How to Prevent your Shares Holdings from being Shorted
Q.: Why does short selling reduce share prices?
A: To short-sell a share speculators have to borrow the shares in the first place. Once they have done this they need to sell them in the market, and if this is done en-masse it can push the share price of a company down in the short term as there are more sellers than buyers in the market. Hedge funds specialising in short selling may also cause panic in the market by selling lots of shares in a company as other shareholders become worried about the share price plunge. Some companies will blame short sellers for dramatic declines in their stock price. The practice is so controversial that bans on short selling are not unknown and during the last credit crisis in 2008, traders were not allowed to short-sell certain banks and financial institutions.
Most borrowers and lenders of shares are institutions, brokers, etc. Mere mortals can borrow indirectly by using Spread Bets or Contracts for Difference. If you go short, you are effectively borrowing shares to sell for money; if you go long, you are effectively borrowing money to buy shares. Depending on the balance between shorts and longs, the company offering these products may choose to cover the risk by borrowing real shares to sell or by investing money to buy real shares.
Q.: What can you do to prevent your shares holdings from being shorted?
Hold your shares in a cash account.
Phone your broker and put an order in saying that you wish to place your shares for sale at, for arguments sake, double today’s price. As they are 'on order' they cannot be lent out by your broker. There is some dispute on this point