Q&A by Don Bright
DIRECT NOT SO DIRECT?
I’ve heard that my direct-access broker actually routes my trades through the firm. Can that be right? How is that direct access? — TCmac
I get this question a lot. Your order needs to go through the brokerage firm to verify that you have enough funds to cover the transaction, check for “pattern daytrader” compliance, and so forth. To get true direct access, the market participant must join an exchange or a proprietary trading firm. That way, your orders are covered by the broker–dealer directly, not your individual account. Hope this helps.
SUBPENNYING AND MORE
Don, you’ve been pretty quiet on some very disconcerting topics within our industry. I would like to hear your opinions on subpennying, transaction tax proposals, and flash trades.
I’ll address the transaction tax first. Imagine a trader who risks his capital while providing liquidity for the public and others. This trader may buy and sell 50,000 shares per day. If the average stock price was $50, then he would be selling $2.5 million worth of equities. A quarter of 1% “tax” would amount to $6,250. This is a total disaster, of course; the trader may be making or losing a few hundred dollars during that day, so this is a total deal breaker. I just don’t see this happening. Perhaps a minor per trade charge or something would work.