Mark Cuban Made Well-Timed Wager on High-Frequency Trading

(Bloomberg) -- It looks like Mark Cuban bet on high-frequency traders just in time.

For years, the billionaire trashed the fastest firms in finance, which use computers to make decisions sometimes measured in billionths of a second, on grounds they make markets riskier.

But self-interest overwhelmed his reluctance in February, when he bought shares of speedy trader Virtu Financial Inc. His rationale? Market makers like Virtu get rich when prices for stocks, futures and other assets swing wildly. Volatility had spiked in early February, pushing Cuban to invest in Virtu.

The result: Virtu’s shares have surged about 25 percent since Cuban revealed his position on CNBC on Feb. 13.

Mark Cuban Made Well-Timed Wager on High-Frequency Trading

We’ll learn more about how things are going for Virtu on Friday, when the $6.7 billion company releases results for the first quarter.

In an email Thursday, Cuban called the investment in Virtu a hedge.

“If I’m making money on a hedge,” he wrote, “it means something else isn’t going right.”

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