One Year After Flash Boys, Investors Remain Suspicious of HFT

The Convergex survey found that 57 percent of financial industry participants feel markets are unfair - down from 70 percent last year.

One year after the release of “Flash Boys” and it’s accusations that high-frequency trading firms are gaming the system, a brokerage survey found that a majority of respondents – 57 percent – feel that markets are not fair for all participants.

[One year later, Michael Lewis looks back at “Flash Boys.”]

“The U.S. Equity Market Structure Flashback Survey,” conducted by agency brokerage Convergex, noted that this finding was down from 70 percent from its April 2014 survey.

More than one-third (36 percent) describe HFT as harmful or very harmful to investors, versus 51 percent in the 2014 survey. Fewer than half of those surveyed (42 percent) report having changed how they interact with markets because of the ongoing HFT debate, but that number has almost doubled from 2014.

Convergex conducted its annual survey from March 17 to March 19, 2015.

The survey results reveal an investment community with remaining concerns about U.S. equity market structure, yet feeling more positive than one year ago, as measured against Convergexs April 2014 U.S. Equity Market Structure Survey.

Wall Streets perception of markets has clearly shifted, said Eric Noll, Convergex president and chief executive officer. Todays market structure is complex and challenging. Investors are more comfortable now than they were a year ago, but theyre still largely unsure of how this impacts them and what changes they should make to the way they trade.

Full survey results are available on the Convergex website.