What is 'Deck'

A deck, also known as broker's deck, is the number of open orders that a broker is working with at any one time. A broker with a large deck must efficiently find buyers and sellers for securities, or he risks the cancellation of orders. More experienced brokers can operate with larger open positions if they are certain in their ability to find counterparties.

BREAKING DOWN 'Deck'

A floor trader works with orders, referred to collectively as a deck, received from clients requesting certain securities be bought or sold. While they work for one of the various stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), floor traders work only on the accounts they have secured for themselves.

Brokers with a large deck may find holding too many orders to be inefficient or challenging. As a floor trader (FT), the broker works to fill both buy and sell orders as they are received. This requires a high level of interaction with various parties that are interested in making the trade as well as significant research dedicated to each order that is currently held in the deck.

A larger deck means that the broker is managing a higher number of orders. This higher level of demand may make it difficult to secure the best deals for every open order available to the broker and may make tracking transactions less efficient.

For example, if a floor trader has an open order for Company A and Company B, it may not be possible to look at fulfillment options for both requests simultaneously. Instead, the trader may have to switch back and forth between the requests or focus on one until completion and then move to the next. While working on the order for Company A, a favorable opportunity may open for Company B. Depending on where the trader is with the Company A order, he may not be able to capitalize on the opportunity for the Company B order.

Exchange Shutdowns

Based on the availability of certain securities on multiple exchanges and the growing dependency on technology in the trading arena, a broker with a large deck may experience more missed opportunities in the event a technical issue shuts down an exchange.

For example, on July 8, 2015, the NYSE halted operations for approximately three hours. During that time, other exchanges, such as the Nasdaq, continued to trade NYSE-listed stocks as the technical issues did not limit the function of other exchanges. This could cause significant price fluctuations that could affect a trader’s ability to complete an order once service was restored.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Floor Broker (FB)

    A floor broker is an independent member of an exchange authorized ...
  2. Two Dollar Broker

    A two dollar broker is a floor broker who executes orders for ...
  3. Outside Broker

    The term outside broker has several applications in finance. ...
  4. Hybrid Market

    A hybrid market is a securities exchange that facilitates trading ...
  5. Carrying Broker

    Carrying broker refers to a commodities or securities broking ...
  6. Execution

    Execution is the completion of a buy or sell order for a security.
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Picking your first broker

    If you're a rookie investor, choosing a broker may be your first big investment decision. Learn more on whether you should you go with a full-service broker or a discount broker.
  2. Trading

    How Forex Brokers Make Money

    Forex brokers set their prices based on commission, spread, or a combination of both. Traders have to be cautious in the thinly regulated forex market.
  3. Trading

    Price Shading In The Forex Markets

    This practice puts brokers ahead of their clients, but it doesn't have to be a negative for traders.
  4. Investing

    What is a Discount Broker?

    A discount broker is a stockbroker who carries out "buy" and "sell" orders at a reduced commission compared to a full-service broker, but provides no investment advice.
  5. Personal Finance

    Research Report Red Flags For Brokers

    Discover how to look past analysts' ratings to find winning stocks for your clients.
  6. Investing

    Understanding Market Orders And Limit Orders

    A market order executes a transaction as quickly as possible at the present price. Immediacy is the main concern. A limit order is executed at or below a purchase or sale price. Price is the ...
  7. Personal Finance

    How brokers can avoid a market-maker's tricks

    Ensure that you and your clients are getting the best deal by avoiding these three pitfalls.
  8. Trading

    How To Pay Your Forex Broker

    Learn how to evaluate forex broker fee/commission structures with these three types of commissions and find the one that will work best for you.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why are Traders on the Floor of the Exchange?

    Learn how trading on the floor of the stock exchange has evolved over time with computers now managing the majority of buying, ... Read Answer >>
  2. The difference between a market order and limit order

    Market orders execute a trade to buy or sell immediately at the best available price. A limit order only trades when the ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why can't I enter two sell orders on the same stock?

    The limitation on sell orders protects investors. Learn 3 reasons why you can't enter multiple sell orders and the downsides ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between a buy limit and a sell stop order?

    Understand the differences between the two order types, a buy limit order and a sell stop order, and the purposes each one ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center