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i never liked shorting more than put options, just because you can have a negative 100%+ return shorting, like say, when this credit freeze even begins to thaw, major acquisitions will occur and that would kick your butt if you were short, but with puts you just lose your put cost. also, you dont' have to worry about all the other stuff going on with your broker, or the dumb government or other stuff. so my comments there, would be to just use options instead of shorting, your account is most likely not so big that it will be an issue. just read one book on options and you'll probably have the basics down enough to get going.