Who's Stupid, Me or Fidelity?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by ChadZ1, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. ChadZ1


    I'm relatively new at this, so I could be the stupid one here, but here goes.

    I trade online w/ Fidelity and lately I've wanted to try shorting some stocks. Fidelity is nice enough to let you set trailing stop losses for your trades EXCEPT for short sells, as it turns out. So I called up fidelity and inquired as to why this was so and the representative didn't even know this wasn't possible and had to go talk to someone higher up. He came back and said he was told that Fidelity didn't see the point in allowing people to do this since if you're shorting the stock you should be expecting the price to go down, not up and the trailing stop loss only comes into play if the price goes up. He also mentioned something about where to start the zero tick, which I didn't understand.

    Now is it just me or does that seem like a really stupid reason to not allow it? Just because you short a stock doesn't mean you're expecting the price to instantaneously go down and this would allow you to get a better initial price for the shares. I mean really, selling short is no different than selling a stock you actually bought, so it seems logical to me that if they allow for trailing stop losses on stocks you own that you're selling they ought to allow it on short sales.

    In my case, the reason I want to use the trailing stop loss on a short sail is because when I have a strong conviction that a stock is going down very soon I like it even more when the stock actually is on an upwards burst w/ a bit of momentum so that I can turn that into profit when I buy back the shares later at what they're really worth.

    So, am I stupid or is Fidelity? Or I suppose are both of us stupid?

    - Chad
  2. I think your point makes sense Chad and in futures, many trading platforms allow a trailing stop regardless if long or short. Unfortunately I think you spoke with an uninformed rep that didn't get it.
  3. paj


    Fidelity does allow this.

    You set the Order Type to 'Trailing Stop Limit' and the Action to 'Buy to Cover'.
  4. ChadZ1


    Thanks for the feedback.

    It's good to know that fidelity at least lets you do a trailing limit/stop when you're buying to cover. I'd have also liked to have done it when I am first short selling the shares though.

    - Chad
  5. paj


    Ah, I misread your post. Sorry.

    It seems to allow the selection of Sell Short and Trailing Stop Loss. Is the error displayed when you submit?
  6. ChadZ1


    Yeah, fidelity builds your hopes up by letting you select sell short and trailing stop/limit loss but then when you go to submit or preview the order it dashes them by popping up a last minute javascript message box informing you that you can't actually do that combination :( . Heh, at least my hopes were dashed, most probably don't care...

    - Chad
  7. GTC


    You can do that order with IB, CyberTrader, etc. :).
  8. ChadZ1


    True, pain to switch everything for something so simple, but I may have to...

    - Chad