Frauds and Conmen

I’m feeling bought and sold,
You’re just a three card trickster.
That’s something I should’ve known,
All the good’s sure gone bitter.

There are so many dodgy people in the trading world. It is a crowded space from the top all the way to the bottom.

Those on the top are involved in insider trading (e.g. SAC Capital – Steven A. Cohen’s firm) and high frequency queue jumping, see also The Wall Street Code.

People don’t have to be too concerned with these obstacles at the beginning. They are at the stage when they are try to understand trading. They are at the bottom of the ladder and are trying to get onto the first rung. The requirement here is to filter out the noise, and there is a lot of that. It is the equivalent of entering a chaotic market place in an unfamiliar land. There are shysters and con-men at every corner telling you to trust them more than the other guy, promising risk free rewards and eternal riches.

souk

I have been involved in this business for 3 years now and I have started to notice some patterns emerging with the people I have become familiar with:

Fraudsters often congregate in groups of other fraudsters – this helps them to perpetuate their self reinforcing bullshit feedback loop. These people are selling trading systems or education. They usually don’t interact with anyone who is actually competent as they fear of being exposed by anyone except complete rookies. They are lazy and only know a small bit more than the complete novice. They will never get off the first step of the ladder.

Some of the the other worst are probably the brokers who lure unsuspecting clients into depositing money in an account and provide some training on candlestick patterns. You need to read pages like trade2win and especially stuff like MT4 broker plugin scams and research on popular brokers like fxcm at forexpeacearmy.com. Broker educators are utterly clueless. They are constrained by the tools offered by the broker. Their charts can be easily manipulated to spike you out and their audio feeds can be delayed so that you get the news a few seconds behind everyone else.

My advice to anyone is to start as small as you can and build your risk tolerance and appetite. Try using a spread betting company but watch that the commissions are high and over-trading is likely to happen to beginners and this will eat your account. Do not think you can earn a living from this within 3-4 years. Note it is hard but not impossible to find anyone who is good on the internet as it happens as most of these people are just scammers. There are a lot of great guys who you can learn from but you have to build a relationship and have something to offer. Forums such as trade2win, bigmiketrading and traderslaboratory can help you in more ways than paying some rip off merchant vendor for help.

You need to be passionate. You need to want to learn and be able to improve all the time. You need to be in a position where you can spend time in front of a screen during market hours for a year or two to figure out how the market moves.

A trader friend of mine once said to me “how hard is this game to be mentally on top of your game  and learn to be your own I.T guy , Statistician, Business Manager. Yet if you spend 4K on education  and trust moving averages you will be rich , according to some !”

A subtle difference is drawn between the charlatan and other kinds of confidence people. The charlatan is usually a salesperson. He does not try to create a personal relationship with his marks, or set up an elaborate hoax using roleplaying. Rather, the person called a charlatan is being accused of resorting to quackery, pseudoscience, or some knowingly employed bogus means of impressing people. The aim is the same, however: to swindle his victims by selling them worthless nostrums, and similar goods or services, that will not deliver on the promises made for them. The word calls forth the image of an old-time medicine show operator, who has long left town by the time the people who bought his snake oil tonic realize that it does not perform as advertised.

Inital Quote from Rory Gallagher, Bought and Sold:

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