Long position

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on June 26, 2024.


A long position in finance refers to the situation where an investor or trader owns an asset with the expectation that its value will increase over time.

What is a long position?

It involves buying a security, such as a stock, bond, or commodity, with the belief that its price will rise in the future, allowing the investor to sell it at a profit.

For example, if someone buys shares of a company with the anticipation that the stock price will go up, they are said to have taken a long position. This strategy is often used by investors who have a positive outlook on the market or a particular asset.

In contrast, a short position involves the sale of an asset that the seller does not actually own, with the intention of buying it back at a lower price in the future. This is a bet on the asset’s price decreasing.

Example of a long position

Let’s say an investor believes that the stock of Company XYZ will increase in value over the next few months. They decide to purchase 100 shares of Company XYZ at £50 per share, investing a total of £5,000.

After a few months, the stock price of Company XYZ has indeed increased, reaching £60 per share. The investor decides to sell their shares at the new price.

To calculate the profit from the long position, we use the formula:

Profit = (Selling price − Purchase price) × Number of shares p

Profit = (£60 − £50) × 100

Profit = £10 × 100 = £1,000

In this example, the investor realises a profit of £1,000 from their long position in Company XYZ. This profit is a result of the increase in the stock’s price from the time of purchase to the time of sale.

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