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Leave it boomers to flout one of the long-held rules of retirement planning. Afraid lawmakers will soon lift the retirement age of Social Security or shrink benefits, many are ignoring the traditional advice of financial planners and retirement experts everywhere and taking their benefits as soon as possible. Are they right to rebel? The number of Americans opting to take Social Security at 62 -- currently the youngest age allowed -- is on the rise. In 2009, 42% of 62-year-olds claimed benefits, up from 38% in 2007, according to economists at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. And while more recent data is not yet available, financial planners and industry experts say the ranks of early claimers are still growing.
By SCOTT PATTERSON and GEOFFREY ROGOW High-frequency trading, long an obscure corner of the market, has leapt into the spotlight this year. Wildly successful in 2008, high-frequency traders are the talk of Wall Street, attracting big bucks and some unwanted attention.
Highlights From the Archives High-Speed Trading No Longer Hurtling Forward By NATHANIEL POPPER Once the hottest new thing on Wall Street, lightning-quick computerized trading is expected to make less money this year, with profits down 35 percent from last year.
A recent story in Advanced Trading goes after some of the minutae of High Frequency Trading and provides a glimpse of the total value that HFT may provide to behemoth PT powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs. The article presents a very valuable perspective on just why HFT is so critical these days, especially when cash traders go for 6 hour Starbucks breaks between 10 am and 3:30 pm: "high frequency trading firms, which represent approximately 2% of the 20,000 or so trading firms operating in the US markets today, account for 73% of all US equity trading volume. These companies include proprietary trading desks for a small number of major investment banks, less than 100 of the most sophisticated hedge funds and hundreds of the most secretive prop shops, all of which operate with one thing in mind—capture profit opportunities by being smarter and faster than the closest competition."
As I sit here looking out over the nearly 2 feet of snow (~61 cm) that recently blanketed coastal Massachusetts I was inspired to write my third installation in my series on advanced trading. The snow triggered a strange thought about trading and investment classifications. In this post I am going to cover high frequency trading. Rarely have I seen a practice as universally misunderstood as high frequency trading. People seem to misuse the term high frequency trading in much the same way that the term hedge fund was misused in the past.
The Tabb Group estimates that there are roughly 400 HFTs. Of that, there are roughly 150 HFTs that trade U.S. equities. They estimate that the gross trading profit for all HFTs in 2010 will total $5.6 billion (not including brokerage and SEC fees).
Flash orders and high frequency trading have become hot topics in the media lately, so what does Seth Merrin, founder and CEO of Liquidnet Holdings , operator of the largest buy-side only dark pool, think these trends mean for the institutional investor? While high frequency trading as a category has its pros and cons, like all trading, but flash orders have absolutely no pros, says Merrin, an advocate of the institutional investor. "This is an example where again— typical of Wall Street— there are a few that benefit at the expense of many," says Merrin in an exclusive video interview with Advanced Trading in his midtown Manhattan headquarters.