Rule 605

The Retail Flow Factor: Hiding in Plain Sight

In this introduction to the 17-page, 21-exhibit presentation – Part III of Alphacution’s case study on payment for order flow (PFOF) – we present our preliminary development of the “retail flow factor” for 2020 based largely on a reconciliation of 606 data (from 10 retail brokers / 11 entities) and 605 data (from 7 wholesale market makers). The results include estimated monthly penetration of retail order flow relative to the full U.S. cash equities market for 2020 – including estimated breakdowns of odd lots and round lots – as well as some hints on where we will need to look next to further refine this factor in preparation for extending this analysis throughout 2021 and beyond…

By |2021-06-03T01:03:27-04:00June 3rd, 2021|For Subscribers|

Billions of Orders, Trillions of Shares: Comparing NYSE Arca and IEX

"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure."Joseph Campbell The intensifying war between that which happens in the dark and that which happens in the light has finally moved equities exchanges fully within Alphacution's cross hairs. Given our belief that leading market makers and other sophisticated, technology-wielding trading firms are disrupting every stakeholder group in the ecosystem, it should come as no surprise to most of our readers that we would eventually arrive here. Since we are committed to following a trail of data - and harvesting insights based on that data - the arc of themes found here on the Feed are biased more to a combination of a somewhat serendipitous and a somewhat informed journey of old-school research than merely targeted at what appears to be popular in the moment. Besides, sometimes we get lucky and serendipity turns out to be prophetic... We don't know what we'll find until we find it, but we trust that something [...]

By |2020-12-21T22:19:55-05:00December 21st, 2020|For Subscribers|

Pennies and Locomotives: Hypothesis for Virtu’s Next Acquisition

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking."John Maynard Keynes Back in the day, we called it picking up pennies in front of locomotives. Today, that locomotive is one nasty beast... Virtu is having a banner year in 2020, with 9-month net trading income (NTI) at an all-time high of nearly $2 billion. Virtu also appears to be well-positioned to benefit from periods of heightened volatility and volume in its core US cash equity strategy going forward. In other words, there is no specific need for Virtu to do anything dramatic. So, our hypothesis here is this: If there was a dramatic move to be made by Virtu that would cause a material uptick in growth potential, what could it be? Note: If you haven't already done so, our recent Feed post, "Trading Strategy Secrets: Hiding in Plain Sight" is worth reading as a detailed setup for this post... Right out of the gate it needs to be said that we [...]

By |2021-02-03T12:09:07-05:00November 13th, 2020|For Subscribers|

Wholesale Market Makers: Adding Price Improvement to the PFOF Analysis

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." John Maynard Keynes Just because the rule requires “market centers that trade National Market System (NMS) securities to make available standardized, monthly reports containing statistical information about covered order executions that are free and readily accessible to the public" does not mean that that information is lounging around under a bank of Klieg lights in an easily consumable format. Like a lot of raw regulatory data, you need to know where to look while simultaneously in possession of a decoder ring... Meanwhile, there is a dramatic falling of US equity market dominoes that began a year ago with an industry-wide move to zero-commission retail brokerage models. This move became exacerbated in March by a convergence of pandemic-related forces that has resulted in a gusher of unprecedented profitability for a short list of leading proprietary trading firms that are otherwise known in the light of day as wholesale market makers. At the intersection where [...]

By |2020-10-27T20:10:25-04:00October 9th, 2020|For Subscribers|