Friday, March 02, 2012

The Disproportion of Buying Long and Selling Short

This is again evidenced in the Yelp IPO. A 60% spike from a meh-rated stock. That much of a jump means all the smart money that was able to get in at the initial price is back out of the stock now and will likely ignore it for a while.

This clearly indicates a problem with the way the financial system works. If I think that Yelp is a great company worth investing in long term it's easy: I can buy that stock and hold it until I die or the company does. But what if I think that Yelp is just an ok company and that its stock price is overvalued? Well, I could sell short but that just isn't the counter to buying long. It is the counter to buying short, and it is gambling on a fall in a very specific window of time.

I'm not sure that there is a real way to manage a long sell, however, so the only real alternative is: don't buy.

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