NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One point the acquisition of New York Euronext (NYX), owners of the New York Stock Exchange, by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) demonstrates is the final triumph of software in the trading of stocks.But is there a way to make money off that? One thing I've noticed this year are trades that have gone against the expected trend. Conventional wisdom compares this with trying to pick up pennies in front of a steamroller, as
They could be. I have written a lot about the
John Henry story lately, as described at Wikipedia. John Henry was a strong 19th century man who was being replaced by a machine. The John Henry story is the story of the U.S. economy. We keep eliminating labor costs, and increasing the value available for personal labor -- people doing for other people what we prefer that people do. The story of my generation is of minds getting the John Henry treatment. Middle management isn't coming back, and many sales jobs -- travel agents, brokers -- aren't coming back. Stock trading will continue, but you're no longer playing against the market, or the other traders. You're playing against the machines. I think the way to win is by looking over the horizon, to a point algorithms can't see, toward real value. I hope I'm not repeating myself, but for 2013 the lesson seems clear to me. Trading is out, investing is in. At the time of publication the author had positions in GOOG and AAPL. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.