How can I bet that company (a) will outperform company (b)? It seems like the simplest way would be to buy long company (a) and short company (b). However, this strategy seems crude since I will still be subject to swings in the market and the attendant margin calls.
Specifically, I am looking at two tech stocks operating in the same market. I believe one of them will outperform the other, but I don't want to be exposed to the volatility of this sector in general since tech stocks can be "irrationally" priced for long periods of time.
Is there a financial instrument available to non-institutional investors that bets on relative pricing?