- Trade Routes! For beginners out there, a trade route is simply
a computer network that is used to execute a trade on an ECN
(electronic communication network) or an exchange. Trade routes
evolve over time making an occasional review a good idea.
- Types You can execute a trade on the NASDAQ using direct
access or by being routed through a market maker. Trades on the
NYSE are executed by the specialist for that stock and are routed
electronically to that specialist by various firms.
- ECN's Electronic Communication Networks, can bring buyer
and seller together to execute a trade or the ECN can pass your
order to an exchange. The most used ECN back in the late nineties and
early 2000's was "Island". There were many other popular
ECN's as well such as ARCA, REDI, and BRUT as you can see in
the 2001 chart to the right listed under the heading "name".
- For various reasons some ECN's have either merged with other ECN's
or have changed into an exchange. Most ECN's charge a fee per
share for trades that are executed through their ECN. Some ECN's
charge a fraction of a penny per share if you take away liquidity
and pay you a fraction of a penny per share if you add liquidity.
- The following is a partial list of trade routes or ECN's that
have merged or changed their status:
|BRUT and REDI
- Different brokerage firms offer different trade routes. Usually the trade
routes they offer are the trade routes that their associate execution
firms or market makers offer. Therefore,
it is important that you, as a trader, ask your broker what trade
routes are offered and how you can learn the cost and benefits
of each. In the 2004 order entry picture to the right notice
the various trade routes offered by RML Trading. INET is now
the symbol that has replaced ISLD as you can see above. ARCA
is still ARCA, but it is now an exchange and can also have the
- It is important to learn all the ECN symbols, so that you can
differentiate them from the market makers symbols in the level
2 screen. A useful site for valuable information is offered by
NASDAQ at http://www.nasdaqtrader.com
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The first is to share my knowledge with fellow traders because
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