Trader's Blog Contest For November

Isn't it hard to sit back and let someone else manage your money? If you are going take a loss wouldn't you rather it be your fault opposed to your broker?

Have you had an experience where you were talked into a overpriced mutual fund, paid an over inflated commission fee or been caught in a "churning cycle" where your broker is cashing in commission on pointless trades? What was your worst experience with a money manager or full service broker? I'm sure we have plenty of horror stories, so why not vent, share and win.

So the question is…

“What is your worst broker experience?”


Winner will receive 6 workshops on trader psychology from our authors in INO TV. These MP3s and digital PDF workbooks will be mailed to you courtesy of INO TV.

Slump Busting Techniques -Linda Raschke
How You Can Be Right When The Crowd Losses – Jake Bernstien
New Samuri Secrets for Trading: Motivation & Focus – Richard McCall
The Wyckoff Method – Using Principals of Mass Psychology – Hank Pruden
Developing the Psychological Edge to Maximize Your Trading – Robin Dayne
The Dynamics of a Trader's Mindset – Mark Douglas

How To Enter:

Comment on this post telling us about your worst broker experience. There are no wrong answers. We just want to you to share your thoughts and stories with our other visitors.


1. This contest is open until 11:59 PM on November 30th.

2. No wrong answers, any participation counts as an entry.

3. One entry per email address.

4. Winner will be picked by random integer software.

5. Winner will be contacted on Monday, December 1st via email.

Good luck!

42 thoughts on “Trader's Blog Contest For November

  1. Hi Every body

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  2. At the end of September 2007, we had approximately $570,000 in Investments which included $40,000 in an IRA and $20,000 in a Roth. As of today (November 21, 2008), our total account value is approximately $38,000. I am looking for a good attorney to handle this. Anybody know one?

  3. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I find them enlightening.

    I pulled half of our money out of the market last Nov. In Jan. I went to the broker and said, "I want to move the other half into cash." The broker argued against it and insisted that her experience and education were far more reliable than my 'hunch.' "No one can ever time the market perfectly. Stay in for the long term." She pulled out all the arguments and her credentials. I don't intimidate easily but I felt emotionally battered. Finally she convinced us to "think about it." We left and my husband convinced me to listen to her.

    A week later stocks tanked and we lost 7% of that investment. I pulled it out. Thank heavens I did - we would have lost an additional 36% had I left it is as she advised.

    I decided:
    1. that she was there to serve me. I no longer ask her advice, I tell her what I want done.
    2. to make it my mission to learn about investing.
    3. to forgive my husband (grin) especially since he is now convinced that the money is better off in my hands.

    I spend 2-4 hours each day studying, learning and dabbling with a small amount of our money so that I can learn by doing.

    I follow people whose passion is to educate and empower - not those who want to separate me from my money.

  4. I started trading two weeks ago and was long the dollar against the pound sterling, intending to keep the position open for a morning while the UK market was open. I went off to work and the usual morning rally never happened. The dollar just strengthened all day. I held out for the rally (that never came) and over the next fex days saw the position dive. I got a margin call 11 pips before the pound rallied over 200 pips. This would not have made me profitable for the trade but at least I could have continued to trade. It wasn't a total loss though, as I had only just just started the size of the trade was small but the lesson learned was certainly valuable.

  5. I was starting to trade options and I went long 20,000 contracts on QID. I was losing money on the trade but on expiration day technology crashed and not only recovered but was up about 14k. It was around noon and profit keeps piling up. I had to go out to buy something and kept monitoring the QID quote via my cell phone. I was up more than 30k when I got back. I logged on on my pc to discover that I had no positions on my account. I checked the transaccions and I saw my contracts were sold around 12:30 for a profit about 15k. I thought it was a fraud and some hacker had accesed my account and sold it, so I called my broker. They told me that they had to sold the position because as I was in the money, I might be assigned and I had not enough money in my account to buy the shares (like $10 million), so they "decided" to sold it for "protect my own interests". Of course I was just waiting the close for sell the position at a profit. I explained to them but they told me it was a policy, so I had not other thing that see how a profit of around $35k at the close became a profit of around $14k.

