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Can You Sell Short on Fidelity? A Guide for Beginners

Sell Short on Fidelity

Short selling is a popular investment strategy that allows traders to profit from price declines in various securities. 

But, can you sell short on fidelity?

Yes, you can sell short on Fidelity, as it is a renowned online brokerage platform, and it provides opportunities for traders to engage in short selling and capitalize on downward price movements. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of short selling at Fidelity, covering everything from the basics to advanced strategies for successful trades.

What is Short Selling and How Does it Work?

Short selling is a trading technique used to profit from falling stock prices. Instead of buying low and selling high, short sellers aim to sell high and buy low. 

This technique involves borrowing shares from a broker and selling them on the market with the expectation that the price will decline. 

Once the price drops, short sellers buy back the shares at a lower price and return them to the broker, keeping the difference as profit.

Short selling can be applied to various securities, such as stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or even cryptocurrencies, providing traders with ample opportunities to potentially profit from market downturns.

short selling

Can You Sell Short on Fidelity?

Yes, you can short sell on Fidelity’s platform. Fidelity offers a robust trading platform that allows traders to engage in short selling strategies. 

However, in order to short sell, traders must meet certain requirements, including having an active brokerage account with Fidelity and being approved for a margin account. 

Traders must also sign a Short Sale Agreement and comply with regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). 

Once these requirements are met, traders can execute short sell orders on Fidelity’s platform, giving them the opportunity to profit from downward price movements in various securities.

Requirements for Short Selling at Fidelity

Before engaging in short selling on Fidelity’s platform, there are certain requirements that traders must meet:

Fidelity Account

To engage in short selling on the Fidelity platform, traders must have an active brokerage account with the company. 

Fidelity offers a range of account types, including individual, joint, and retirement accounts, to cater to the varying needs of traders.

Margin Account

Short selling necessitates the use of a margin account, which allows traders to borrow shares and execute short trades. 

Opening a margin account involves applying to Fidelity for approval, and eligibility criteria may vary, depending on factors such as the account balance and trading experience.

Short Sale Agreement

Fidelity requires traders to sign a Short Sale Agreement before engaging in short selling on their platform. 

The agreement outlines the terms and conditions of short selling, including investor responsibilities and related risks.

Compliance with Regulations

Traders who engage in short selling on Fidelity’s platform must comply with federal and state regulations, including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) guidelines.

Equity Requirements

Fidelity may require traders to meet equity requirements to engage in short selling. 

These requirements may vary, depending on the security being shorted and market conditions.


Fees for Short Selling at Fidelity

When short selling at Fidelity, traders should be aware of the following fees:

Commission Fees

Fidelity charges a standard commission fee for executing short sell orders. It’s crucial to review the fee structure provided by Fidelity to gain a clear understanding of the costs involved.

Borrowing Fees

Since short selling requires borrowing shares, Fidelity may charge borrowing fees. Borrowing fees vary based on the demand and availability of shares and the duration of the loan. 

It’s essential to note that borrowing fees can eat into potential profits if trades are held for an extended period.

Maintenance Fees

Fidelity may charge maintenance fees for margin accounts used for short selling. The fees vary depending on the size of the account and the volume of trades executed.

Margin Interest

Traders must pay margin interest if they borrow shares to engage in short selling. The interest rate charged varies depending on the broker-dealer and the market.

Other Fees

Traders engaging in short selling may encounter other fees, such as regulatory fees, exchange fees, or transaction fees. 

It’s crucial for traders to review all fees associated with their account and trading strategy to avoid unexpected charges.

How to Short Sell at Fidelity

To execute a short sale on Fidelity’s platform, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Account Set-Up: Open and fund a margin account with Fidelity. Ensure you have completed all necessary paperwork and agreements.
  • Research and Stock Selection: Conduct thorough research to identify stocks with significant potential for a decline. Analyze financial statements, news, and market trends to make informed decisions.
  • Stock Availability: Check the availability of the stock you wish to short. Fidelity provides a comprehensive list of stocks available for short selling on their platform.
  • Placing a Short Trade Order: Log in to your Fidelity account and navigate to the trading platform. Select the stock you want to short and choose “Sell” or “Sell Short” as the trade type. Enter the desired quantity, review the details, and place your order.

trade order

Pro Tips for Successful Short Selling on Fidelity

Thorough Research

Before engaging in short selling, conduct comprehensive research on potential stocks to identify those with a higher likelihood of price depreciation. 

Analyze fundamental and technical indicators at a minimum.

Risk Management

Implement sound risk management strategies to protect yourself from adverse market movements. 

Set stop-loss orders to limit potential losses and establish an exit strategy to secure profits.

Stay Informed

Stay updated on market news and events that may influence the stock’s performance. 

Market volatility and unexpected announcements can significantly impact short-selling trades.

Practice Patience and Discipline

Short selling can be a challenging strategy that requires patience and discipline. 

Stick to your trading plan and avoid impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.

Diversify Your Portfolio

Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your portfolio to reduce risk and increase the potential for profit. 

Consider trading in multiple markets or sectors to reduce exposure to market risks.

Utilize Advanced Trading Tools

Fidelity offers advanced trading tools to support traders in short selling. 

These tools can provide real-time market data, stock analysis, and other essential information to aid in making informed trading decisions.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you’re a beginner or lack expertise in short selling, consider seeking professional advice from a trusted financial advisor or broker. 

They can guide you through the process and provide insights that you may not have considered.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a short sale last on Fidelity?

A short sale on Fidelity’s platform can last as long as the trader wants, as long as the stock remains available for borrowing. However, it’s essential to monitor the trade regularly and be prepared to meet any potential buy-in requirements.

Can I short sell any stock on Fidelity?

While Fidelity offers a wide range of stocks available for short selling, not all stocks may be available for shorting due to various factors, including liquidity and demand. 

Fidelity provides a comprehensive list of stocks available for short selling on their platform.

What happens if Fidelity can’t find the stock to borrow for short selling?

If a desired stock is not available for borrowing on Fidelity’s platform, traders may need to consider alternative stocks or adjust their trading strategies to accommodate the marketplace.

Is short selling risky on Fidelity?

Short selling, like any investment strategy, carries inherent risks. 

Traders must be aware of the potential for losses and the elevated level of risk involved in short selling. 

It is crucial to conduct thorough research, implement risk management strategies, and stay informed to mitigate risk.


Short selling offers traders the opportunity to profit from downward price movements in various securities. 

Fidelity provides a robust platform for traders to engage in short selling, but it requires meeting specific requirements and understanding the associated fees. 

By conducting thorough research, implementing smart risk management strategies, and staying informed, traders can increase their chances of successful short selling on Fidelity’s platform. 

Remember, short selling requires skill, discipline, and a clear understanding of the risks involved, so trade responsibly and make informed decisions.