1970- 2011: Keypunch Cards to Zero Latency
Posted April 22, 2011on:
Northern WI 4/22/2011 (VestaDigital) — When I started trading commodities in 1979 from the Chicago trading floors we had data key punch girls who would walk around the different hexagon pits and collect 4 x 6 inch cards. They would then run upstairs to the data entry office and spend hours deciphering the traders scribbling on the cards. In the morning there would be a pre-opening session called ‘out-trades” where clerks would attempt to settle trades which did not match because of key punch errors or the inability to read the chicken scratch writing.
Flash forward to 2011 and you have zero latency Profit and Loss to your smart phone immediately upon making your trade deducting or adding money to your account and calculating the margin. The progress has been rapid, but most of the large steps have been taken in the last 5 years as internet speeds have solved the last mile and costs have dropped. There have also been many software developments to achieve zero latency and useful tools to track trading positions and move money around. The input errors we saw from the 70’s are virtually eliminated at entry and the “out-trade” errors are a thing of the past making execution seamless.
The next steps for Financial Services will revolve around Social Media and its effect on investors, traders and CEO’s and how they communicate. This is already taking place as platforms develop and dominating networks like Twitter introduce $Dollar signs and #Hash keys which become universal symbols across the networks.
Nearly every company will have a FaceBook page or a Twitter account before long. I will monitor the useful software as I write for Vesta Digital and hope you will follow along as we watch the way we invest and communicate change over the next few years…the days of and key punch cards are gone!!!!