Long and short positions in the same security

Opened short position in GE (175 stocks) in paper trading account. Placed a buy order to close this position (buy 175 GE). For some reason, the short position was not closed, but rather a separate long position was created. How do I get rid of these two offsetting positions? (long 175 GE, short 175 GE). (Placing a buy order increases long position; placing a sell order increases short position).

Follow-up: it appears that alpaca.markets paper trading account incorrectly handled GE reverse stock split (GE effected a 1-for-8 reverse stock split on July 30, 2021). In the above screenshot the market value of the short position is apparently calculated by alpaca.markets based on pre-split price, whereas the market value of the long position is calculated based on the post split price (this might explain why the market value of long position is 8 times market value of the short position in the screenshot above (even though the quantity of the shares is the same, long vs short). There seems to be an error/bug in the paper trading.

Same happened to me it seems, where you can see the different prices for the same symbol in my positions.

If this happens LIVE this would be a disaster. I can’t accurately track my performance at this point.

You could try loading your account / tracking your performance in an external portfolio management app such as Feather Finance. We recently integrated the Alpaca API and our app is free (we always plan on providing a free tier).

In Feather Finance, all positions on a given symbol are valued using the same price, so the problem you are experiencing in the Alpaca web app should not manifest itself in Feather Finance.

As a side bonus, you’ll get other cool features, such as CFA GIPS compliant time weighted returns, you’ll be able to slice and dice your portfolio to analyze the evolution of the PL of different trading strategies (e.g. filter by symbol or by trading strategy label, etc.)

I think it would still be a problem in your app since Alpaca portfolio is still holding long and short.

No, it won’t. Feather Finance calculates the position itself, based on the transactions set.

Amongst other things, we need to do that so that you can analyze subsets of the portfolio (filter out transactions, etc.).

i tried it and it misstated account in a different way. showing todays performance on the symbol… but I should’ve closed positions with trade this morning. and it showed yesterdays price - before reverse split.

It should work now – just hit the “Refresh Linked Accounts” button that’s under the list of accounts.

Note that, Alpaca Paper doesn’t seem to simulate corporate events (i.e. dividends, splits, etc.) on the paper account (maybe they will sometime down the road?). For instance, on Aug 30th you sold short 5214 ACST ($0.40 per share for a $2055 net amount). In a live account, that position would have been converted into a short position of 652 new shares after the reverse split, which would have cost $1838 to cover at the new price this morning. In the paper account, they do not handle the split so they cannot consolidate the position? (which is why you end up with two positions: one on the old shares, and one on the new shares). That’s my guess.

In Feather Finance, you can amend the transactions so that your paper portfolio stays consistent. E.g. you could amend this morning’s buy transaction and change the price to 2.82/8=0.3525 (net amount of $1838). This would ensure your paper P&L and cash balance would continue to make sense.

Thanks and I appreciate your workaround suggestion, unfortunately I see this as a confidence gap that Alpaca should want to address.

It would be nice to hear someone from Alpaca explain the why.