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Schwab is my brokerage and not all the stocks are available for shorting, namely HNI. Other stocks come with a 100 per cent maintenance requirement, FLXN, or a 50 per cent requirement, SEAS. So shorting might not work out as well for some of us. What does everyone think?
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I agree, the broker is critical on the short side. I'm trading the shorts with FIDO and those two positions are at 45%. But I believe the 10% additional is likely due to concentration within my individual account.

Paul O.
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When I find a particular short too difficult to execute, or costlier than I'd like, I usually reach for the synthetic-short alternative and end up happier. Besides the costs being well known and fixed in advance (broker can't raise the fees on you, you don't risk owing payment in lieu of a special dividend, etc etc), you cannot be forced out of the position as you might be with an actual short (as e.g. Pro was on FAZ) -- your position will run for as long as YOU want, up to expiration date (which is known in advance).

I don't have accurate statistics but I believe I use synthetic rather than actual shorts almost half the time. In particular I'm quite happy to have done a syn short on FAZ back in the day:-)
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When I find a particular short too difficult to execute, or costlier than I'd like, I usually reach for the synthetic-short alternative and end up happier. Besides the costs being well known and fixed in advance (broker can't raise the fees on you, you don't risk owing payment in lieu of a special dividend, etc etc), you cannot be forced out of the position as you might be with an actual short (as e.g. Pro was on FAZ) -- your position will run for as long as YOU want, up to expiration date (which is known in advance).

Synthetic shorts involve a naked call, which brokers can and will force close in some situations (e.g. Pro's naked calls on VXX in 2011).

Rob
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