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Blame It on the Algorithms?

Traders Magazine, April 2004

Nina Mehta

Decimalization is often blamed by trading experts for shrinking the average size of stock trades. But the real culprit, according to Bill Perry, head of U.S. equity trading at Standard Life Investments, is algorithmic trading. The introduction of decimalization in 2001 only accelerated the trend in place. "The average trade size has come down dramatically since 1998 with algorithmic trading machines slicing and dicing orders," Perry says. "It's the direct result of the smart engines out there." However, he adds, algorithmic trading is now immensely valuable for most traders.

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