Feb 18, 2009

Peter Schiff on short selling

It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but an investor of above-average sophistication might reasonably ask, "If the U.S. stock market is a train wreck waiting to happen, why not just sell it short?"…

Here’s why I would recommend against doing this.

Retail brokers normally require investors to hold any short-sale proceeds in U.S. dollars usually earning no interest. The dollar, seen through my famously jaundiced eye, could lose more purchasing power than the security you sold short lost value…

I’ve got a much better idea, which is to borrow dollars and spend them to acquire foreign income-producing assets, using the income to pay the interest. Short selling accomplishes the opposite, as you end up borrowing assets, which will probably have some intrinsic value, and acquiring dollars, which may have none.

~ Peter Schiff, Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse, pp. 112–113

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