    Well, I think that I was very naive and my only arguing point was that they should had contacted me by phone to see what I wanted to do before to execute the policy, thing that they didn't.

    It was the worst that have happened to me so far. Iw was a major online broker

  6. This was in 1997 when I was just getting interested in commodities and had garnered some knowledge.

    I was basically looking at extreme lows or highs of markets and wanted to go long or short the commodity with out of the money calls with the target being 50% of a weekly or monthly move.

    When I told the broker my plans he basically told me you are new and know nothing. I've been in this business 20 years and want you want to do will not make any me.

    Well,I never started, but saw the markets explode to the 50% level in all the markets I was following. So I stayed out of the markets till 10 years later...when I realized the broker knows nothing....20 years in business..if he knew he would not be working for someone.

    Lo and behold the gold, silver and oil market took off from 2001 as I knew it would...but I just did not have the confidence to believe in myself.

    I thought the "Gurus" and "Experts' know it all, until I realized that all they do is lose peoples money in 1955 to the present...

    Now I'm wiser...a Broker is such because he/she is broke. If they really knew how to make money trading commodities they would be doing it themselves and tellin their boss to ????

    But they don't....and I do now. I know the markets with confidence and "triangles" are one of the best if not the best patterns to trade after maybe a NSC.

  7. I have a system that depends on being pulled into a trade when the bar reaches a defenit price.I opened an account with ACM. The demo worked properly.When I went live, the plateform pulled me in from 20 to 45 pips ahead of where I wanted to be.Weather Buy Stop or Buy sell.I sat and watched the spread,Never happend

  8. My worst experience so far has been with Alaron trading. the people at this clearing house are all a bunch of a***oles. The so called account executive Jay kerrigan never returns a call or an email. When your broker is out you need to go through a run around of about 2 or 3 people to get your question answered. And then the guy at the overnight desk tries to make you feel dumb if you ask a question. Then the broker I was assigned to would only respond to my email questions half the time, and was unreachable the other half of the time. Brokers: the easiest job in the world. Get paid to place orders. Basically high paid clerks.

  9. My worst experience was with this brokerage named First American Trading out of Irvine, CA. The brokers name was Rafael Barraza. This guy was full of it. He would call only when he was looking for a commision, suggest random trades with no basis, and completely mismanage trades. I started out with less than most: 18K. This was in early 2007. By the end of 2007, my account was down to zero. This broker didnt even have the sense to exit a position when even in the green. I was up about $2400 in wheat. I called said, "hey the market is turning around." He said, "Nah, just low volume."
    Sure enough I got about $800 in the red. On a gold trade while losing in a short position he suggested buying a different month contract going long. He said we could get out higher and ride the short down. No luck as my account lost money, i wound up with a margin call and liquidation of positions. I would say this broker Rafael Barraza is probably one of the worst in the industry

  10. I had a position with Options House, at the market open, my position was giving me $500 profit, but the trade could not be executed in time, because of their platform issues. The other position was up by $250 and a 3rd position up by $400, but by the time the trades could be executed, my positions were in the negative. So instead of making $1350 profit, I was down in my account by about $250.
    When I asked them, to credit my account with at least the commissions for the day, which was only $150. They refused and I finally had to close the account with them.

  11. I sent mine in earlier - about the broker advising me to stay in Russian stocks. Well the bit I forgot to mention - turns out the broker was half Russian

  12. one of the most annoying experiences was my broker completely disagreeing with me on the direction of the Russian market. I wanted to sell my eastern Europe ETF 6 months ago and he refused to believe Russia wud suffer from the credit crunch.
    Next time I'll listen to myself and not my broker!

  13. I signed up with Gryphon Financial investment service to:


    with their Daily Options Trader advisory service for $2500.00. This was my first experience trading options and was naïve at the beginning but wanted to learn and make money at the same time. Learn from someone with a proven track record, something like...

