High-Frequency Trading - HFT

AAA

DEFINITION of 'High-Frequency Trading - HFT'

A program trading platform that uses powerful computers to transact a large number of orders at very fast speeds. High-frequency trading uses complex algorithms to analyze multiple markets and execute orders based on market conditions. Typically, the traders with the fastest execution speeds will be more profitable than traders with slower execution speeds. As of 2009, it is estimated more than 50% of exchange volume comes from high-frequency trading orders.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS'High-Frequency Trading - HFT'

High-frequency trading became most popular when exchanges began to offer incentives for companies to add liquidity to the market. For instance, the New York Stock Exchange has a group of liquidity providers called supplemental liquidly providers (SLPs), which attempt to add competition and liquidity for existing quotes on the exchange. As an incentive to the firm, the NYSE pays a fee or rebate for providing said liquidity. As of 2009, the SLP rebate was $0.0015. Multiply that by millions of transactions per day and you can see where part of the profits for high frequency trading comes from.

The SLP was introduced following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, when liquidity was a major concern for investors.

RELATED TERMS
  1. High-Speed Data Feed

    A data stream that transmits information at a faster pace than ...
  2. Quantitative Trading

    Trading strategies based on quantitative analysis which rely ...
  3. Trading Platform

    Software through which investors and traders can open, close ...
  4. Flash Trading

    A controversial computerized trading practice offered by some ...
  5. Technical Analysis

    A method of evaluating securities by analyzing statistics generated ...
  6. New York Stock Exchange - NYSE

    A stock exchange based in New York City, which is considered ...
Related Articles
  1. Active Trading

    Would You Profit As A Day Trader?

    Market timing is surrounded by controversy, but does it work?
  2. Active Trading

    Profiting From Panic Selling

    When everyone rushes to dump their stocks, you may find yourself with a great buying opportunity. Learn about it here.
  3. Investing Basics

    7 Investing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

    No investor is flawless. Here are some common investing fallacies and a step-by-step guide on how to avoid them.
  4. Forex Education

    Lessons From A Trader's Diary

    Discover what this trader learned from his mistakes and how to uncover your own.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top ETFs for Investing in Coffee

    Learn about the market for coffee, one of the largest agricultural markets, and two ETFs that investors can use to obtain exposure to the coffee market.
  6. Investing

    Go Green with a Investment in Green Bonds

    If you want to invest in a socially responsible way, green bonds may be for you. And as the market grows retail investment opportunities will grow too.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 ETFs For Investing in Australia

    Learn about some of the best performing exchange-traded funds that investors use to obtain exposure to stock investments in Australia.
  8. Chart Advisor

    Healthcare Stocks Continue to Be a Good Bet

    Here are four stocks in the healthcare sector that have already put up big numbers, and could still go higher, if they breakout to the upside.
  9. Investing Basics

    Understanding Total Return Swaps

    A total return swap is a contract in which a payer and receiver exchange the credit risk and market risk of an underlying asset.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining Price Targets

    A price target is what an investment analyst projects a security’s future price to be.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some high-profile examples of wash trading schemes?

    In 2012, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was accused of a complex wash trading scheme to profit from a Canadian tax provision, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between passive and active asset management?

    Asset management utilizes two main investment strategies that can be used to generate returns: active asset management and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How are double exponential moving averages applied in technical analysis?

    Double exponential moving averages (DEMAS) are commonly used in technical analysis like any other moving average indicator ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Nanny Tax

    A federal tax that must be paid by people who hire household help (a babysitter, maid, gardener, etc.) and pay them a total ...
  2. Dog And Pony Show

    A colloquial term that generally refers to a presentation or seminar to market new products or services to potential buyers.
  3. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  4. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  5. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  6. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!