January 31, 2010
As a small individual investor with over twenty years experience investing in stocks, I feel that the high frequency trading employed by large hedge funds and proprietary trading desks has led to fundamentally unfair trading. These trading strategies have been used to manipulate the price to the advantage of the large funds. When as is usually the case the price is forced down and maintained at an artificially low price, small investors will be required under margin rules to sell to them at a low price, or if not on margin would eventually need to sell to the funds which can cover their short positions for an (illegal) profit. The issuer also suffers as they cannot raise capital while the price is artificially depressed without a high level of dilution. Development stage companies are especially prone to these insidious trading practices which will impact our country's future growth potential. This type of trading is occurring so fast that the seller could also be the buyer as the price is forced down, leaving the high speed trader with a desired change in price and no net change in position.