    Our success over the years has been nothing short of spectacular. And that success will continue with the Daily Option Trader service, just as we did with the former service:

    420% on TiVo Inc. in 35 DAYS... 150% on Cryptologic Inc. in just 5 DAYS... 125% on Tyson Foods in just 15 DAYS... and 189% on Intel Corp. in a SINGLE DAY...

    253% on Taser International in a quick 3 DAYS... 225% gains on E*TRADE Financial in just 1 DAY... 169% gains on Genentech Inc. in only 15 DAYS... 167% gains on Trex Co. in only 12 DAYS...

    247% gains on Ipix in only 5 DAYS... 119% on Law Enforcement Assoc. in only 6 DAYS... another 118% on QQQ in just 4 DAYS... and 108% gains on Food Technology Services in only 25 DAYS...

    What actually happen:

    I received about three emails of advertisement of their other investment services products, daily.

    Lost my initial investment of about $3000.00 with their recommendations.

    Received phone call promising that I would be a conservatively ahead $10,000.00 by this coming Christmas. And recommended that I sign up for two of their other services (the Network and Raging Bull) which I didn't really have the capital to invest in with their recommendations because of losses. But accepted anyway, because of their reassurance that everything would work out.

    Lost more money and gave up on using their investment services even though there is 6 months remaining on it.

    Consequently, by reading several books, discovered that Gryphon does not use very good money management practises.

    And they were definitely not forthcoming of the risk to capital; in fact, gave the illusion that every trade would be a winner.

  14. When I started trading options in 1974, I knew as much as the 'full-service' broker about options, and, I soon knew more.

  15. It was in July 2007 in Warsaw , Poland when PKO BP
    (a Polish state bank) told me to hold my large position in their Safe Growth Mutual Fund managed jointly with Credit Suisse. I raised objection that the fund had already return of over 260% and its high time to sell after 4 years of continous appreciation. They insisted to keep the position washing my brain for nearly 2 hours. Well, finally I agreed to their suggestions but regretted few months later when I panickly sold it with a little profit of 18 %. The lesson: Never listen to the broker who keeps you from realizing your gains.

  16. I was assigned asales vice pres. to make a ted spread and he always had to ask his sales associate my questions. I canned the stupid bastard and went elsewhere. thanks bob

  17. IG Index can at times have poor customer service. As I am new to trading, they neglected to inform me about a free trial period where I could learn to trade for small amounts when I opened a new account with them.

  18. About 40 years ago I let a broker talk me into investing into a mutual fund that was supposed to be run by a real good group of advisor's.
    let it be known that the mutual fund has hardly produced a 10% increase after all these years.

  19. My worst experience was trading Forex with interbankfx, one of the important "retail" brokers.
    I was waiting if jpy pairs could break my trend line to close those long positions and opening shorts and they paralized the server more than 1 hour. I tried to reach the support online but they did not answer me at all, leaving me waiting an answer and nothing.
    It was a great fall in jpy pairs after breaking that trend line and I was kicking my head against the wall thinking: yes... server problems... sure that the server will come back when this fall ends. And that´s what happened. A terrible experience and I lost a good money. Now trading with an ECN broker.

  20. I had a similar story as Sam above, except that my initial investment was a lot smaller. I had $30,000 invested with a local broker here in Missouri. The broker was a future index trader. Instead of doubling my money as he had promised, in a matter of 6 months, the total money I received when I pulled my money out was exactly half, or $15,000. That’s a loss of 50% in 6 months. Folks, if I can tell you anything, it is this: do not trust anyone with your money, you have to do the homework yourself and invest or trade a system that fits your personality and matches your schedule. Take my advice, and “just do it.”

