Welcome to the Fictionary

Commonly Used Terms in Electronic Trading

A2A in fixed income refers to “All-to-All” protocol. This generic protocol seeks to increase market participation by allowing trading between participants to be completed with intermediation from a broker or a platform, via a designated dealer partner.
In fixed income trading, an “Ack” refers to an acknowledgement message that is sent by one party to another in response to a trade confirmation or other type of message.
When a trade is executed, both parties involved in the transaction typically send trade confirmation messages to each other to confirm the details of the trade, including the security being traded, the price, and the settlement date. Upon receiving these messages, each party is expected to send an acknowledgement message, or “Ack,” to confirm that they have received and reviewed the trade confirmation.
A trade is not considered fully confirmed until both parties have sent an Acknowledgement message, indicating that they agree to the terms of the trade as outlined in the confirmation message. If one party fails to send an Ack in a timely manner, it may indicate that there is a problem with the trade, such as an error in the trade details or a discrepancy in the settlement instructions.
Overall, Acks are an important part of the trade confirmation process in fixed income trading, helping to ensure that trades are executed accurately and efficiently, and that any issues or errors are quickly identified and resolved.

An agency bond is a security issued by a government-sponsored enterprise or by a federal government department other than the U.S. Treasury. Some agency bonds are not fully guaranteed in the same way that U.S. Treasury and municipal bonds are. An agency bond is also known as agency debt.

In fixed income markets, an aggregator is a technology platform or system that collects and consolidates pricing and trade data from multiple sources, such as dealer networks, electronic trading platforms, and other sources. Aggregators are used by traders and investors to access real-time pricing and trading information across a wide range of fixed income products and markets.
The role of an aggregator in fixed income is to provide traders and investors with a comprehensive view of the market, allowing them to make more informed trading decisions and execute trades more efficiently. By collecting data from multiple sources, aggregators can help to reduce information asymmetry and improve price transparency in fixed income markets.
Aggregators may also offer a range of other services, such as analytics, trade execution tools, and risk management tools. Some aggregators may specialize in specific types of fixed income products or markets, while others may offer a more general platform that covers a wide range of products and markets.
Overall, the use of aggregators has become increasingly important in fixed income markets, as these markets have become more complex and fragmented in recent years. Traders and investors who use aggregators are better able to navigate these markets and take advantage of trading opportunities as they arise.
Aggressive order
In fixed income trading, an aggressive order is an order to buy or sell a security at the best available price, regardless of the current market conditions. Aggressive orders are typically used by traders who want to execute their trades quickly, without waiting for more favorable market conditions or negotiating with other market participants.
Aggressive orders can be used in a variety of trading strategies, including momentum trading and high-frequency trading. In these contexts, traders may use aggressive orders to take advantage of short-term market fluctuations or to capture small gains from a large volume of trades.
However, aggressive orders can also carry significant risks, particularly in markets with low liquidity or high volatility. In these markets, aggressive orders can cause prices to move rapidly and unpredictably, leading to large losses for traders who are not prepared for these market conditions.
Overall, aggressive orders are an important tool for traders in fixed income markets, allowing them to execute trades quickly and efficiently. However, traders must carefully consider the risks and benefits of using aggressive orders in any given market, and should have a clear understanding of the potential outcomes before executing any trades.
Algo wheel
In fixed income trading, an algo wheel (short for algorithmic trading wheel) is a tool used by buy-side firms to select and execute algorithmic trading strategies for their trades. The algo wheel is a system that allows traders to choose from a pre-determined list of algorithmic trading strategies that have been selected and vetted by the buy-side firm’s trading team.
The algo wheel typically consists of a menu of algorithmic trading strategies that have been developed by third-party vendors or by the trading team at the buy-side firm. The trading team will select a set of algorithms based on a variety of factors, including market conditions, trading objectives, and risk tolerance.
When a trader wants to execute a trade, they will select the appropriate algorithm from the algo wheel and provide the necessary trade parameters, such as the security to be traded and the desired execution time. The algo wheel will then use the selected algorithm to execute the trade on the trader’s behalf.
The use of an algo wheel can help buy-side firms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their trading strategies, by allowing them to quickly and easily select and execute pre-vetted algorithmic trading strategies. This can help to reduce the risk of errors or delays in the trading process, while also allowing traders to take advantage of the latest market trends and conditions.
Algorithmic trading
Algorithmic trading, also known as algo trading, is the use of computer programs to execute trades in financial markets, including fixed income markets. In fixed income, algorithmic trading involves using computer algorithms to make decisions about when and how to buy or sell bonds.
These algorithms are designed to analyze market data, such as bond prices, yields, and trading volumes, and to identify trading opportunities based on predetermined rules and strategies. For example, an algorithm might be designed to buy a certain bond when its price falls below a certain threshold, or to sell a bond when its yield rises above a certain level.
Algorithmic trading can help investors to execute trades more quickly and efficiently, as computer programs can analyze market data and execute trades much faster than human traders. Additionally, algorithmic trading can help to reduce the impact of human emotions and biases on trading decisions, as the algorithms are designed to follow predefined rules and strategies.
However, algorithmic trading can also be risky, as algorithms may not always accurately predict market movements or react appropriately to unexpected events. As a result, many fixed income investors use a combination of algorithmic and human trading strategies to manage risk and optimize returns.
In the context of fixed income, an API (Application Programming Interface) refers to a set of protocols, tools, and routines that enable software applications to communicate and interact with each other to retrieve and process data related to fixed income securities, such as bonds, treasury bills, and other debt instruments.
An API in fixed income provides a standardized and efficient way for third-party developers to access and utilize financial data and analytics from various sources. This can include data on bond prices, yields, credit ratings, issuance, and trading activity, among other things.
APIs can be used by various types of financial firms, including banks, asset managers, hedge funds, and trading firms, to build custom applications, algorithms, and models that use fixed income data to inform investment decisions, risk management, and other aspects of their business.
Overall, APIs in fixed income provide an essential infrastructure for data integration and automation in the fixed income markets, enabling more efficient and effective access to the information needed to make informed investment decisions.
In fixed income, ATS stands for Alternative Trading System. It refers to an electronic trading platform that operates outside of traditional stock exchanges, allowing buyers and sellers of fixed income securities to trade directly with each other without the need for a broker-dealer intermediary.
An ATS in fixed income can be used to trade a range of fixed income securities, such as bonds, treasury bills, and other debt instruments. The platform typically allows for anonymous trading and provides real-time access to market data and liquidity, enabling participants to execute trades quickly and efficiently.
ATSs have become increasingly popular in fixed income markets over the last decade as investors have sought to increase their access to liquidity and reduce their transaction costs. By facilitating direct trading between buyers and sellers, ATSs can potentially reduce bid-ask spreads and lower transaction costs compared to trading through traditional intermediaries.
However, trading through an ATS also carries certain risks, such as limited transparency into the counterparty and potential for reduced price discovery. As such, investors should carefully consider the benefits and risks of trading through an ATS in fixed income before deciding to do so.
In fixed income, an auction refers to a process by which new debt securities, such as bonds or Treasury bills, are sold to investors. Auctions are typically conducted by governments, corporations, and other issuers of fixed income securities as a means of raising capital to fund their operations.
During an auction, potential buyers submit bids indicating the quantity of the security they wish to purchase and the price they are willing to pay. The issuer then reviews the bids and accepts the ones that meet its desired terms, which may include a minimum price or a maximum quantity of securities to be sold.
Auctions in fixed income are typically conducted through a competitive bidding process, in which multiple buyers submit bids and compete with each other to purchase the securities being offered. The winning bids are typically those with the highest price or the lowest yield, depending on the terms of the auction.
Auctions can be conducted in various formats, including Dutch auctions, in which the price of the security is gradually lowered until the entire offering is sold, and English auctions, in which the price is gradually raised until the entire offering is sold. In addition, auctions may be open to all investors or restricted to certain categories, such as institutional investors or dealers.
Overall, auctions are an important means of raising capital in the fixed income markets and provide investors with an opportunity to purchase new securities at market-based prices.
Best execution
Best execution in fixed income refers to the process of obtaining the best possible outcome for a client when executing a trade in a fixed income security, such as a bond or Treasury bill. This means that the broker-dealer responsible for executing the trade must take into account a variety of factors, including price, speed of execution, size of the trade, and market conditions, in order to ensure that the client receives a fair and reasonable price for the security.
In order to achieve best execution in fixed income, brokers and dealers must have access to real-time market data and analytics, as well as sophisticated trading algorithms and tools, to help them identify the best possible price for a particular security. In addition, they must be able to execute trades quickly and efficiently, without undue delay or market impact, in order to minimize transaction costs and ensure that the client receives a fair price.
The concept of best execution is an important regulatory requirement in the fixed income markets, as brokers and dealers are obligated to act in the best interests of their clients and provide them with the best possible price and execution for their trades. This requirement is designed to promote fair and efficient trading practices and to protect investors from undue harm or disadvantage in the marketplace.
Black box
In fixed income trading, a “black box” refers to a computerized trading system that uses complex algorithms and data analysis to identify trading opportunities and execute trades automatically. Black box trading systems are often used by institutional investors and hedge funds in fixed income markets to make quick and efficient trades based on market data and other inputs.
Black box trading systems are designed to be highly automated and typically do not require human intervention. These systems use sophisticated models and algorithms to analyze market data and identify patterns that can be used to make trading decisions. They can also incorporate real-time market data, news feeds, and other inputs to help refine their trading strategies and make better decisions.
The term “black box” is used to describe these trading systems because they are often opaque to the user, and the exact algorithms and models used in the system may not be fully understood or disclosed. While black box trading systems can be highly effective in generating trading profits, they can also carry significant risks, particularly in cases where market conditions change rapidly or the underlying securities are illiquid.
Overall, the use of black box trading systems has become increasingly common in fixed income markets, as investors and traders seek to take advantage of the efficiencies and opportunities offered by technology and data analysis. However, it’s important for investors to understand the risks and limitations of these systems before using them in their own trading strategies.
In fixed income, a block refers to a large trade of bonds or other debt securities that is typically transacted between institutional investors or other large market participants. The exact size of a block trade may vary depending on the market and the security being traded, but it is generally considered to be larger than the typical trade size for that security.
Block trades in fixed income are typically executed through negotiated transactions between the buyer and the seller, rather than through a public exchange or trading platform. As a result, block trades may be subject to different pricing and execution dynamics than smaller trades, with the buyer and seller negotiating the price and other terms of the transaction based on their own assessments of the market and the security being traded.
Block trades are an important part of the fixed income markets, as they allow large investors to efficiently move in and out of positions in a particular security or market. However, because block trades are typically negotiated between two parties, they may be less transparent and less subject to public price discovery than smaller trades that are executed through public exchanges or trading platforms.
Broker-mandated transaction (agency trading model)
In fixed income trading, a broker-mandated transaction is a type of trading model in which a broker acts as an intermediary between a buyer and seller, without taking a position in the market themselves. In other words, the broker acts as an agent on behalf of their clients, executing trades on their behalf and providing advice and other services related to the trade.
When executing trades on behalf of clients, brokers are typically compensated through commissions or fees, rather than by taking a spread or other type of profit from the trade itself. This helps to ensure that the broker is acting in the best interests of their clients, since they do not stand to benefit directly from the outcome of the trade.
The broker-mandated transaction is often used in fixed income trading, where the market is less liquid than other financial markets and trades can be more complex. In this context, traders often rely on the expertise and guidance of brokers to help them navigate the market and execute trades effectively.
Overall, broker-mandated transaction is an important part of the fixed income market, helping to ensure that trades are executed efficiently and fairly, and that market participants have access to the expertise and guidance they need to make informed trading decisions.
In fixed income, “BWIC” stands for “bid wanted in competition,” which is a process used to sell a portfolio of fixed income securities. A BWIC occurs when a seller, typically a financial institution or asset manager, solicits bids from multiple potential buyers for a specific set of securities. This can be done through a broker or electronically through a trading platform.
The seller will typically provide a list of the securities being offered for sale, along with relevant details such as the quantity, maturity, and credit quality of the securities. Potential buyers then submit bids for the securities they are interested in purchasing, with the seller choosing the highest bids for each security.
The BWIC process is often used when a seller wants to sell a large portfolio of securities quickly or when they are looking to reduce exposure to a particular market or sector. It can also provide buyers with access to a wider range of securities than they might otherwise have access to, potentially at a lower cost than purchasing individual securities separately.
Overall, BWICs are an important part of the fixed income market and are used to facilitate the efficient buying and selling of large portfolios of securities.
