Talk:2094: Short Selling

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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It's like he's doing that on purpose to make it extra difficult for this site to explain his comics. :D I at least understood nothing. Fabian42 (talk) 16:19, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

@Fabian42, Ha! Yes, I'm in the same boat with you, It's almost like he follows this formula: 1. Pick a topic that very few understand. 2. Make an analogy that is more complicated than a straightforward explanation. 3. Profit.
I've been reading a page on short selling, it's like they're speaking a foreign language. 16:42, 4 January 2019 (UTC) sam
It makes sense from what I remember from economics in high school: you buy stocks in advance for significantly above asking price hoping they gain more value before the deal happens, so let's say 1 share of company X is worth 20$ right now. Now I can offer you a contract that I'll buy this share from you for 50$, but on the condition that the deal happens in a week. If the value of the company stays the same, I make a loss; but if the value rises within that week and one share is suddenly worth, let's say 2000$, I make an immense profit. (divide each value I gave by ten and you have the bean/witch/child analogy from the comic) It's basically gambling on the hope that the value of stock rises. -- 17:24, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
How are stock markets even still legal? This is insane! Fabian42 (talk) 17:42, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
It is not that hard to understand. Imagine you own 100 apple-shares and do not plan to sell them for the near future. You lend me these 100-shares for 2 weeks. I sell the 100 shares immediately. Now I have 2 weeks to re-buy them. If I’m lucky the price for these 100 shares will decrease somewhen during this 2 weeks. Imaging that I sold the shares for 200$ each, and could re-buy them for 170$: Then I made 30*100$=3000$. Of course you will get a fee for the borrowing. The 3000$-fee are my profit.
The risk here is of course that the shares could increase in price during the 2 weeks – then I would be forced to rebuy them for more that I got AND have to pay you the fee. That’s the reason shorts are more dangerous then longs. --DaB. (talk) 17:36, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
You sell something that you borrowed? Why would that be allowed? It's not yours! And what happens if you can't buy it back? Fabian42 (talk) 17:42, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Short selling doesn't seem all that complicated. It's the night before black friday, and your friend has [hot new amazing toy] that they picked up a few months ago before it got popular. You ask if you can borrow it for a week. Then you go out the next morning and scalp it to a frustrated parent that is desperate to get it for their kid but the store is sold out. A week goes by, and you head to the store and pick one up now that they are back in stock and on sale, and give it back to your friend. Your friend has a toy, even if it's not exactly the same one, and the price difference between what you sold it for and what you paid for the new one gave you a bit of holiday spending money. The danger is if the toy doesn't get back in stock or the price goes up due to demand and you have to buy it for more than you sold it. Andyd273 (talk) 17:45, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

It seems like the title text implies there are multiple witches involved. This should perhaps be mentioned in the explanation. 18:04, 4 January 2019 (UTC)