By Irene Aldridge Many ETF and active portfolio managers need accurate end-of-day price direction forecasts to optimally execute their daily portfolio reallocation requirements. Predicting the end-of-day direction of the price is crucial to solidify performance, as the last half-hour is known to be marked by extreme volatility. The end-of-day volatility, if met on the wrong side of the price movement, may reduce the performance gains of even the most seasoned and talented portfolio managers to rubble. The main challenge with predicting market direction at the close of the day is to estimate the objectives and motivation of market participants. To simplify, most market participants inRead More →

By Irene Aldridge The last two weeks witnessed a somewhat forgotten phenomenon — a market headed south at a rapid pace for several consecutive days. Unlike flash crashes, brief spikes of downward volatility that can be predictable (see Aldridge, I., “High-Frequency Runs and Flash Crash Predictability”, Journal of Portfolio Management, 2014, and AbleMarkets Streaming Flash Crash Index), the sell-off of the past two weeks was methodical, slow and painful. AbleMarkets, a Big Data platform for finance, tracks institutional activity by pinpointing electronic algorithms used to break up large orders throughout the day. AbleMarkets uses the most granular tick-level data from exchanges to identify market microstructure footprints of institutionsRead More →

By Irene Aldridge Selling volatility has been a popular trading strategy among hedge funds over the past couple of years. At the core of the strategy’s popularity is the observation that volatility becomes considerably more severe when the markets are moving down rather than when they are rising up (see, for example, “The Cross-Section of Volatility and Expected Returns” by Ang, Hodrick, Xing and Zhang, Journal of Finance, 2005). In other words, selling volatility is a complicated way of betting on the rise of the market. During the current administration’s tenure, the U.S. markets have consistently risen, while dampening volatility in the process and generating excitement amongRead More →

This article first appeared in the European Financial Review, http://www.europeanfinancialreview.com/?p=17446 By Irene Aldridge With all the changes happening to the markets the past several years, author Irene Aldridge discusses how technology has significantly shaped the execution quality for portfolio managers. The article emphasises the realities of a data-driven industry wherein better information means better success.   Investment managers are increasingly concerned about the quality of their execution. Indeed, how you execute the orders in today’s markets may make or break investment profitability. Changes to the markets over the past several years place execution quality at the top the priority list for investment managers. Most ofRead More →

Real-Time Risk: Why we all need to study Big Data By PlanetCompliance, July 28, 2017 Everything changes. Financial Services. Markets. Risk. Technology and innovation transform an entire industry and if you want to survive, you need to change, too. In order to change though, a profound understanding of the new technologies is necessary. PlanetCompliance spoke to Irene Aldridge, the author of the bestseller “Real-Time Risk” about what investors and finance professionals need to know about Fintech and the way Big Data is transforming the world we live in. There are without doubt not enough women in finance. Not in traditional banking, nor in Fintech. However,Read More →

By Irene Aldridge Adapted from Aldridge, Krawciw, Real-Time Risk: What Investors Should Know About Fintech, High-Frequency Trading and Flash Crashes (Wiley, 2017) Foreign exchange market participants are increasingly concerned about the quality of their execution. Gone are the days of laid-back forex execution – the compensation of today’s forex managers is increasingly tied to their performance. Indeed, how you execute the orders in today’s markets may make or break investment profitability. Changes to the markets over the past several years, place execution quality at the top the priority list for investment managers. Most of the changes in the markets are directly related to computing powerRead More →

By Irene Aldridge Adapted from Real-Time Risk: What Investors Should Know About Fintech, High-Frequency Trading and Flash Crashes, by Irene Aldridge and Steve Krawciw (Wiley, 2017)   Recently, a frenzy to delay orders consumed exchanges. First came IEX, whose innovation was to delay all orders by 350 microseconds. Following IEX market share gains, reported here, many venues are competing to provide a similar offering to traders. This article looks at the mechanics of the delay and how it really helps trading venues gain market share, and at whose expense. In a nutshell, execution delay can be very risky and costly to investors. In all fairness,Read More →