Debate: Are professional traders becoming obsolete?
Yes – Mike Read is chief executive and co-founder of Pelican Trading.
Trading as we know it is certainly becoming obsolete. Financial instruments will always be traded, but the traditional isolated trading model we know today will soon be consigned to the past.
Platforms that connect individuals wanting to trade in the financial space are now the future. We’re witnessing in real time the transition from trading alone to trading with friends to auto-copying or “managed accounts”.
The simple premise for this evolution is to gain exposure to profitability.
People are hunting for help from the best traders, and the model of isolated trading will soon be gone. We are now seeing brokers report up to 70 per cent of trade volume from non-traditional point-and-click traders. This trend has been amplified by the change in European margin requirements.
Restrictions on trade volumes have led new entrants to look for precision tools, and with no capacity for trial and error, users are now turning to systems with a proven track record to trade for them. This is here to stay.
No – Darren Small is managing director of trading services at Sportradar.
Traders have traditionally been used to compile and adjust odds, as well as manage financial risk. Thanks to technology and increased access to data, betting opportunities have grown rapidly in recent years.
As artificial intelligence continues to revolutionise the industry, some argue that trading could become an entirely automated process, ruling out the need for traders.
But there is a different approach. Technology struggles to handle all qualitative factors – such as player injuries or the weather in sports trading, for example. These elements, from a calculation perspective or without real-time data points, affect probabilities and prices.
Data providers that hire specialist experts, data scientists, and mathematicians, and combine this with cutting-edge technology, are able to take a more quality approach to trading.
Automation has undoubtedly come a long way, but evolved, expert human traders will always be vital in managing the exceptions when it comes to technology-driven systems.