In the investing world, a long position refers to having a positive investment balance in a stock, bond, commodity, etc. This is done by simply buying and owning the investment.For example, a person who buys Microsoft stock is said to “have a long position” in Microsoft. This is sometimes shortened as, “she is long Microsoft.” An investor takes a long position when she feels the asset will gain in value. After holding the investment until prices rise, the investor can sell the stock at a profit. In contrast, a short position refers to borrowing shares of a stock that is expected to decline in value from a broker, selling the stocks on the open market, then buying the shares back at a reduced price to make a profit.   The vast majority of investors take only long positions. Short positions are more complicated and are generally used only by sophisticated investors. In summary, a long position means having a positive balance of an investment, or simply, owning the investment. While any investor who owns Microsoft can say, “I am long Microsoft,” the term is most useful to advanced investors who also take short positions. These investors might say, “I am long Microsoft, and short IBM.”