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Why I opened a share trading account last Friday




Perhaps counterintuitively, I opened a retail brokerage account last Friday. My rationale was two-fold.  First, I wanted to see how easy it would be - about two minutes thanks to Revolut. But my second reason was more subtle. Given how much volume is tied up in passive ETFs, then maybe individual stocks will get oversold with all the current volatility? While my first results have been patchy at best, it did get me thinking about the next generation of trading technology and how professionals in the market are going to change their working routines.


The first issue is just one of practical desktop real estate.  I have a large Mac screen at home which is just fine for my purposes. But this is clearly impractical for professionals used to having multiple monitors all displaying different views of the trading world.  This is where desktop interop from folks like Glue 42 comes into its own.  Glue 42 enables you to build desktops that comprise different pieces of applications like Fidessa or Bloomberg but share context between them (hotspots and tracking in Bloomberg and Fidessa speak respectively).


Another crucial dimension is risk, both market and operational.  Most sell-side firms operate multiple platforms across different parts of their business.  In some cases, multiple instances of one vendor solution, different vendor solutions entirely or a combination of the first two with in-house applications.  In today’s world having a precise, real time and, crucially, actionable view of risk across all of these is more important than ever.  Firms like Velox excel at this stuff because you simply plug in the data and then start aggregating and analysing it as you like.  Even better is that everything is actionable too.So, my two learnings this week have been: first maybe leave the trading to the professionals but, second, perhaps we will see an increased uptake of next gen technology in our industry as we all adjust to new ways of working…

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