What is a market maker? A market maker was an investment industry professional who had a responsibility to create a market in an environment of low liquidity. This was manual job when automated trading was not fully deployed. The market maker represented a firm with a seat on the exchange and would put up a bid or sell order in order to create the market among stock issues of low or nil volume. With fewer retail investors looking to trade, the market maker has taken up business elsewhere. Why is this topic relevant you ask? Well, Jim Rickards – author of Currency Wars claims that when the next stock market crash arrives, it could be a quick turn south without market makers stepping in to purchase during a panic. Sure, there are triggers to seize trading amidst a panic but what about when the light turns green once again.
In a market which quickly turns negative, mutual funds would be relying on fund managers to be decisive and quick at the switch – but with mutual fund’s exposure to such large relative weighting in one stock compared to a retail investor, how orderly could an exit be? The mechanics of trading in a stock market are worthy of anyone’s attention. Are there hedge’s available to you, the retail investor, which are not being disclosed to you because of a misconceived “fiduciary duty” which a broker thinks he possesses. That is, a notion that you lack sophistication to understand a hedge. Education in finance is important to all. Bankers should not be suggesting you lack capacity and of course you’re familiar with your responsibility to manage your finances.