Openpals: Travis Clark, MD of Marketech

In this series we’re talking to our clients to get their personal take on what they’re up to, where the industry’s going and things they’ve found along the way. This time we talk to Travis Clark, Managing Director of Marketech...

Tell us a little bit about Marketech and some of the recent developments you've introduced.

Marketech have spent many a year and many a millions-of-dollars building a live-market pattern-scanning engine. Then we set it up to look like you would expect an expensive professional trading platform to look and work - in the same way that a Transformer can look and work like a car. Then we plugged it into the ASX data and the trading data from Openmarkets, and slapped a really low price on it. 

At the moment though it’s just driving around, obeying the traffic lights, picking up the kids after school. We’re cleaning the spark plugs when they foul up and we’re trying to get the fuel/air mix right for maximum performance. 

But, once we can get all of the data inputs running smoothly and can focus purely on the platform development then we’ll be able to test the engine’s real abilities. 

In theory we could use it to find you the highest-probability market patterns as they occur using multiple live-stream data inputs. Then it could place and manage your trades and stop-losses for you. It could even learn, in order to improve future returns, maybe with AI if any of the much-hyped AI chips actually work. Algo trading for retail clients on their mobile, or we’d let people build their own trading front-ends and just piggyback off our scanners and automations.  

Recently we were able to add in some new colour options too. So that was nice. 

What do you think will happen in the industry over the next few years? What big trends or changes do you foresee?

The share market will stop being cool once it gets harder. Retail investors will leave in droves. Profits will become more important than revenue. So just a normal cycle, but this time around we had some funny memes. 

I also expect the regulators will come in too late to protect amateur investors from all these new trading-entrapment-platforms and crypto and whatnot - and then be seriously heavy-handed after people get hurt. And as a result online investing will become more expensive, not cheaper, due to the new legal and compliance load. Basically rinse-repeat what happened to full-service broking but for online. Sigh...

What keeps you up at night? What do you worry about in the industry?

We are based in Perth. The stock market opens here at 7am for a third of the year, with pre-open at 5am. So there’s not much that keeps me up at night!

I don’t really worry about the industry at all, I think Australia ends up doing most things about right after trying to copy America, but quickly realises that the American model (of most things) isn’t very good for society, even if its popularised cough cough Robinhood…. 

Why did you choose Openmarkets? What do you like about its people and its tools (not the same thing)?

We have a connected-services approach to our business. We wanted to focus on our own tech, and not get caught up trying to be all things. We needed a settlement partner that had a tech focus too, because ours is very demanding and it won’t work if we are let down by a third party. 

I like that you all are still nice to me regardless of how rapidly my list of demands grows?

What are you most proud of at Marketech?

Our tech. It's really good, and a direct reflection of the talent of our developers. 

And our moral compass when it comes to providing financial services, even though it has been a harder journey than if we’d just slapped together a buy/sell button with a sports-bet ad campaign in a bull market. 

Tell us an unexpected fact about yourself.

I’ve never given an Uber review, and now that it’s been so long I feel like it would be weird if I started. 

What few words of advice would you give your 25-year-old self if you were starting in the industry now?

Go into corporate law. And exercise regularly - or just stop it altogether and dress for comfort instead.

Please note, this blog is a guest interview and views expressed are those of the interviewee and not Openmarkets.

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