Should you shun shares City sharks are 'shorting'? 

Wealth creation is not just about buying shares, dutifully reinvesting any dividends received, and waiting patiently for their price to rise skywards. 

It is also about being alert to any potential problems affecting the companies whose shares you hold and taking corrective action before they blow an expensive hole in your portfolio.

It is called being investor smart, on the ball and active – rather than passive (a bit of an annoying buzzword in investor circles).

Shorted: Debenhams, that has just issued its fourth profit warning in just over a year

Wild says it is ‘tempting’ to think of Debenhams as a recovery but the future, he adds, is ‘bleak, even if it does manage to secure longer-term refinancing from its banks and bondholders’. 

He says concerns about Metro Bank’s risky loans ‘remain’ with any sustainable recovery dependent upon ‘greater political and economic certainty’.

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Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says investors should give Debenhams a ‘wide berth’ while he believes Metro Bank’s share price ‘remains under pressure’.

Simon McGarry, senior equity research analyst at Canaccord, says: ‘In 2017, Carillion topped our ‘Get Shorty’ list so it proves our analysis isn’t some whimsical measure. Of course, it isn’t a 100 per cent accurate indicator of future performance but short interest in a company is often a reliable warning sign.’

He adds: ‘It doesn’t mean a company will go bust. But it could mean a dividend is under threat – an important consideration for investors.’