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Trading Via Tweet: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

TD Ameritrade doesn’t know, but it’s about to find out.
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Kids these days, they don’t wanna have to set up an online brokerage account, download some specialized online brokerage app and then do stupid research. No. They want an algorithm to tell them what to do, and then to immediately be able to do it without considering the consequences. At least, this is TD Ameritrade’s thesis, as it adds instant trading capabilities to its new Twitter chatbot.


The algorithm sifts through tweets and then rates the relevance of the information to provide “intelligence” to investors, such as volume spikes, live trading quotes and company news.

Or, you know, this. In any event, once the youngs see that the president has told them to just buy anything, they’ll then do it right then and there.

The bot is accessible via direct message over Twitter; whether a client or not, a Twitter user can interact by asking questions and requesting information on specific stocks. Users with an Ameritrade account can execute a trade through the bot after being prompted to log in to their account….

“We have to go to where our customers are,” said Sunayna Tuteja, director of emerging technology and innovation at TD Ameritrade. “A lot of people consume their news on Twitter” and the new offering “is about making trading more accessible and easier.”

Unfortunately, the olds running TD aren’t quite ready to give the millennials everything they want.

TD Ameritrade’s account openings hit a record at the end of its latest quarter—driven by a 72% rise in new business among millennials. Chief Executive Tim Hockey said in an interview at the time that most of the influx of younger, first-time investors was due to interest in the speculative areas of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, and cannabis…. TD Ameritrade’s Twitter bot won’t allow clients to access speculative areas like bitcoin, though Ms. Tuteja said the firm may eventually allow trading there to go beyond stocks and ETFs.

At the very least, the new bot offers a whole new avenue to hackers and would-be insider traders seeking a fresh channel to add some black edge to their big data.

TD Ameritrade to Allow Trading via Twitter [WSJ]


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