#ICYMI: The King of ETF Trading?

It was a holiday shortened week last week, and a lot of folks were OOO with brain settings dialed to low intensity. So, I thought we would try this one again, keep it short, tight and appropriately entertaining:

With the heavy lift of the Citadel Securities case study ink (mostly) dry, we now turn our attention to the next series of puzzles. Generally speaking, the puzzles that captivate in the immediate future include 1) the rankings of market makers, prop traders and quant players (both, buy-side and sell-side, wherever applicable) operating within our structural alpha zone, 2) the ranking of players that are dominant in options trading – the Option Gods, 3) the ranking of players that are dominant in ETF trading, and 4) the subset of these rankings where players are strong across all of these factors.

NOTE: If you are not directly involved in or with the market participants and stakeholders in the structural alpha zone, change the channel at your own peril. If you think what is going on here in close proximity to the sources of liquidity is not impacting where you sit – like, somewhere in hedge fund land or further out on the map in the more traditional asset management landscapes – then you are missing the main point: The whole space is connected. What goes on at the center ripples out through the neighboring zones and impacts wherever you are sitting right now.

Capito? 

Stay tuned – as the output becomes that much more fascinating with each incremental round of modeling…

Anyway, along those lines, in the exhibit below, Alphacution presents a representative list – not yet complete and comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination, but an interestingly representative list – of notable players in our structural alpha zone who are active in ETF trading.

Your puzzle – for the long weekend and beyond – is to contemplate which wiggly line belongs to which player. We will publish the answers down the road.

Enjoy…


If you find value here or elsewhere on the Feed, please perform at least one action item to support it. Nothing new or innovative can survive without support. In this case, it’s not time consuming nor is it expensive to show your appreciation. Ideas below…

Support the Feed!


Individual Subscription Options




Note: Business credit cards and bank accounts can be used via our PayPal payment portal.


Alphacution is in the intelligence business.

We are uniquely focused on harvesting, packaging and distributing intelligence about the impacts of technology in financial markets and on the businesses of trading, asset management and banking. Our growing model library is our intelligence asset. Today, this intelligence asset primarily supports written research content, which can be accessed via standardized subscriptions and customized engagements. Occasionally, this core asset also supports video, audio and live presentation content. In time, Alphacution’s intelligence asset will support a broader platform of products and services, like data feeds and software.

For the past year or so, Alphacution has been publishing most of its research content on its Feed for free, and promoting that content via periodic newsletter. The purpose of this strategy has been to assess the interest in and demand for a unique perspective and a new level of intelligence on the financial markets ecosystem.

And, based on the growth in network and activity around that research, it seems that we have struck a cord with many of you – a network of senior executives representing some of the most advanced players in the global financial markets arena and their stakeholders.

The recent trajectory of pageview metrics on our site is symbolic of this claim, as shown below:

Now it’s time to take that level of engagement and direct it towards a more viable long term economic support model that ultimately allows us to scale our team and enhance the quantity and quality of our intelligence.

So, here’s what we are going to do about that:

For those of you who are eager to derive greater value from this work and apply that intelligence to your own business interests, Alphacution is offering individual introductory subscription options priced at $275 per year or $25 per month, cancellable at any time. Both of these options include a rebate on purchases of deeper, more substantive reports and case studies.

In other words, the entire value of an individual subscription paid up to the point of purchasing a single report will be deducted from the purchase of that report. (Rebates not to exceed the maximum value of an annual subscription.)

Examples of upcoming reports – that fall within our 2019 research strategy, outlined in the post Alphacution’s Book: Not Hiding, In Plain Sight – that will be available via the aforementioned subscription rebate mechanism include:

  1. Case Study: Citadel, LLC (~ Q1-2019)
  2. Case Study: All-Time Top 10 Hedge Fund Managers, Ranked by Profits (~ Q2-2019)
  3. Case Study: Top Proprietary Trading Firms (~ Q3-2019)
  4. Case Study: Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (~ Q4-2019)

Enterprise subscription packages and custom content/service engagement options are available upon request at info@alphacution.com.


Individual Subscription Options



Note: Business credit cards and bank accounts can be used via our PayPal payment portal.

Now, for those of you who don’t expect to take advantage of the offers outlined above but want to continue to enjoy the insights, intelligence and occassional entertainment that remain openly available on the Feed, I want to make this specific plea:

Free doesn’t mean there are no costs. In fact, in this case, there have been extraordinary costs in the accumulation of experience and sight, meticulous curation and assembly of data, and creative visualization of and storytelling around our findings.

So, if you value quality content – here or anywhere else – then you need to find a way to support that content at some level simply because you want it to continue to exist. Our post, In Support of Digital Content – which was adapted from other notable digital era content developers – makes a more expansive case for this perspective.

Bottom line: Your efforts to support via one-time or recurring contributions will help guard against this content needing to move from the currently preferred audience-driven model (for its level of independence) to a sponsorship-driven model (which can be found on most other industry media outlets).

So, if none of the subscription options suit you, one-time and recurring support contributions can be made at any level here:




Of course, as always: If you value this work, please continue to “like it,” share it, comment on it – or discuss amongst your colleagues – and then send us feedback@alphacution.com.

As our “feedback loop” becomes more vibrant – given input from clients and other members of our network, especially around new questions to be answered – the value of this work will accelerate.

Don’t be shy…


Unsubscribe from prior subscriptions without further obligation, at any time, here:

By | 2019-05-29T14:05:55+00:00 April 24th, 2019|Alphacution Feed|

About the Author:

Paul Rowady is the Director of Research for Alphacution Research Conservatory, the first digitally-oriented research and strategic advisory platform uniquely focused on modeling and benchmarking the impacts of technology on global financial markets and the businesses of trading, asset management and banking. He is a 30-year veteran of the proprietary, quantitative and derivatives trading arenas with specific expertise in strategy research, risk management, and techno-operational development. Contact: feedback@alphacution.com; Follow: @alphacution.