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Short selling occurs when an investor borrows a security and sells it on the open market, planning to buy it back later for less money. Short sellers bet on, and profit from, a drop in a security’s price. Short selling has a high risk/reward ratio: It can offer big profits, but losses can mount quickly and infinitely.
In finance, being short in an asset means investing in such a way that the investor will profit if the value of the asset falls. This is the opposite of a more conventional “long” position, where the investor will profit if the value of the asset rises. There are a number of ways of achieving a short position.
One way to make money on stocks for which the price is falling is called short selling (or going short). Short selling is a fairly simple concept—an investor borrows a stock, sells the stock, and then buys the stock back to return it to the lender. Short sellers are betting that the stock they sell will drop in price.
An investor believes that Stock A, which is trading at $100 per share, will decline when the company announces its annual earnings in one week. Therefore, the investor borrows 100 shares from a broker while short selling those shares to the market.