"No shares available to short" - Scottrade

Discussion in 'Learn how to trade or invest by asking questions' started by two iron, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. two iron

    two iron Member

    I'm with Scottrade and often when I want to short a stock I get a message "no shares available to short". I feel handcuffed if I can only trade long. Anyone else have this experience? Is this a Scottrade thing or do other brokers do this too?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.
  2. wardtom084

    wardtom084 Member

    Has never happened that way with me, but, I don't short all that much. I feel that when I short I have to watch it too closely but I go long I can just set back and let it cook.
  3. Blaine Tarr

    Blaine Tarr forum leader won penny contest 24x won weekly contest 20x

    Scottrade/Ameritrade/Etrade kind of suck for borrows. They are great for the classic average joe retail trader that just wants to 'invest' or tell there buddies they are 'trading;' but when it comes to serious brokers you need to check out Interactive Brokers, SpeedTrader (SureTrader if under $25,000), or Centerpoint Securities. Don't get me wrong, Ameritrade/etrade/scottrade have great tools for beginners but once you learn where/how to find the info your looking for you need to upgrade brokers especially if into the shorting game. It's a protection thing for them and their clients. Heck just last year 2 market makers where forced out of business when they got squeezed because of over allocation and they didn't force covers quick enough. Lost too much money to even continue. Thats one reason the old APS pumpers slowed way down after LOTE. They lost their inside man who had propped up their pumps using WDCO mm. Anyway, different story, different day, read the article I linked to. Could you imagine though, some new trader trying to short a stock they know nothing about or nothing about price action, float rotation, etc, only to lose 2 or 5 times the amount they invested? Brokers can't just let their clients short anything for these reasons.

    Most active traders I know (including myself) have multiple brokers to help find borrows if one doesn't have any. SpeedTrader is good about finding shares if you just call and ask for the next day. Get up early, call and reserve them in advance. Its all based on 'street name' shares they own and can loan out for shorting. Some have been know to offer them naked sometimes too, very short term of course. That said, shorting hard to borrow stocks can be extremely risky, make sure you understand what you're getting yourself into before attempting a large short if your able to locate shares.
  4. two iron

    two iron Member

    Thanks much for your reply. It was very enlightening!
  5. qdrv.com

    qdrv.com Member won weekly contest 2x

    You can only short if your on a margin account, from what Ive seen with my experience
  6. Blaine Tarr

    Blaine Tarr forum leader won penny contest 24x won weekly contest 20x

    Thanks for the pro tip! .... Welcome to the forum by the way.
  7. Kenpolean

    Kenpolean Member won penny contest 2x won weekly contest 6x

    Yeah, T.D. Ameritrade sucks for shorting. They often either can't get me shares at all, or say they can only get me something like 500 shares (which isn't even worth trading).

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