Someone I know in the U.S. often needs a little hand holding due to insufficient information he has obtained. Today he emailed the following to me: [AS FOR SHORTING, I CAN'T SHORT STOCKS. THE ACCOUNTS I HAVE ARE DEFERRED TAX ACCOUNTS , I ONLY PAY TAX WHEN I TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF THE ACCOUNT. IT WAS SET UP AS A RETIREMENT ACCOUNT AND THE GOVERNMENT PREVENTS PEOPLE WITH THESE ACCOUNTS TO TAKE BIG RISKS IN THE MARKET. ] I do not live in the U.S. and know nothing of U.S. tax laws. My question is, does it sound as though he has the correct information? And if so, would he also be unable to short an ETF that mirrors the S&P500 (SSO?) for instance for the same reasons? I know that tax questions can be very difficult to answer even with complete information at hand. I'm just trying to help this guy get pointed in the right direction should he be misinformed. Thank you very much for any information you may so kind as to provide.