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High-frequency trading, also known as HFT, is a method of trading that uses powerful computer programs to transact a large number of orders in fractions of a second. It uses complex algorithms to analyze multiple markets and execute orders based on market conditions. The fastest execution speeds are more profitable than t slower execution speeds. High-frequency trading is also characterized by high turnover rates and order-to-trade ratios.
Algorithmic trading ( algo-trading) uses a computer program that follows a defined set of instructions (an algorithm) to place a trade. The trade, in theory, can generate profits at a speed and frequency that is impossible for a human trader.
Arbitrage is the simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset to profit from an imbalance in the price. It is a trade that profits by exploiting the price differences of identical or similar financial instruments on different markets or in different forms. Arbitrage exists as a result of market inefficiencies and would therefore not exist if all markets were perfectly efficient.
Hedge funds are alternative investments using pooled funds that employ different strategies to earn active return, or alpha, for their investors. Hedge funds may be aggressively managed or make use of derivatives and leverage in both domestic and international markets with the goal of generating high returns (either in an absolute sense or over a specified market benchmark).
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