The New York Times: Don’t Ban the Trades; Regulate Them in Real Time

Posted on August 6, 2012. Filed under: Exchanges, Flash Crash, Practitioners, Regulations, Securities and Exchange Commission, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The New York Times: Don’t Ban the Trades; Regulate Them in Real TimeIn my latest piece in The New York Times, I argue that wrongdoing existed long before the advent of high-frequency trading, and it will always be a part of markets. High-frequency trading is simply a tool; it can be positive or negative for investors and markets. To maximize the benefit and minimize the downsides, regulators need to catch up with the technology.

High-frequency trading has been under a microscope since the infamous “flash crash” in 2010. Let’s remember, though: The market rebounded that day almost as fast as it fell, and regulators ultimately determined that the crash was initiated by human error. But many in the financial sector and in government were uncomfortable at the thought that high-frequency trading programs could vaporize huge amounts of equity in a matter of minutes.

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For Industry Veteran, High-Frequency Trading is going to get Bigger, Stronger and more Prevalent

Posted on August 3, 2011. Filed under: Event Announcements, Flash Crash, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For John Netto, one of the leading high-frequency traders featured in Edgar Perez’s The Speed Traders: An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World, high-frequency trading is going to get bigger, stronger and more prevalent. “There are potential regulatory changes that might impact the growth of high-frequency trading; that is always a possibility. They have talked about co-location and proximity legislation but who knows how it all shakes and if the desired results from this legislation are accomplished.”

Netto is the Founder and President of M3 Capital. Mr. Netto has worked with buy-side firms, sell-side firms, and technology providers on more efficiently combining structure, strategy, and personnel to increase trading profits. Mr. Netto has presented on behalf of Eurex, CME Group, The ICE, ISE, Interactive Brokers, Thomson Reuters, Profit-Loss Forex Conferences and Golden Networking as well as appearing regularly on Forex TV, Fox Business Channel, The Money Show Video Network, and many other media outlets.

Mr. Netto sees more traditional investment managers expanding into high-frequency trading; more managers are using technology as in means of investing. Similarly, he sees more institutional investors allocating part of their asset base to quantitative trading strategies. He adds: “I think at this moment the future is more than just technology, as it is already very robust; it would be more about the adoption of the technology which will determine how fast things go. Not every exchange has the same technology or robust infrastructure; I think what we will see is that more and more firms, more and more exchanges around the world get caught up and then it will be about the interchangeability of the technology. And not just from a hardware standpoint but also from a software standpoint. Issues such as ‘what exchange trade data can we give up to another exchange trade data’, and ‘how that data gets aggregated’. Considering the current environment, the future will be more about data aggregation and data processing, and getting that data in the hands of the right people than who will build the fastest server.”

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For Renowned Speed Trader, Humans Not Allowed Anywhere Near High-Frequency Execution System

Posted on July 27, 2011. Filed under: Flash Crash, Strategies, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It took a while for Adam Afshar, one of the leading high-frequency traders featured in Edgar Perez’s The Speed Traders: An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World, to believe that the markets were more or less efficient under normal circumstances and to realize that the analysts at most firms provided no value and sometimes a negative value. He says, “My first attempt at using the computer was to build a system to help traders have better information faster to enable them or their portfolio managers to make better decisions, a sort of hybrid system where the computers are helping the humans. But, in less than a year, I realized that discretionary human participation in selection, portfolio management , or trading was so deleterious that no amount of computer power or intellectual algorithms  could mitigate it.”

Adam Afshar

Adam Afshar, Renowned Speed Trader- Hyde Park Global Investments

He adds: “It’s very important to stress this point because if the system allows human discretion at any level (idea generation, portfolio management, or trading) and your machine does not have the human discretionary elements modeled correctly in its learning algorithm (which we claim is not possible at this time), what you are left with is simply a quantitative trader  that uses certain calculations to assist his or her trading. It becomes difficult or even impossible to assess whether the success or failure was due to the calculations, formula, or algorithms . Although we can argue on the pros and cons of humans as traders, we have to agree that this method is not and cannot be scientific. It is not scientific because it is not possible to backtest a model that allows any discretionary human intervention. For example, if you have computers  that are generating trades, but the execution is done by humans, then we would argue that you cannot determine whether the success or failure of the system was due to its robust artificial intelligence  or to a very good trader, and there is no way of testing and duplicating the results. Therefore, we would argue that any backtesting becomes essentially void.”

Hyde Park Global Investments, Afshar’s firm, is an investment and trading firm that has developed an artificial intelligence system built primarily on genetic algorithms and other evolutionary models to identify mispricings, arbitrage, and patterns for many electronic financial markets  and the robotic platform  to monetize the opportunities. The firm, which trades its own capital so far, potentially will accept investments from outside sources.

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