Trading forums and sleazy vendors behind them

I receive quite a few e-mails every month from all kinds of people. Some of these folks are prospective or current clients, others just interested visitors. I have used some of such emails in the KING section of this site, both as testimonials and as an inspiration for a few of articles there, especially in the "KING-More" subsection.

But the e-mail I want to present here is different. It was written by someone who is a frequent visitor to this site and who seems to be concerned about trading forums and their integrity as much as I am.

I decided to share this e-mail here, but I chose to hide the names of all the forums mentioned in it and the names of their owners. That's simply how I conduct my business here. Yes, I am perfectly aware that some of these people are vendors and use their forums to smear their competitors, that they have absolutely no qualms about doing so, and may in some cases even be encouraging it. It's also very telling that they hide their identities, which does not inspire much confidence in their accountability no matter what they say. On the contrary, it reflects quite well the dubious nature of their businesses.

But that does not mean I will follow the same path. My name is on every page of this site, so it's not like I am yet another Internet coward, and while I am critical about some vendors' business practices, as you may learn from this site, I do not believe that singling out anyone for my critique is the right way to conduct business, so I choose to keep their identities anonymous and prefer to address the issues that bother me in the vendor marketplace in a generic manner. For this reason, I also decided not to reveal the links included in the e-mail in question. I may change this policy in future, though, if I see it warranted.

[...] run by a guy who blew two of his trading accounts and is now pretending to be a full-time trader, apparently not afraid of insulting the intelligence of his followers. His most dedicated sidekick seems to be one vicious German blowhard who not only routinely engages in smearing vendors but also peddles knockoffs of their work.

Having said so to explain my policy in this matter, I do believe Thomas' e-mail is quite correct in its assessment of the integrity of some trading forums. Even though it is pretty elaborate, I could still add a thing or two to Thomas' opinions. I think it's a good start, though. Let me mention that I did verify most of the factually verifiable statements (but not all, so I cannot vouch for everything he says) concerning the questionable characters in his email, so I am not passing on just mere rumors and, unlike these characters, I do not hide behind silly Internet handles. I don't have to.

Their forum promotes a few vendors that have special sections set up there, but apart from that it is very dedicated to bashing their competitors, so much so that they even travel to other forums to denigrate more successful vendors.

While I am not a big fan of trading forums (as you may know from my other articles published here, this being a good example), I am convinced that better trading forums are certainly possible. It's not that hard to come up with a formula for a genuinely useful trading forum. Unfortunately, they only keep getting worse as this email shows.

Incidentally, the sleazy, underhanded German operator mentioned in the e-mail has recently come out as a vendor. Not a moment too soon. Only when he was exposed on a few websites. He deserves his own article, for sure. His pathology is as complete as it is breathtaking.

I would like to thank Thomas for letting me share his elaborate, intelligent, and well-written email with the visitors to this site. Because of its considerable length, I present it in two parts.

Posted on June 6th, 2013.

I thought that an update might be in order now that one of the forums alluded to in this article got sued by a respectable e-mini brokerage. I mean the one run by the recedivist loser who blew two of his trading accounts and decided to re-invent himself as a second coming of Mother Theresa for other hapless wannabes. Needless to say, that pretty much vindicates Thomas' opinion about this forum and its malice. This uparalleled malice, even by the standards of trading forums, seems to be a defining hallmark of the forum despite its claims to being an oasis of "positivity." I am not shocked by this development in the least. I see it as just one more example of the transparent pattern of unaccountability of the forum owner. One more in addition to his blowing the account twice and his persistent lying about the nature of the forum. He is now soliciting money for his legal defense fund. Apparently, the idea that he himself should pay for this is somewhat alien to him. And that's yet another example of how he understands accountability.

Updated on May 13th, 2014.