Shorts - For the Beach, what about in portfolios

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Feb 14, 2009 12:20 pm

I stuck this topic hear though it's not about firms per se.

 
Many strategies, to be maximally effective, entail taking a short position in  some asset. For example, momentum, PPP, carry trade, etc strategies entail shorting the most likely positions to fall in price while owning the most likely to rise in price (there a variety of ways to calculate expected future returns using the aforesaid strategies). The use of such short positions in back tested portfolios generally demonstrate statistically significantly higher returns than a long only strategy.  
 
My specific question deals with any practical, real world issues that arise in having client portfolios with short positions? I know you have to deal with margin call issues, and the psychological matter  of actually owning something that has fallen in value versus borrowing something that has also fallen in value (the short).
 
How do your big foot wire's deal with this issue, if at all? And does anybody have any horror stories about using shorts, not at the beach but in client accounts?
Feb 14, 2009 3:31 pm

I cant imagine not using short positions. Not only for profit but as a hedge. Shorting against the box is a HUGE tool. There is excessive premium on APA for example. They have earning release next week. I'll be shorting it 'against the box'. Never mind the fact that is you had been shorting the market for the last year you would be up huge. Even a covered call is a short position. It is a tool that should be in every reps toolbox IMHO.

Feb 14, 2009 3:34 pm
Gaddock:

I cant imagine not using short positions. Not only for profit but as a hedge. Shorting against the box is a HUGE tool. There is excessive premium on APA for example. They have earning release next week. I'll be shorting it 'against the box'. Never mind the fact that is you had been shorting the market for the last year you would be up huge. Even a covered call is a short position. It is a tool that should be in every reps toolbox IMHO.



Box? Tool? I thought this was a family forum!

Feb 14, 2009 5:12 pm

  left out the word short 

Feb 16, 2009 1:56 pm

Huh? Shorting against the box is a tax minimization strategy that was effectively eliminated by the 'constructive sales' rules in the 1997 tax act. I'm talking about it as a returns maximizing component of any relative value trading strategy.