  21. In June of 2006, I invested 100K with a Canadian broker whose statistics showed that over the past 2 years, 95% of their trades were winners, 3% losers and 2% breakeven. Since I had a much lower winning percentage and could not make money trades stocks, I thought that my broker should be able to double if not triple my investment by the end of the year. Needless to say, by November of 06, my investment was down 36%. I was very upset, but being naïve, I also thought that maybe they would do better in the coming months and that I would be able to get my money back. I thought I would get out as soon as I had 100K. By Feb. 06, the 100K was down to 56K, and by January 07, it was down to 49K. When I withdraw my money in February 07, I had a total loss of 53K. Now, that was a bad investment…And it was all my fault.

  22. I have had too many nightmares and I like to block
    then out but I just had another one recently.
    I went long Gold near the recent tops and I put in
    a stop loss - but I was drinking when I did it and
    then sent to sleep. When I woke up I was still long and yet it said there was not stop loss order and Gold was down almost $50 - biggest drop
    on the chart!! So I kicked myself for drinking too
    much and got out with a huge loss. Two days later
    I open my account and I am short but Gold is right
    back up there - so I called and they told me my
    stop loss had indeed been correctly entered but it
    did not show up on my on-line account because it
    was in the electronic market while my order was in
    the pit market and they were sorry but there was
    nothing they could do about my having sold thinking I was still long when I was actually flat so I lost another $50 per contract - nice or what? It leveled my account. I should have called in the first place but was sure it was my mistake
    and punishment for drinking too much - maybe it was 🙂 Too Funny!!!

  23. My worst broker experience was being a broker in 1970-73. The market was streight down.... NGW

  24. The worst broker for me was Man. I trade 38 different contracts and had to use three different platforms to do so. Cross-margin did not happen and it was cumbersome to use. For more than two years I have been using IB now and am very happy with them. One platform - good executions - no hassle... JR

  25. Broker took two weeks to sell a stock when first entered, after going through my limit several times was informed good 'til cancelled orders not accepted, was a foreign stock. So each day entered the order with a limit and all or none. Kept going through my limit. Then told all or none orders not acceptable either. Finally order executed at my limit two weeks after first entering order. I did make a good profit but a few days later stock collapsed. This was a major broker.

  26. broker at bear sterns tried to get me to buy enron at 62 in early 2001, I bot long term puts instead,more better! tony fiore

  27. I want to admit that if there is anyone to blame for my losing money it is myself. I have delt with several online brokers, like Etrade, FolioFN,MB trading, AMP and Tradestation. I received nothing but the most professional treatment and I have been very satisfied. I think what you are talking about is swindlers and hustlers trying to sell you something. These are not brokers, they are small fry trying to take advantage of innocent investors. Make sure not to fall for one of these get rich schemes. Always deal with large and reputable brokers and I for one will vouch for them.

  28. I was told by my Broker to sell a put option with a naked leg, I never traded option before so I was going on his experience of 25 years of trading. He told me that as long as it stayed above a certain price I couldn't lose. It never once reached that price target and I ended up losing $3500 on one trade which was 17.5% of my account. I moved my account to another company and I don't trade option. I now trade for myself using market club recommendations.

  29. Probably, my worst trade was not moving my 401K choices into a money market fund. I was watching my 401K rise up 49% in early 2000. After learning that most mutual funds have ticket symbols, I saw first hand where I should have exited my positions and moved into a safe haven. I don't know why no one in our company knew this. My full time service broker also never bothered to mention this as well. After that incident, I vowed never ever would that happen again. As it turned out the financial and housing implosion of recent has not effected my retirement gains. Currently I've saved over 30K by moving positions into safe haven. Technical analysis WORKS! I am just waiting for the markets to move into a favorable, positive trend.

