A week ago, on March 1, I posted an article with a list of stocks in the sub prime mortgage business that would be worth investigating as shorts [these were not recommendations, as I never make recommendations to buy or short stocks, I just come up with certain stocks worth looking into].
The stocks mentioned were Coast Financial Holdings Inc. (CFHI), New Century Financial Corp. (NEW), and Fieldstone Investment Corp. (FICC). If you had shorted those three stocks during the subsequent four trading days, the returns would have been substantial, even including the bounce on Tuesday.
Here are the returns for each, assuming you had shorted them at the closing price on that day and closed out the position at the closing price yesterday.
Coast Financial Holdings Inc. 7.43 7.14 down 4%
New Century Financial Corp. 15.85 5.16 down 67%
Fieldstone Investment Corp. 4.64 4.27 down 8%
Average of the three: 26%
A couple of things to keep in mind. First, these stocks might not have been available to short. If your brokerage firm didn't have those stocks available to lend, then you wouldn't have been able to short them. The other option would have been to buy a put option [no pun intended].
Disclosure: Author does not own and is not short any of the above.