I am a small retail investor, and I have an account at a zero-commission stock broker. The stock brokerage firm offers "direct routing", where I can choose to send my order to a specific trading venue. Two electronic communication networks (ECNs) are available:
- NSDQ (INET)
- ARCA (NYSE ARCA)
I have always used automatic order routing ("smart order routing"), where I do not need select any specific stock exchange. From my understanding of stock markets, some direct market access (DMA) traders select specific trading venues to capture rebates paid by those trading venues when adding or removing liquidity. Given that my stock broker does not give me a portion of the ECN rebates when I add or remove liquidity, is there any use in routing my orders to specific trading venues?
I am not familiar with this area of stock trading, but my guess is that different ECNs have different order features such as different complex orders, hidden orders, partially-hidden orders (ability to adjust the number of shares displayed), etc. I would appreciate it if someone could elaborate on the practical uses of direct routing for retail investors.