Learn about short selling with iMinds Money's insightful fast knowledge series. Short selling is the practice of selling borrowed stock at a high price and then buying back the stock at a lower price. A short seller expects to profit from the fall in a stock's price. The more common investment practice is to “go long”, that is, to buy stock with the expectation of the price rising in the future.
Simply put, a short transaction sells high and buys low, while a long transaction buys low and sells high. A basic example is as follows. An investor believes that Company A stock is overpriced at $60 per share. The investor then borrows 100 shares and sells them for $6,000. The price of Company A's shares then fall to $20. The investor buys 100 shares at $20 for $2,000. The investor then returns the shares that have been borrowed and makes a $4,000 profit.
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