BondDesk Group, a leading odd-lot fixed-income electronic trading platform and provider of software solutions to the securities industry, recently announced it will begin trading Auction Rate Securities (ARS) through their Alternative Trading System (ATS). E*TRADE Securities LLC will be the first financial services firm to offer electronically traded ARS to retail investors via the BondDesk marketplace.
   Auction Rate Securities have attracted the attention of investors because they are short-term instruments that generally produce higher rates of return than traditional money market investments. With BondDesk's straight-through processing, ARS market participants can buy and sell at auction or in the secondary markets. Auction orders are processed quickly and efficiently; thereby saving time and reducing paperwork.
   E*TRADE customers will easily be able to access Auction Rate Securities through E*TRADE Financial Advisors. According to Thomson Financial, Auction Rate Securities is a $260 billion market, which includes Auction Rate Preferred Securities (ARPS) and Municipal Auction Rate Securities (MARS).
   According to Rob Slaymaker, chief executive officer of BondDesk Group, "The ARS market continues to experience tremendous growth, and our electronic trading platform will further fulfill accelerated supply and demand for this currently under-serviced asset class."
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