entails selling a stock that you don't own, aiming to buy it back later at a lower price. It's akin to betting on a team to lose; you anticipate a decline in value and seek to capitalize on it.

These maneuvers reflect differing market sentiments and risk appetites. Going long reflects optimism, believing in the stock's growth potential, while going short reflects a pessimistic view, expecting a decline. Both strategies play crucial roles in market dynamics, shaping price movements and providing opportunities for investors to profit from various market conditions. This duality is fundamental to trading and underscores the complexity and versatility of financial markets.

Why short sell?

Investors short stocks in anticipation of price declines, aiming to repurchase shares at a lower price. Investors specializing in this strategy, short sell stocks multiple times in a day. However, if the stock doesn't decline rapidly, it incurs interest costs for the investor. Initial sale proceeds are deposited into the investor's account, with a broker fee. The investor can buy replacement shares at any time, aiming to profit from price differentials. If the repurchase price is lower, profit ensues; if higher, a loss is incurred. This process involves constant monitoring and decision-making to optimize returns.

Short selling is drastically differs from regular investing. An investor does analysis of stocks and markets and purchases stocks that he thinks are likely to increase in value and sell them when the price has gone up. A short seller on the other hand sells at a high price and buys them back once the price has fallen. 


Price DiscoveryShort sellers uncover negative information and expose corporate misconduct, leading to more accurate asset valuations.
Improves LiquidityBy increasing the available shares for trading, it enhances market liquidity and efficiency.
Market stabilizationShort selling can help limit bubbles and excessive market enthusiasm by introducing a counterbalancing downward pressure.
Hedging StrategyInvestors can use short positions to protect their portfolios from potential losses in specific assets.


Affects long-term GoalsUnlike buying, where losses are limited to the initial investment, shorting exposes investors to potential unlimited losses if the price rises
Short SqueezeHeavy shorting can trigger a sudden surge in prices if short sellers scramble to cover their positions, leading to significant losses.
Borrowing Costs & FeesShorting often involves borrowing shares, incurring fees and interest payments that reduce potential profits.
Negative PerceptionShort selling can be seen as unethical or manipulative by some, especially when targeting small companies.

How To Do Short Selling

Going short on a stock entails selling a stock that you don't own, aiming to buy it back later at a lower price. But how to do that? 

Suppose, a short seller sells securities at a high price and buys them back once the price has fallen.For instance, a short seller has a company’s  shares at ₹2500, he will sell them off when he predicts a fall. If successful, the price falls to say ₹2100 and he will buy them back and the difference between the Selling Price and the Purchase Price will be his profit.


Short selling can facilitate price discovery, improve liquidity, and promote critical thinking among investors, playing a significant role in financial markets. However, its suitability for long-term investors is questionable due to potential conflicts with their objectives and associated risks. While short-term traders may benefit from exploiting market inefficiencies and fluctuations, long-term investors are advised to prioritize stability and patience through a 'buy and hold' strategy. The risks of short selling, including potential sudden losses, the impact of short squeezes, and additional costs, can undermine long-term financial goals and stability.

Therefore, while short selling remains a valuable tool for market dynamics, it may not align with the objectives and risk tolerance of long-term investors seeking sustained growth and stability in their portfolios.

Start investing now!

Account opening in less than 5 minutes steps