We mentioned one on these pages already, even a number of times. It’s the Big Mike Trading forum, which is a forum in name only because first and foremost it is a place where some vendors, the privileged ones, are sold to the public as having something to offer. And others are sold with a bag of lies or outright slander attached. Big Mike and his fellow douchebag, Dirty Harry (Harald Steinhaus), are two good examples of those who enjoy the privileged status there. The former is selling indicators, charging $100 for what in many cases is free stuff, while having yet to admit formally that he is a vendor. The latter was hiding his vendor status for years while slinging mud at his competitors and peddling indicators based on the ideas he stole from still other vendors (NexGen is one example, there may be other).
As this brief introduction to the Big Mike Trading forum shows (see many other posts in this category for more), some vendors are slandered or lied about or their work is stolen and sold there. Harald Steinhaus and Big Mike are the main, but not the only beneficiaries of that. Any other vendor kissing up to Big Bozo can expect to enjoy the favors that many others are denied. For instance, to be protected from the uncomfortable truth. How come that no one has ever tried to question Harald Steinhaus’s dubious business practices there? Or the questionable practices of the forum itself? Well, the answer is simple: those who tried are no longer the members of this “fundamentally different” forum. Their posts have most likely been expunged too.
Yes, it is fundamentally different alright, so much, in fact, that it no longer is a forum but a syndicate that protects the interests of a clique of vendors while engaging in more or less malicious actions against their competitors. The forum part is merely a facade that is meant to legitimize such behavior while at the same time employing the masses of willing and stupid tools to do the clique’s bidding. Clever, but only superficially so. Definitely dishonest and deceitful. Typical Southern style of doing business, though not necessarily limited to the South.
Speaking of the South (the US South, that is), there is another trading forum there, in a state probably even more corrupt than Texas, by some measures, at least. It’s called My Pivots and it is based in Florida, a place with a pretty balmy weather, if you can forgive the fact that it is one giant shithole in many other ways. Corruption would be one of the ways that makes Florida a stinking hole that it is. Let us look at a relatively recent ranking of the most corrupt US states according to the New York Times. Needless to say, both Florida and Texas rank very high in it.
My Pivots (mypivots.com) can probably be called Big Mike Trading Lite. It’s questionable in many ways too, just as the other forum, although not as blatantly bad as the Big Mike Trading forum is. It’s really tough to beat the sore Texan loser, anyway. The guy has blown two of his trading accounts, so he has a lot to compensate for and he is trying very hard.
But just like the Big Mike Trading forum, this one too is run by vendors (or a vendor) and serves the interests of other vendors, their pals. Some of these pals have their special sections set up there and don’t hesitate to use the forum to denigrate their competitors.
A good example to illustrate this is one vendor (Jim Kane) who is an author of a trading course that in the not so distant past he was selling for $6,000!! These days (Summer 2014) he is offering an even better deal (at least for those tired of buying bridges, for everyone else not so much): a mentoring package for only $7,500!! What a paltry sum indeed!
(We will not comment more on this vendor here in order not to go off the main subject, but we promise to discuss his work in another article as he strikes as a bit of a rip-off artist and a poser.)
Just like the Big Mike Trading forum, My Pivots owners are very committed to skewering trading vendors, though just like Big Mike they have yet to admit that there is a conflict of interest in doing so because those skewered are their competitors. That this carries with it potential legal implications goes without saying, but how do you talk about legal, let alone ethical, norms with someone who lives in a state like Florida or Texas? Well, you don’t because that’s utterly pointless. You sue the crap out of them instead, which is why Big Bozo got sued and which is why My Pivots may get sued eventually too, and we certainly will be rooting for anyone who would like to take those rednecks on. And out. Out of the marketplace, that is. They do not belong there.
The My Pivots forum has the same features of the vendor syndicate as the Big Mike Trading forum in that it is run by vendors who promote some of their buddies and who are more than eager to allow attacks on their competitors. In fact, they may even orchestrate some. Who and what is going to prevent them from doing so? Nobody and nothing, of course, unless someone is willing to sue them, which is costly and hence not something most small businesses would entertain.
What follows is an image of a post by one MonkeyMeat, a prolific poster (over 10,000 posts!) on that forum, and hence most likely someone with an agenda, probably a shill for the “right” vendors. Notice how eager he is to skewer a certain vendor (Todd Mitchell) in response to a newcomer to the forum asking for an opinion about this vendor’s product. We did not find this vendor much to our liking either, but that’s not the point. The point is that MonkeyMeat is totally unfair towards this vendor expecting him to provide some proof of his or his students trading prowess (profitability). It’s not fair because the vendors he shills for in his post next to last paragraph are not necessarily very forthcoming with such a proof either. In fact, Jim Kane, mentioned above, is as bad as Todd Mitchell in this respect, yet he charges thousands of dollars more for his equally dubious trading “expertise.”
MonkeyMeat’s post is a good example of manipulation you can expect from a forum controlled by a syndicate of vendors: a blatant, unfair bias towards those who are not part of the syndicate.
