Friday, 2 February 2007

Stocks and shares

I have been calling into the World Stock Exchange (WSE) in SL recently... I'd been there earlier in the week to find out a bit about SL share dealing. The exchange was due to start trading a couple of days ago, but when I got there it was still closed... all marble halls, a few posters on the wall, and a message floating in the air to say the exchange would be closed until 1st Feb.

When I got there today, the exchange was STILL closed, but this time there were a few SL inhabitants (some in suits) coming to look at the exchange. Apparently something has gone wrong with the scripts, and the coders are all in bed getting some sleep (must have been a late night!)

This to me is something of a schoolboy error. It looks like the scripts for the exchnage have not been properly tested..... it can't have taken too much effort to set up a dummy exchange in a nice quiet spot and get some friends over to make test transactions. I think it goes to show that an IT professional is needed to do the implementation - someone who knows about test and release strategies!

The problem is that trading stocks and shares is all about trust - I trust the dealer to use my money to buy the shares I asked for. I trust the compnaies offering shares to be above board and honest. But when the company taking my money can't get their computer system running properly, then I wonder if I can trust them.

There was also a lot of speculation over the value of the current tranche of IPOs in SL. A number of the traders had the view that a few too many shares were being offered. My naive view is that they'd have been better offering just a few shares, and letting the first investors earn a packet. THEN go for volume once the market has been kick-started.

I think it will be interesting to see if the exchange does actually kick off & do some trading in the next few days.... or will it disappear into oblivion? There is, of course, the chance that an RL bankiing entrant into Sl will come along and snap up the SL exchange! Then again, with teething troubles fixed, it could be that the exchange goes live and makes a killing!

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