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Total Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2016
Posted: 2017-11-11 12:50
I guess what I am looking for is an anecdotal-type answer from people with experience in the markets longer than my own.

How would you rank various markets in terms of the degree to which retail trading drives prices?

Obviously, things like cryptocurrencies are retail-dominated, as are mainland Chinese stocks.

But what about other markest?
Fixed income, FX spot, futures, derivatives of various kinds?

Anyone have insight into the proportion of retail trades in those (in terms of trading volume)?

Founding Member

Total Posts: 8353
Joined: Mar 2004
Posted: 2017-11-12 21:45
Out of the ones you mention, I would say, by order of decreasing retail participation:

1. Spot FX
2. Futures
3. Other derivatives (which really means: options, as retail does not trade swaps of any sort)
4. Fixed Income

The Figs Protocol.


Total Posts: 437
Joined: Apr 2005
Posted: 2017-11-13 09:50
You can also be more granular, such as looking at day sessions vs night / out of hours sessions. Many exchanges actively target / market for retail participation for those evening sessions


Total Posts: 219
Joined: May 2006
Posted: 2017-11-13 15:32

I am surprised that spot fx would be that high.

It's a 5 trillion per day market. @fdax, how much of that do you think is retail?

"People say nothing's impossible, but I do nothing every day" --Winnie The Pooh


Total Posts: 74
Joined: Aug 2008
Posted: 2017-11-13 15:42
Spot isn't 5 trillion, its about a third of the market. The BIS triennal survey has some bits about retail participation in the FX market.


Total Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2016
Posted: 2017-11-13 22:17
Thanks for the replies.

Luciender, thanks for pointing to that survey. Looks like FX options are more popular among retail than spot FX, ca. 7% vs 3.6%.

What about stocks then? Any opinions?


Total Posts: 1535
Joined: Apr 2004
Posted: 2017-11-15 22:52
my qualitative tidbits:
- in US retail is pretty active on listed equity options, especially to overwrite and underwrite
- in UK (and recently elsewhere) CFD's (which are equity swaps) are very common instead of stocks
- retail is involved on listed structured products on SIX and EUREX (or whatever it's called now), and similar structured products in asia

but I don't know percentages (and I might be stale)

"Deserve got nothing to do with it" - Clint
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