How a managed account got from 5k to 0 in 5 days !

Sadly this is a true story that happened december 2009 for me as I handed one of my account to a  trader @mohsinishtiaq I met on twitter.I'm mainly writing about it first to knowledge my own mistakes and how I let the situation get out of control.

My first goal when I ended up thinking about managed account was delegating stress and also using alternative trading strategy that I don't use (I'm mainly a frenetic scalper and trying to improve in swing trades).

The beginning:
I got in touch with @mohsinishtiaq when he posted an EA that replicates his own trades in MT4. I was first curious to see his trades not following him blindly. Then he told me he want to offer subscription on his signal and he is a managing account for others. The timing was good as I was searching too for account manager. I even got his profile on Zulutrader and he seemed very good trader. But on Zulu I didn't spot the drawback on account and open position left running with -600 pips!

I asked him for used leverage he told me 1:100 and if he knows MC ( Margin Call)? Of course he don't know MC! We agreed to begin with a 5k$ account he asked for 10k$ but I was hesitating handing such amount.

We agreed on 20% commission on gains.So I setup an account with 5000 US$ with a broker he used frequently and handed him my account.

The trades:
On Friday 10 December he got the account. I check later the account Sunday found positive balance but leverage was set to 1:300, I was a bit disappointed.

On Monday 11 dec got message on twitter telling me account was up to 15K$. But "I didn't check". He requested I wire him his commission 2000 US$. At this point I was happy and didn't check the account. I even prepared wire and posted wire order on my e-banking without discussion. I was not comfortable for commission so quickly, I offered monthly commission and but seem the guy was not trusting me, so this wire was planned as first and last this month to establish trust. He asked me what to do closing position or leaving the position. I told him he IS MANAGING the account so he should follow HIS STRATEGY. I ended up later in the evening checking the account and found it only up +1665. The position got blown up as we got a margin call. ( so here we are using leverage 1:300 and got margin call !!!). Mr account manager was surprised that the extreme position he built blown up. Notice there were no stops and no take profit limits on trades. I was a bit worried here and thinking about asking clarification but I didn't. I just ended canceling my commission wire, hopefully!!!
Next day we got more margin calls and were now with a negative balance. I was very angry he was unable to secure any gains. We had a lot of margin calls and few closed manually profits. I holded again.

The surprise come after 13 December when after 2 loosing day we are -70% on the account ! I locked the account and accepted the losses as my own mistake and choice. The story should ended up here but wait @mohsinishtiaq told he will recover wealth and he did before. It's not impossible but very long and difficult. He even offered to give me back my money if he fails! He offered his word. It was unsual such offer and I didn't expected it but seemed honest for me as most losses are due to newbie mistakes over leverage and bad money management. So handed again the account and after more margin calls we were -98%! He asked for more funds later and reminded me his word. On this point I WOULD NEVER added funds as I was sure it would be immediately lost. But wait I had a honest trader giving his word to either recover losses or give back the 5K lost! ( Idiot huh ?).

The account ended in 28 December with 1.75 $ balance ( yes less than 2 dollar ) after I added more 1000 us$! The trader was not replying on my direct message nor available thru MSN. I sent many emails and got no reply, I had to wait more than a week to discover on his twitter that he is off. Very PROFESSIONAL. I finally catched him in mid january on MSN and reminded him if he forget this word. He told me NO. Ok fine great. He got back with a message telling me he sent me 500 $ in Western Union to add to the account. At this point I told him NO and it would be pure loss and asked him to honor his word. Guess what he refused then and told he was searching for alternative solution: a bigger joint account. And he told "I WAS AWARE of the risk" when I put money in forex. Of course I was aware but expected basic money management and lower leverage. My big mistake was ignoring all the signals like leverage/ margin call and big daily losses. I got his final email and check it lower when I asked again and again to honor his word and why he didn't apply some money management such leverage. Also when asked if he over leverage such way his own account he then replied "YES for Small accounts!", thanks for the prior notice!

Summary of the trades:

First day 10 dec : +829 $
11 dec : +1665 $
12 dec: -2575 $ ( we are already with negative balance ! )
13 dec: -2814 $ ( balance is now 1680 ).
14 dec: -1566 $ Balance 94.66. then I added later twice money for same
quick result! + 1k$ losses later.

( some of the balance exclude premiums charged by broker ).

Link to full account statement PDF ( moved some personal infos).
MC = Margin call

Reply I got for my angry email:
"You are out of sense"

And later 2 feb after I insisted:

i was not avoiding was away  always away after europe close  unless seeing movement but filth of your mind come out. bottom line when we were 300% in profit from 5k to 15k  everything was fine  i demanded commisssion as i told you first commission will be after when we are around 10k   starting from 5k . after mishap occur  i tried to get back  quickly but could not 
now look at things rationally  you deposit 5k  if things were good say you were around 20k you get 17k  risking 5k   no hold on   you are saying   you want risk 0% that if acct fail  i pay you whole money back so in effect you risking nothing only in for exotic profits thats  not how things work .i did not put money in my pocket it was lost in trading!!. i was offerring you help by sending you money so that you put money in acct  i trade and as acct gets in profit you get your money and send me the money i sent you .I AM NOT BOUND YOU ARE AWARE OF DOWNSIDE RISKS WHILE TRADING FOREX  TO DO ITS ONLY COURTSEY  I WAS OFFERING FEELING PAIN OF BROTHER 
take care & keep safe 


This is my mea culpa and you can see how many mistakes I made! But the most unbelievable thing when I heard many talk about mohsin ishtiaq searching customers for managed account and offering % for referrals. Beware VERY VERY RISKY strategy more gambling as you can see my account statements.

I learned here the importance of money management and risk/reward for trades with a painfull lesson.


Unknown said...

Wow - that really sucks.. Very sorry to hear that - and thanks for sharing.. I think you should add a comment with his full name so any future people can avoid giving this charlatan any money !

Steven Blyth said...

Sorry to read this. Hope you recover from this. @superpositron

FX 13 said...

Thanks guys.

You have his name on Twitter ;-). The goal of this post is not a revenge but mainly to face my mistakes and share them.

Jon Patrick said...

sorry, buts whats margin call? am newbie

FX 13 said...

Margin Call is when you doin't have any more funds to cover your losses. So broker have to close some or all your positions. My advice you should be aware of such things before even opening a demo.

Anonymous said...

Tough lessons always seem obvious after the fact, don't they? An no matter how smart we are, we will always manage a bonehead move once in awhile. You seemed to have pulled away from yours with minimal damage to your funds and your pride.

I handed someone $150K that I sat next to for a week. I watched him trade. He was brilliant. Until I learned that he was using a $5M demo. I should have known right up front. He showed me statements that he had carefully altered to make them look real. Fortunately, I annuled our agreement and pulled his IB status at DBFX before he could do any damage to anyone else. I was only out the cost of transferring money from my account to DBFX and then back again.

Apparently he had done it to some others in the local area, who weren't aware. That time he was using FXCM, which had also barred him. And those people had lost thousands with him after he received margin calls in a matter of days. I exposed him on my blog and now he's persona non grata here in San Diego. I even have guys calling me who are researching him for unrelated business inquiries. Somehow they have managed to find my blog and his story. He's done. And you're doing the right thing by posting your story here.

If you ever hear of the Currency Cafe, and a guy named Lee Young, RUN AWAY!

These guys are a dime a dozen.

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