By Ilana Greene and Ann Mathisen
Trading on the New York Stock Exchange Floor is fiercely competitive and in this era of high-frequency trading, akin to the "wild wild west." The "floor" as an institution continues to put off its inevitable close and over the past decade, remains mired in outdated regulations that mirror the 1970's at best.
Back in the halcyon days, brokers conducting business on the floor or those who had a "seat" had a virtual monopoly on making money. Due to electronic trading and online platforms the average investor may have a better shot (but then again probably not) at generating some profit but only if they invest for the long-term. Misguided retail investors can't, and shouldn't, compete with institutional and hedge fund investors.
It's my prediction that within a few years, the NYSE, as we know it, will become a historical relic or "event" location where, as a result of the grand architecture and enormity of the space, weddings and large-scale gatherings will take place. In fact, the exchange could close tomorrow, and traders (other than those who yearn to hear the opening and closing bells) wouldn't miss a beat. The flow of funds would remain uninterrupted.
For investors who continue to think they can beat the odds with milli-second trading and the big boys - take it from a 35 year veteran - remember there's an old proverb on the Street - "when you sit down to play poker, and look around the table for the patsy, and can't find him, then the patsy is you."
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