June 2, 2009
I strongly encourage you to reinstate the Uptick rule or similar restrictions. I am an amateur investor that manages my own 401k and other retirement investments. I have been very successful and was able to retire at the age of 49. However, the last two years have been an investment nightmare for me and just about everyone I know.
Naked short selling and unrestricted short selling is not only harmful but it's also illogical. Personally, I think the concept of short selling--selling an asset you don't own — doesn't make any sense and it effectively drastically increases the shares of stock that is floated and drives down the price, irregardless of the company's business fundamentals. I wish I could "short sell" real estate as I would sell my neighbor's house. Also, if an investor does not own an asset but can sell it, that investor does not have "skin in the game" in the first place. Therefore, not being a shareholder allows him to take actions that if he was a shareholder, would not be in his best interest.
But since the investing community seems to believe that short selling adds liquidity to the market, although the market now with electronic trading is more than liquid enough, it appears short selling is one of those ancient stock mechanisms that will stay around for the benefit of the professional investors. With that said, there needs to be logical restrictions on the practice or else investors like myself will look for other markets and investment vehicles than the U.S. stock market. Taking my investment monies offshore would be the next logical step.
So please reinstate the uptick rule now.