Yesterday the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) experienced a technical “glitch”, and all trading was halted for a few hours. Yet to the average investor, this was a non-event. Had this happened a decade or more ago, this would have been a major disruption, as it would have brought a large part of the US financial system to a complete stop. But in the last decade, stocks and other instruments that once traded on only one exchange now trade on multiple exchanges. Stocks traded all day as if nothing had happened. That the NYSE has lost its monopoly on trading shares listed there clearly benefited the overwhelming majority of us. Yes, competing exchanges have created some issues that are anti- consumer, such as order flow payments, but on the whole, competition is a good thing. The shutdown cost the NYSE money and prestige. They will now have even more incentive to make sure their systems work properly.
The Bottom Line: Competition improves the breed.
–Michael Ross, CFP®