Technology now plays a vital role in the world of trading and
trading platforms have evolved quickly in recent years providing
retail investors with access to the futures, cfd, foreign exchange
and spread betting markets in ways not thought possible only a few
short years ago.
In the 1980's and 90's futures, CFD, foreign exchange and spread
betting trades were transacted through brokers on the telephone.
Trades were then communicated to the open outcry exchanges where
the traders on the trading floor would execute orders and report
'fills' of trades back to the broker which in turn were passed to
the end client.
In November 2000 the largest of these open outcry exchanges,
LIFFE, closed the last of three trading pits permanently and with
the close of this exchange came the start of the trading platform
Retail traders and investors were suddenly presented with new
trading platforms that allowed access to the markets and offered
transparency of pricing and market depth. The markets were open to
all and for the first time retail traders were also given access to
real time news feeds and charting packages.
The focus of many brokers continues to be around technology and
the constant drive to improve existing trading platforms to include
new trading tools and to improve execution times and reliability.
Clearly a good looking trading platform is useless without it being
reliable, especially when markets become volatile and trading