December 16, 2011
I have been trading for over 12 years now and over the past two I have noticed an extreme drop off in my execution ratio. The stocks I trade are lighter volume stocks with spreads greater than a couple of cents. Stocks will trade at the NBBO of which I am the entire bid or offer but I will get no execution. This has caused me to hide most of my liquidity so it is not displayed to the market. Which leads me to a problem I don't believe I have seen expressed to the SEC at this point. I routinely watch as stocks are bought and sold through my hidden liquidity by as much as a .25. Yet these dark pools and broker dealers will claim they have saved the retail client money while in actuality they have cost them money. Why should I display my order if I don't get the benefit? Every order should flow through to everyone and the best price will be executed. It just seems like common sense.
A frustrated trader