Inspired by Renaissance Technologies - as described in Greg Zuckerman's book, "The Man Who Solved The Market: How Jim Simons Launched The Quant Revolution - Alphacution leverages the concept of "factor dimensionality" to make a significant enhancement to its ecosystem map framework.
Alphacution provides numbers, pictures and rationale for "price improvement" - in the context of captive retail order flow - having an indelible function that is different than what you have been told by those who traffic in it...
Leveraging numbers and narrative, Alphacution builds a higher-dimension analysis of market structure mechanics on top of Bloomberg Opinion's Matt Levine's recent manifesto on payment for order flow (PFOF). Disclaimer: No unsolicited elbows were thrown during the creation of this Feed post...
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”Ayn Rand UPDATE (2/17/2021): The following exhibits and content have been updated to reflect an additional $12 million in order routing revenue for Tastyworks earned in Q4 2020; the data for which not being available prior to the initial publication of this Feed post. This brings Alphacution's estimate for total payments for order flow in 2020 to $2.755 billion. Additional modeling for the 13th and smallest retail broker in our sample - Dough, LLC - reflecting $0.1 million in order routing revenue for 2020 is not included in the figures or analysis below. Presented, for now, without comment - except for: Alphacution identified and modeled 12 retailer brokers and 10 wholesale brokers for this analysisCitadel Securities paid more than $1.1 billion for retail order flow in 2020, representing 41.7% of total payments; largest by almost 2x of the second place wholesaler (the sum of SIG affiliates, G1 Execution Services and [...]
This is the fuel that ignites the chaos. Without it, the New Market Kamikazes run into the friction that keeps the rubber on the road...
"What's really happening here is that instead of people becoming engaged in finance when they're 40, 50, 60 or whatever, they're finally starting to learn that - hey - this is really cool. And so, we have an entire generation now which is not only going to support capitalism, it's going to accelerate the growth in free markets and [provide] massive amounts of liquidity so that everybody out there is going to benefit. This is the best thing to happen to the global economy in three or four decades. Getting millennials engaged in finance is transformational."Tom Sosnoff, co-founder, Tastytrade; on CNBC Squawk Box, January 29, 2021 in response to a question about the "democratization of finance" and the status of capitalism With all the craziness this week around GameStop, Robinhood and the whole STONKS meme, an event from last week is at risk of being swept under the rug. So, I wanted to add this one to the Feed as a marker before we lose the thread entirely. Here's the [...]
“You wanna know which ring is my favorite? The next one.”Tom Brady The detailed exhibit presented at the bottom of this Feed post is 1) featured in our just-published case study, "The Rise of Hudson River Trading," 2) an expanded version of an already somewhat outdated exhibit originally published in our "History of Jane Street" case study (below), and 3) only an excerpt of a much larger global map of entities that Alphacution has been developing to be featured in upcoming research, culminating in a comprehensive case study on the global proprietary trading community later this year... (Fingers crossed.) For now, I want to emphasize that this is not a ranking by anything other than founding year, and therefore, is simply designated as "25 Leading Prop Firms." Otherwise, it would have been more accurately - and provocatively - named, "Top 25 Prop Firms." Yes, the largest - and most dominant - players are in here. But, this list is also a bit US-centric, does not include any APAC players or [...]
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”Abraham Lincoln In Part I of our Lessons in Strategy Geometry concept, we performed a comparative analysis between the shapes of 13F position rankings for HRT Financial, LLC (an affiliate of Hudson River Trading, LLC; the subject of our next deep-dive case study which is in the oven and almost fully baked, I promise), Latour Trading, LLC, and TRC Investments, LLC (both of which are affiliates of Tower Research Capital, LLC). In that introductory Feed post, our goal was mainly to point out what amounts to underlying differences in strategy, particularly given how unique the Tower "shapes" appeared to be relative to others we had modeled. We didn't go into to much detail beyond that with the idea that it would be more useful to work through possible insights step by step... So, here's a next step: Founded in 2015, XTX Markets, Ltd is one of a very short list of up-and-coming proprietary [...]
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.”T. S. Eliot As we were riffing along with our recent Feed post on HAP Trading, I would've sworn than I had already shared a few words on another unique player from the option market making corner of the world, San Francisco-based Cutler Group, LP. Turns out, I had not... With the upcoming publication of a deep-dive case study on Hudson River Trading imminent, Alphacution is going to spend much of the first part of 2021 in option land, cranking out its first multi-player comparative case study on option market makers. So, I don't want to burn too much dry powder here. However, I do want have a standalone post on Cutler in the archives as reference for those who don't yet have access to the case study content... Anyway, in the charts that follow, Alphacution presents a few of its most basic analytics from its modeling of 13F data related to Cutler, with comparison [...]
"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."Henry Ford I couldn't find the exact reference, but sometime between about 2010 and 2015 I wrote (for TABB Group) that when the market regime eventually shifted from the core drivers of the long, low volatility period of the post-GFC era, many quant models would become disoriented and their performance would suffer. This is simply because the behavioral cues of the new chapter would not be embedded in the historical market data of the prior period upon which those models had been trained. Well, that scenario finally played out this year... So, instead of following the well-worn tradition of preparing a lengthy "Year in Review" post on market highlights and lowlights as we bring this historically bizarre and disorienting year to a close, I thought to let a series of illustrations from some of the world's most legendary players show you symbols for how their year appears to have gone (through Q3 2020) and, by implication, how broad groupings of strategies [...]