Long Position

Financial Dictionary -> Investing -> Long Position

Being in the Long Position refers to the owning of a security, like a stock, asset or bond, which isn't necessarily profitable now, but will be further or longer down the line. To 'be long' in a security means you own the security and will likely make a profit from it if or when the value of it goes up.

People who take the long position expect or have done research to suggest that the asset will rise steadily, or will at least rise in value at some point in hope that they can sell it on and make a profit. A good example of this is in real estate. Generally speaking when you buy a house you expect its value to rise throughout the years that you live there so that you can sell it on later and make a profit. Many people have made a tidy sum by moving up the property ladder as they get older.

Similarly with stocks and shares, when you buy shares in a company you hope that one day you will either be able to sell them on at a higher price as the company takes off and their value goes up, or you hope to make a yearly income from shareholder dividends and bonuses. People who bought shares in Microsoft and were in the long position early on are now extremely wealthy.

A long position in a futures contract is another common form, in that the buyer agrees to sell the asset at an agreed later date in hope that its value has gone up and they can make a profit.