The last ten years have been great for trading in many ways. Places like IB have opened the doors for the small guy to get instant and powerful access to the exchanges. The barriers to entry fell like the Berlin Wall and we all thought we were in trading Nirvana. Well, the pendulum appears to be swinging back quickly. The big boys no longer want open markets apparently. There have been several threads on et discussing Dark Pools. But there are estimates that up to 50% of the market trades may be completely hidden from the public and executed through these dark pools in just a few years. This link http://www.moneymorning.com/2008/07/10/dark-pools/ discusses how rapidly these dark pools are growing "This is something the stock exchanges donât want to see because it strips them of order execution revenue. Which is why theyâre getting into the game, too. At the present time, the Nasdaq (NDAQ) alone shunts some 18% of its volume - or roughly 350 million shares a day - through what insiders euphemistically refer to as its "non-displayed platforms," and also has struck a deal with five unnamed Dark Pool operators that are rumored to route nearly half of the total Dark-Pool volume in the United States today. NYSE Euronext (NYX) plans to connect up to 30 such pools, so donât think for a New York minute that this isnât a global phenomenon - Dark Pools exist all around the globe. Weâre still in the early days of this movement. That means there are still lots of things to be worked out from a technical standpoint. For instance, thereâs very little in the way of proprietary software that enables any Dark Pool operators to "talk" with their competition. But we think thatâs going to change in a real hurry in the next few years, when as much as 50% of all U.S. trading volume will be handled by "Dark Pool Alliances."" So forgot the volume you're seeing on your charts! And quit thinking that all your backtesting will do you any good. Everything is changing and probably for the worse. Consider these impacts from the above link: "First, as more volume moves to the so-called Dark Pools, the very notion of what constitutes "public pricing" becomes suspect. Practically speaking, if weâre seeing only 50% of the trading volume in a given stock, whoâs to say that the pricing weâre seeing is accurate if the other half remains a mystery. Second, the small- and mid-cap stocks that for so long have been the domain of smaller investors will likely become harder to trade. The reason: Dark Pools will absorb the liquidity thatâs presently out in the open, just as a "black hole" in outer space sucks in all the matter thatâs nearby. The net effect could be that smaller transactions become more inefficient, or that public pricing actually disconnects from private pricing. Either way, individual investors may not get the best possible prices." So are we doomed? Are all us little guys going to be squeezed out?