  30. The main reason for the meltdown and loss is due to the analysts with their half baked knoweledge misguided the retain ivestors by telling constantly that Equity investments give better returns than on Fixed Assets. Both Central Banks and regulators were bullied by the media to cut rates and they danced to their tunes rather than pure economics.Allan Greenspan is the main culprit by bringing down the interest rate which is the sole reason for the present crisis. He should be made accountable for the huge losses,The present FED Cheif is also going the same way.ONE MUST UNDERSTAND QUITE CLEARLY THAT REDUCTION OF INTEREST RATE IS NOT THE SOLUTION.Not lending for the speculative purpose should be the motto. Further reduction will complicate matters in the long run making undesrving people get money at lower rate and who cannot repay when it is due.The failure of LTCM,even after two Nobel laurates in the board and ultimate bailout is a classic example,how derivative markets makes speculators ruin the hardearned money of the poor investors

  31. I started investing with my Broker ( over 24 months ago. My intial investment of just under $1m dollars was largely invested by me across precious metal and energy shares in around 45 different companies in all. I regularly consulted with Trend on a weekly and at times a daily basis. We slowly increased the number of companies to around 75 maintaining the origional focus on PMs and Energy. Over the first 12 months with them my porfolio's value increased by just over 120%. So far so good.... But then in early Nov 2007 they asked me to come in and they presented me with their idea that the market had peaked.. I disregarded their advice. Then in March 2008 they strongly argued that it was time to get out and that if I remained in I would see my portfolio's value fall by about 60%... I disregarded what they said and guess what ... my account is now almost exactly 60% of what it was from the peak. I am not a novice and I have been in the market for around 20 years... why didn't I take their advice... I put it down to my arrogance in assuming that my view (energy would outperform)was correct and that I had confused a rising market with brains.

    I wonder what will happen next time?

  32. My broker started out with around $200,000 of blue chip stocks transferred into their firm.After 2001 it was down to about $130,000. He told me sell only a couple of stocks and we bought afew other blue chip. But he basically said to hold, hold, hold. Of that $130,000 I moved over $25,000 over to an online trading account that I managed myself. In this last down market he again advised to hold, not sell. I'm now down to about $80,000. My trading hasn't gone all that great so far, but at least I have more than my original capital whereas the "brokerage" account has about busted me.

  33. Signed up with an automatic trading service in which you purchased a black box soft ware which was guaranteed to work; The company is in California and is called Black Box Trading... Caution the only one that makes money is the brokers for their commissions. Albeit the program did not work and when the time period elapsed I requested my refund which I did receive six months after I requested it and me calling them every other for weeks. They do not want to ever give up the guarantee and they try to wait you out hoping you would go away. By the way if the program produces a one penny profit that is considered a fulfillment of their obligation. I lost half my investment before having the trading terminated which most of it was commissions paid for all the automatic trades. Shame on me I will never do this again. The feeling is you are almost totally helpless. l

  34. Several years ago I had a $57K profit on a $12K investment in a call option on Ebay. It was the end of Jan and my broker suggested that I not close it out because of tax consequences and that Ebay was going to announce earnings before the option expired in Jan and they always exceeded expectations making the options worth lots more. Well, the market went down, Ebay missed their earnings and I lost, not only the profit above, but the $12K investment as well. I fired him and took the advice I gave Charles above.

  35. Any advice! Yes, learn how to manage/invest your own account and trade via an internet available broker.

  36. Based on the speed at which they brought your capital down, you do not need any other proof to say they mishandled your funds carelessly and on that basis you can sue them to compensate for the loss (You do not have to prove to the court of law that you tried three times to stop them trading your money when they were depleting it).

  37. Yes, Charles. There is always a legal remedy if you have documented proof when you ask them to stop trading. When a licensed broker makes discretionary trades and client asked them to stop, he must stop trading and bring the matter to the attention of the Principal of the Brokerage firm. If you told your Broker to stop trading when your equity or initial investment came down to $96,000/- you can recover no only the difference but triple damages. Just find a good lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases in the recent past.

  38. I invested $107,000.00 with a broker, named 'Chesapeak Investment Inc.' in Va.By october 7th this firm wiped my account by 65-70%. Now I have left my account with $38,595.01. This farm traded my account on s&p 500 futures.When my account came dn 96000.00 I told them not to trade my account but they did, came dn 66,000.00, I told them stop trading my account & I personally visited their farm & advice them when mrkt settle than you trade,but they didn't listen to me. Now I contacting to authority & hoping some legal outcome.Any dvice from you?


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