Best Brokerage for Short Selling

Hello everyone, new to posting but I’ve been reading posts going back to the FWF days.

I’m looking for a broker that has better access to short sell stocks than the one I have now. “Better access” meaning not as limited as TDAmeritrade seems to be. Does anyone have any recommendations?

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Interactive Brokers is the go-to around here.

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TDA is poor for shorting. What level of shorting are you looking for?

  1. most generally available stuff?
  2. somewhat more difficult stuff?
  3. paying HTB fees at 50%+ annual rates for hard to borrow stuff?
  4. pay for locates to find shares to then pay 100%+ to borrow crazy HTB stuff?

Tell me a bit more about what you’re trying to do and I can probably give you some recommendations.


Stocks $5 or less, more so below $1. I’m not sure which category this would fall under, probably the your wasting your time category. lol

Start with IB, go to Centerpoint if you need more than that.

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Related, this is the first time I’ve noticed them proactively raise margin requirements. Has it happened before?
(Received notice today everything gradually over a month, up to 35% across the board. 33.75% maintenance, 67.5% initial for Reg T. And 35% extra of whatever portfolio margin would have been.). Related to the thread, that 35% might also apply to potential short positions for OP.

Not that it matters to me now as I have about 50% cash in my account right now…

Edit: I had the wrong % increase from memory

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Yes, IB increased requirements dramatically during the Mar-Apr crash earlier this year. Many things that were 15-20% requirements became 35-60%, so 2-3x higher. That time it happened without notice or explanation over just a week or so. This phase in over a month or more, with warning, is way way better.

Good question on short positions for margin. Hopefully they won’t increase the margin requirement for holding longs to 135% of their value… they did that once in the past when they were adding requirements to portfolio margin accounts to require 110% of everything just so you had a 10% buffer. Obviously holding more than 100% on a long equity is dumb.

I may call them and ask a few questions about the new policies. It’s also not clear they’ll use the whole +35% higher requirement in all cases, but I wouldn’t want to count on less. Sadly, it looks like I’ll have to raise some extra cash and/or unwind a good chunk of my less capital efficient short book to over the next month to make sure I won’t end up getting liquidated like earlier this year. That was no fun.


Yeah, I remember that one. Just don’t remember any “in advance” before. Of course it was an unprecedented speed of drop earlier in the year, so…

I got hit with a margin call in my IRA a few weeks ago… (they do the calculation “sometime in the afternoon” the day options expire and are ITM so they’ll exercise if not sold…)

The notice is funny starting out with: “As you’ve likely observed… IB shares your sentiment so we’ll…” like it’s the account holder’s own idea :slight_smile:

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They’ve done a few things more targeted in prior years, like U.K. indexes and FX around the Brexit vote, high yield stuff when that was having a drawdown, biotech sector when it was even more volatile than usual, etc. but this is more of an across the board thing than those and more like the Mar model.

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