Online Brokers Suffer Service Failures as Markets Surge

As markets surged on positive vaccine news and election sentiment, online investors and traders worldwide were foiled, yet again, by an inability to place trades on many major platforms. In the UK, traders reported problems with AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown, and Fidelity UK, while US customers of Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge, and Fidelity suffered slowdowns.

Outages and slowdowns during trading surges are an unfortunate, but common, issue faced by customers of online trading platforms. The main reason these outages continue to plague the industry is that most brokers do not have the capacity to have more than a small number of their clients logged in simultaneously.

Another issue is data flows from the exchanges themselves, which can also lag when the number of requests blows up. Tom Sosnoff of tastyworks tells us, “There were some exchange issues this morning with messaging in the first few minutes that affected everyone,” though he says that his firm’s platform experienced no problems otherwise. Read more…..


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Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil Corporation, speaks with Economic Club president David M. Rubenstein on Thursday March 12, 2015.

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