Skip to main content

Humans vs. algos: Mike Bellafiore on the future of trading

Mike Bellafiore of SMB Capital talks with MSN about humans vs. algos and the future of trading

A few notable quotes and points from Bella's interview: 

1. Bella and his traders don't look at the current environment as "man vs. machine". 

Instead, they trade around the computers. Most of the advantage that "black box" programs or algorithms have are based on micro-scalping, trading for sub-penny moves. SMB Capital traders have changed their methods, extended their trading time frames, and are adapting to the current market structure.

2. Play your own game. As Mike says, "Do your own thing, let the computers do their thing. Don't play that [computer's] game. Play a game that trades on a longer time frame. Find the trades that work for you."

3. On the large percentage of daily trading volume on US markets that is high-frequency trading (HFT) or machine-based: 

"We used to have market makers and they don't exist anymore. The HFTs became the market makers, but they're trying to make a penny or two cents. You're not trying to do that as a retail investor, you're trying to buy a stock because you have a thesis on it [holding for a directional trade or investment while managing your risk]".

4. Finally, Bella acknowledges the coming wave of exchange consolidations and technologies that will open up new opportunities in electronic trading. 

Increased access to new, international markets will increase our opportunities as traders, since patterns and underlying psychology will repeat themselves in other markets. 

Additionally, traders will learn to create their own automated programs to take advantage of new market opportunities. The future of speculation will be one in which traders apply techniques in their home markets to equity markets abroad, while also reaching into new products and asset classes.

Enjoy the interview, and ask yourself how you might prepare for the changes and opportunities ahead in a "smaller, and more connected" trading world. 

Related posts

1. Interview with Michael Bigger, trader and author

2. Mark Minervini interview: define and refine your approach.

Popular posts from this blog

The Dot-Com Bubble in 1 Chart: InfoSpace

With all the recent talk of a new bubble in the making, thanks in part to the Yellen Fed's continued easy money stance, I thought it'd be instructive to revisit our previous stock market bubble - in one quick chart.

So here's what a real stock market bubble looks like. 

Here's what a bubble *really* looks like. InfoSpace in 1999-2001. $QQQ$BCORpic.twitter.com/xjsMk433H7
— David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) February 24, 2015
For those of you who are a little too young to recall it, this is a chart of InfoSpace at the height of the Nasdaq dot-com bubble in 1999-2001. This fallen angel soared to fantastic heights only to plummet back down to earth as the bubble, and InfoSpace's shady business plan, turned to rubble.

As detailed in our post, "Round trip stocks: Momentum booms and busts", InfoSpace rocketed from under $100 a share to over $1,300 a share in less than six months. 

In a pattern common to many parabolic shooting stars, the stock soon peaked and began a…

William O'Neil Interview: How to Buy Winning Stocks

Investor's Business Daily founder and veteran stock trader, William O'Neil shared his trading methods and insights on buying winning stocks in an in-depth IBD radio interview.

Here are some highlights from William O'Neil's interview withIBD:

William O'Neil's interest in the stock market began when he started working as a young adult. 

"I say many times that I didn't get that much out of college. I didn't have much interest in the stock market until I graduated from college. When I got married, I had to look out into the future and get more serious. The investment world had some appeal and that's when I started studying it. I became a stock broker after I got out of the Air Force."
He moved to Los Angeles and started work in a stock broker's office with twenty other guys. When their phone leads from ads didn't pan out, O'Neil would take the leads and drive down to visit the prospective customers in person.

"I'd get in the c…

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL! 

Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com

Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner.  



Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead!

As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter. You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter). 

Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter.