Traders feel more optimistic about the stock market than they did six months ago, said Kelli Keough, vice president of active trading at Charles Schwab, at a breakfast briefing in New York City on Wednesday, to announce the launch of the firm’s new platform for active traders.

The platform, StreetSmart Edge, is designed to simplify trading and make it a “more intuitive experience,” through tools such as an enhanced account management feature that allows traders to monitor positions, analyze profit potential, and help manage market exposure in real-time.

“Sophisticated trading platforms are designed to synthesize market data and provide tools to help a trader apply what they learn, but they can also be difficult to learn and even more difficult to master, said Keough. “Recognizing this dilemma, we examined the entire trading experience and built a platform that includes the functionality traders expect but also mirrors the way they think and act.”

Keough explained that Schwab clients trade 20% of their assets actively, while 70% of their assets are put into long-term strategies. While the stereotype of the active trader is a young male, Schwab found that 50% of active traders are at or near retirement. She said that as traders gain confidence in the economy, fewer are moving to cash and over half are exposed to foreign countries, mostly through ETFs and ADRs.

Yet only 14% of traders say their portfolios are properly hedged. This means there is still a need for education and risk management, she said.


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