Types of Traders

Trading and Exchanges: Market Microstructure for Practitioners by Larry Harris

Central to the book is the division of market participants into the following categories:

1. Informed traders, who profit by bringing prices into line with where they should be

2. News traders, who take announcements and evaluate them and hasten prices to their proper levels

3. Dealers, who provide liquidity to other traders by buying and selling out of their often very expensive inventory, from their very extensive communications and research base

4. Order anticipators, the parasites who frontrun and imitate the actions of those higher in the chain of information

5. Bluffers, who disseminate false information not related to fundamentals to create transitory movements to the cost of all others

6. Utilitarian traders, those who provide the energy that makes the system go round, including investors and borrowers who move money through time and hedgers who use the market to reduce the risk that price moves would have on their businesses

7. Asset exchangers, who switch among instruments to create the optimum portfolio as the economic backdrop and their own conditions change

8. Gamblers, who trade for entertainment.