Ric Thomas State Street Global Advisors

It is often said it takes special skill to short stocks but few managers define what that means. The truth is the physical act of shorting a stock is routine. The challenge is, rather, having the ability to identify overpriced stocks. But this particular skill is no more difficult (as well as no easier) than finding underpriced stocks.

So in one sense the main challenge facing a short seller is identical to the main challenge facing a long-only investor: finding mis-priced securities. When

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