Bloomberg Platform: Retail vs. Professional Traders

I’ve spent a few weeks with the Bloomberg Professional platform at Bond University. I’ve also been reading Alex Preda’s sociological study¬†Noise: Living and Trading in Electronic Finance (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017). Below are some trading diary notes on the differences between retail and professional traders:


Amateur / Retail Traders


  • Able to submit bid or ask market orders or limit orders.
  • News: company feed or Twitter sentiment data — herding.
  • Trade Execution: tied to chosen broker who sells order flow.
  • Order / Position Management: risk exposure, no post-trade analysis.
  • Market Surveillance: focus on company / single asset classes.
  • Trade Analytics: fundamental analysis, technical analysis which is ‘gamed’ by broker to encourage over-trading, and that is ‘gamed’ by HFT and Prop Trader algorithms.


Professional Traders


  • Able to submit orders with different sides, types and strategies — as well as quantity, ticker, limits, brokers, and instructions. Able to access market depth for BuyStrikeBid, BuyStrikeAsk, SellStrikeBid, and SellStrikeAsk orders (dealing with the order book and market microstructure).
  • News: alerts, company, market-moving, and sentiment.
  • Trade Execution: broker choice, liquidity, and transaction cost analysis.¬†Execution focus on: Open Auction, Bid, Mid, Ask, Closing Auction, Blocks, and Dark.
  • Order / Position Management: firm positions, risk exposures, post-trade, and trade reconstruction.
  • Market Surveillance: economic events, global macro, asset classes, exchanges, company events, central bank activity, trading signals.
  • Trade Analytics: company and peer analysis, price and volume, market depth, broker volume and liquidity.