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Short Selling School 101 | The Mesh Report

Short Selling School 101

John Thomas June 12, 2017 Comments Off on Short Selling School 101

With the stock market falling for the next few weeks, or even months, it’s time to rehash how to profit from falling markets one more time.

There is nothing worse than closing the barn door after the horses have bolted.

No doubt, you will receive a wealth of short selling and hedging ideas from your other research sources and the media at the next market bottom. That is always how it seems to play out.

So I am going to get you out ahead of the curve, putting you through a refresher course on how to best trade falling markets now.

Market’s could be down 10% by the time this is all over.

THAT IS MY LINE IN THE SAND!

There is nothing worse than fumbling around in the dark looking for the matches after a storm has knocked the power out.

I’m not saying that you should sell short the market right here. But there will come a time when you will need to do so. Watch my Trade Alerts for the best market timing. So here are the best ways to profit from declining stock prices, broken down by security type:

Bear ETFs

Of course the granddaddy of them all is the ProShares Short S&P 500 Fund (SH), a non leveraged bear ETF that is supposed to match the fall in the S&P 500 point for point on the downside. Hence, a 10% decline in the (SPY) is supposed to generate a 10% gain the in the (SH).

In actual practice, it doesn’t work out like that. The ETF has to pay management operating fees and expenses, which can be substantial. After all, nobody works for free.

There is also the “cost of carry,” whereby owners have to pay the price for borrowing and selling short shares. They are also liable for paying the quarterly dividends for the shares they have borrowed, around 2% a year. And then you have to pay the commissions and spread for buying the ETF.

Still individuals can protect themselves from downside exposure in their core portfolios through buying the (SH) against it (click here for the prospectus). Short selling is not cheap. But it’s better than watching your gains of the last seven years go up in smoke.

Virtually all equity indexes now have bear ETF’s. Some of the favorites include the (PSQ), a short Play on the NASDAQ (click here for the prospectus), and the (DOG), which profits from a plunging Dow Average (click here for the prospectus).

My favorite is the (RWM) a short play on the Russell 2000, which falls 1.5X faster than the big cap indexes in bear markets (click here for the prospectus).

Leveraged Bear ETFs

My favorite is the ProShares Ultra Short S&P 500 (SDS), a 2X leveraged ETF (click here for the  prospectus). A 10% decline in the (SPY) generates a 20% profit, maybe.

Keep in mind that by shorting double the market, you are liable for double the cost of shorting, which can total 5% a year or more. This shows up over time in the tracking error against the underlying index. Therefore, you should date, not marry, this ETF or you might be disappointed.


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