“To be long,” verb phrase, used to describe the position of an investor who owns an asset, like a stock or a bond, with the expectation that the asset will increase in value; the opposite of “to be short.” Because this is a trading floor term and many investment bankers and analysts desperately want to be traders (the latter have better hours and no real requirement to act in a professional manner; if anything crude behavior is encouraged), the i-bankers and number-crunchers twist themselves into knots using this expression in all kinds of half-witted ways (to be fair, those on the trading floors do the same). An investor might legitimately say, “I am long Amazon. I bought 5,000 shares on the opening.” However, those fluent in finance doubletalk don’t limit themselves to such acceptable applications. For example, an apple-polishing investment banking associate, trying to dress like a foppish managing director in his group, might say to his office mate on the former’s return from Hermès, where he bought five neckties for a disgraceful sum of $975, “Yeah, I went long ties at lunch.” If the office mate is a normal person, he’ll immediately consider using one of those overpriced French cravats to gag his bootlicking colleague.
I once knew of a guy who went long shoe trees.
If I remember correctly, he was a heck of a salesman. “Tickets please!”