Let us point out that the owners of this sham business do not even identify themselves properly, preferring to remain anonymous, which alone is enough to dismiss them as unprofessional and their whole dubious “business” activity very much confirms this lack of professionalism.
Perhaps the most ridiculous thing we found on this forum, very telling too, is shown in the image below. Namely, the fact that these hucksters usurp themselves the right to report con artists to the appropriate authorities! No kidding. Look in the mirror, losers, and proceed accordingly. Your business pretty much qualifies already.
Not only is this utterly silly posturing, certainly aimed at taking away attention from their own dubious business agenda, but it also strikes us as something only a vigilante would do. But then again, in the state of Florida, they have to be constantly on alert against the hordes of illegal Mexican marauders, Cubans that never tire of sneaking on their unstoppable rafts into the land of the free (and increasingly stupid, if we may add), or simply Blacks! That’s one hell of a dangerous place, if you come to think of it, especially if you are a dumb, racist redneck.
However, to their credit, what they sell is their own products and not knock-offs of their competitors work, however crappy their original work might be. Indeed, we are not particularly impressed by their magic indicators and some equally magic lines that they offer. That’s a typical vendor crappola and there is not much evidence that anyone has ever made any money using those. It is just a way to extract money from the gullible who might buy into the hucksters expert status that they have tried to build with their forum. Experts trade, first and foremost, and there is little to suggest that these guys have done well as traders as opposed to peddling trading dreams, which seems to be their forte.
Both My Pivots and Big Mike Trading are typical vendor syndicates, with the latter being much more reprehensible, and not only in smearing its competitors, though the former, while less aggressive in attacking their competitors, is engaging in this activity as well.
However, you can also come across other sites that have a very similar character, save perhaps for the most questionable aspect of it, that of denigrating those who do not belong to their little societies of mutual admiration.
We have identified two such sites whose main goal seems to be promoting the vendors that belong to their selected circles. There is obviously nothing wrong with that, nothing illegal, except perhaps for the fact that the main goal of these sites, that of blatant self-promotion no matter what the merits of a given vendor or his products are, is not honestly disclosed. Our even bigger issue with that, though, is that some of the vendors that belong to those circles/syndicates, are not particularly good, to put it mildly. To put it more harshly, some of them are borderline scammers or worse depending on your taste. In other words, you are dealing with sites that may be promoting scam.
These two sites that want you to believe that their main goal is to introduce you to the top trading experts and accomplished traders are onlinetradercentral.com and traderkingdom.com.
The undisclosed (because inconvenient) truth about the people these sites promote is that they are shameless self-promoters. All of them! That’s their defining hallmark. They are marketers, and pretty aggressive at that. That’s how they make most or perhaps all of their living. By peddling stuff and not trading. Some of them, perhaps 10% of all, 20% if we are to be generous, may have something to offer. That’s to be expected, but that’s hardly a percentage you would expect in a group of true trading experts. The sad thing about those 10-20%, though, is that they chose to become part of a sham. That, needless to say, projects rather badly on their integrity.
Here is how much one of the posers (tradestalker.com) from the onlinetradercentral.com group of “experts” charges for his service. Of course, you will find no evidence on his site that he is a profitable trader, but that’s a petty detail for most of these “experts.” They build their expert status via marketing and not honest merits and belonging to self-proclaimed groups of experts is part of the shameless promotion/marketing machine that seems to be working pretty well on some, usually the gullible ones or the newbies, but which the rest of us can usually see easily through. We may return to this vendor just as we intend to return to Jim Kane’s business.
There is only one intelligent way to use sites like that we can possibly think of. In a contrarian way, which means dismissing these dubious trading experts as posers, unless you have a truly compelling reason not to do so in some individual cases. Doing so you may be wrong at times, but you will be right 80-90% of the time, and that’s as good a winning ratio as you can possibly expect. If you want to go for the rare gold that you think might be hiding in there, be very careful and do very good due diligence. You are dealing with master BS artists that can rip you off out of thousands of dollars and you will realize this only when it is over and too late to do anything about it.
This advice applies to the other sites mentioned earlier as well, meaning Big Mike Trading and My Pivots, especially the former run by a manipulative sociopath that cannot be trusted about virtually anything and that includes his pick of vendors he promotes there.
Let us sum this up for you by listing the sites mentioned in this article along with brief comments on their nature.
1. Big Mike Trading forum (bigmiketradingforum.com) – the most questionable, reprehensible of them all, run and manipulated by vendors, sued by an e-mini futures brokerage.
2. My Pivots (mypivots.com) – another questionable “forum” run by vendors only too eager to denigrate their competitors and promote their pals.
3. Online Trader Central (onlinetradercentral.com) – a society of mutual admiration that promotes mostly hucksters.
4. Trader Kingdom (traderkingdom.com) – another society of mutual admiration that may include a few respectable people, but most are of questionable quality.