01.31.2012
By Terry Flanagan

The Time is Now

With the economy showing signs of recovering, market participants assert that now is time for investors to return to the markets.

“It’s a tough time now but that doesn’t mean you can’t invest,” Lionel Mellul, co-founder of Momentum Trading Partners, told Markets Media. “Things are getting better.”

Most of the concerns facing investors for much of 2011 are still lingering, including the ongoing European debt crisis and the U.S. economy, which continues to be stagnant amid high unemployment and with the presidential election looming. Investor confidence as a result has remained depressed. However, there are signs of improvement, as companies have posted relatively strong earnings. While the fundamentals are there, investor confidence remains low.

Aside from a smattering of high-profile tech initial public offerings during the second half of 2011, the primary market has been slow. However, moderate increases in equities prices combined with a decline in market volatility predicates an environment that may be ripe for new IPOs, according to research conducted by Deutsche Borse.

There is also increasing optimism that a solution to the European debt crisis is imminent, as the negotiations have progressed slowly, but surely.

“The biggest change is that now there is unity among the European members,” said Mellul. “They are no longer contradicting each other. Now they are working hand-in-hand.”

New York-based Momentum Trading Partners is a high-touch agency-only broker-dealer. Contrary to most brokers in the marketplace, it has about 1.5 times the amount of execution traders to sales traders, which it asserts is the highest such ratio in the industry. Rather than focus on long-short asset managers, Momentum has a wide and diverse customer base trading different strategies. This allows them to have significant trading activity regardless of the market conditions.

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