Child order
In fixed income trading, a child order is a smaller order that is created as part of a larger parent order. The parent order is typically a larger order that is broken down into several smaller orders, known as child orders, in order to achieve better execution and to reduce market impact.
The child orders are typically submitted to the market one at a time, with each child order executed independently based on the current market conditions. The goal of breaking down the parent order into smaller child orders is to reduce the overall impact of the trade on the market, which can help to minimize price movements and slippage.
Child orders can be executed using a variety of different trading strategies, including limit orders, market orders, and algorithmic trading strategies. The specific strategy used for each child order will depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions, the size and urgency of the trade, and the trading objectives of the investor.
Overall, the use of child orders is an important tool for traders in fixed income markets, allowing them to execute larger trades while minimizing the impact of the trade on the market. By breaking down larger orders into smaller child orders, traders can achieve better execution, reduce slippage, and improve their overall trading performance.
In fixed income, CLOB stands for Central Limit Order Book. It refers to an electronic trading platform that allows buyers and sellers of fixed income securities to place limit orders for a particular security, with the system automatically matching orders based on their price and quantity.
CLOBs are used primarily in the trading of liquid fixed income securities, such as Treasury bonds or corporate bonds, and are designed to provide greater transparency and efficiency in the market. By allowing market participants to place limit orders for a security, CLOBs facilitate price discovery and help ensure that trades are executed at fair market prices.
In a CLOB, market participants can place limit orders to buy or sell a security at a specified price, and the system will automatically match orders based on price and time priority. This allows buyers and sellers to see the current market depth for a particular security, including the available bid and ask prices and the quantity of orders at each price level.
CLOBs are widely used in the fixed income markets, particularly for larger, more liquid securities. They are seen as an important tool for promoting transparency and efficiency in the market and for ensuring that trades are executed at fair market prices.
Committed placements
Committed placements refer to a type of bond offering in which an underwriter or group of underwriters agrees to purchase the entire issue of bonds from the issuer and then resell them to investors. This type of offering is also sometimes called a “bought deal” or “underwritten offering.”
In a committed placement, the underwriter assumes the risk of buying the entire issue of bonds from the issuer, with the expectation that they will be able to resell them to investors at a profit. This can be a more efficient way for issuers to raise capital than other types of bond offerings, as it provides certainty around the timing and amount of the capital raise.
Committed placements are typically used by larger issuers and for larger bond issues, as the underwriting syndicate must be large enough to be able to absorb the entire issue of bonds. The terms of the committed placement, including the size of the offering, the price of the bonds, and the underwriting fees, are negotiated between the issuer and the underwriters prior to the offering.
Overall, committed placements can be a useful tool for issuers to raise capital quickly and efficiently, but they also carry certain risks for both the issuer and the underwriters. Investors should carefully consider the terms and risks of the offering before investing in the bonds.
Condition code
In fixed income, a condition code is a code used to specify certain conditions that may apply to a bond or other fixed income security. Condition codes are used to describe the terms and features of a bond, such as its maturity date, coupon rate, callability, and other factors.
For example, a condition code might indicate that a bond is callable, meaning that the issuer has the right to redeem the bond before its maturity date. Alternatively, a condition code might indicate that a bond is convertible, meaning that the bondholder has the option to convert the bond into shares of the issuer’s stock at a specified price.
Condition codes can be important to investors because they provide information about the features of a bond that may affect its value or suitability for a particular investment strategy. Investors can use condition codes to help evaluate the risk and return of a bond and to compare different fixed income securities.
Contingent order
A contingent order in fixed income refers to an order type that is placed with certain conditions attached to it. This means that the order will only be executed if certain predetermined conditions are met.
In fixed income, a contingent order is often used to manage risk by allowing investors to set up automatic trades that will be executed if the market moves in a particular way. For example, an investor might place a contingent order to sell a bond if its price drops below a certain level, or to buy a bond if its price rises above a certain level.
Contingent orders can be useful in fixed income trading because they allow investors to set up trades that are triggered automatically, without the need for constant monitoring of the market. This can be especially helpful for managing risk in volatile markets, where prices can change rapidly and unexpectedly. However, it is important to note that contingent orders can also carry risks, and investors should carefully consider their investment goals and risk tolerance before using this type of order.