Are Human Traders on the Path to Extinction?

Edgar Perez, Author of The Speed Traders: An Insider's Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World, Published by McGraw-Hill Inc. and Course Director of The Speed Traders Workshop 2011
The Speed Traders and High-Frequency Trading
The Speed Traders and High-Frequency Trading
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Sept. 19, 2011 - PRLog -- Adam Afshar, one of the leading high-frequency traders featured in Edgar Perez's The Speed Traders: An Insider's Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World (, has the picture clear. He says, “My first attempt at using the computer was to build a system to help traders have better information faster to enable them or their portfolio managers to make better decisions, a sort of hybrid system where the computers are helping the humans. But, in less than a year, I realized that discretionary human participation in selection, portfolio management, or trading was so deleterious that no amount of computer power or intellectual algorithms could mitigate it.”

Therefore, human traders have been given notice. “It’s very important to stress this point because if the system allows human discretion at any level (idea generation, portfolio management, or trading) and your machine does not have the human discretionary elements modeled correctly in its learning algorithm (which we claim is not possible at this time), what you are left with is simply a quantitative trader that uses certain calculations to assist his or her trading. It becomes difficult or even impossible to assess whether the success or failure was due to the calculations, formula, or algorithms. Although we can argue on the pros and cons of humans as traders, we have to agree that this method is not and cannot be scientific. It is not scientific because it is not possible to backtest a model that allows any discretionary human intervention.

For example, if you have computers that are generating trades, but the execution is done by humans, then we would argue that you cannot determine whether the success or failure of the system was due to its robust artificial intelligence or to a very good trader, and there is no way of testing and duplicating the results. Therefore, we would argue that any backtesting becomes essentially void.”

The Speed Traders, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., available online at, Barnes & Noble, BORDERS, and INDIEBOUND, among multiple bookstores, is the most comprehensive, revealing work available on the most important development in trading in generations. High-frequency trading will no doubt play an ever larger role as computer technology advances and the global exchanges embrace fast electronic access. The Speed Traders explains everything there is to know about how today's high-frequency traders make millions—one cent at a time. In this new title, The Speed Traders, Perez opens the door to the secretive world of high-frequency trading. Inside, prominent figures drop their guard and speak with unprecedented candidness about their trade.

The Speed Traders Workshop 2011, "The Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading" (, will be held in Chicago, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Speed Traders Workshop 2011 will be extremely helpful for all delegates who are working in finance and investments, from financial institutions, investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds, broker dealers, consultancy groups, prime brokers, solution providers and exchanges, who wish to gain a thorough understanding and practical knowledge of high-frequency trading.

Perez is widely regarded as the pre-eminent networker in the specialized area of high-frequency trading. He has been featured on CNBC Cash Flow with Oriel Morrison (, BNN Business Day with Kim Parlee (, with Gregg Greenberg (, and Channel NewsAsia Cent & Sensibilities with Lin Xue Ling, and engaged as speaker at Harvard Business School’s 17th Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference, High-Frequency Trading Leaders Forum 2011 (New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Singapore), CFA Singapore, Hong Kong Securities Institute, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University (New York), Global Growth Markets Forum (London), Technical Analysis Society (Singapore), Middle East Hedge Funds Investors Summit 2012 (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), among other global forums.

Perez was a vice president at Citigroup, a senior consultant at IBM, and a consultant at McKinsey & Co. in New York City. Perez has an undergraduate degree from Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima, Peru (1994), a Master of Administration from Universidad ESAN, Lima, Peru (1997) and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School, with a dual major in Finance and Management (2002). He belongs to the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. Perez resides in the New York City area and is an accomplished salsa and hustle dancer.

Perez is one of the great business networkers and motivators on the lecture circuit; he is available worldwide for the following speaking engagements: Present and Future of High-Frequency Trading, The Real Story behind the "Flash Crash", Networking for Financial Executives, and Business Networking for Success.

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The Speed Traders is the most comprehensive, revealing work available on the most important trading development in generations. High-frequency trading will play an ever larger role as computer technology advances and exchanges embrace electronic access.
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