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Preliminary discussion - please participate - Certified Trustworthy Vendor program
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Preliminary discussion - please participate - Certified Trustworthy Vendor program

  #1 (permalink)
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Preliminary discussion - please participate - Certified Trustworthy Vendor program

Hi guys,

For nearly 4 years you have known me to "put the smack down" when it comes to vendors & futures.io (formerly BMT).

Over the years I have been truly amazed at the number of "trading educators", "trading rooms", "indicator packages", "trading systems", and so on and so forth. The rule was: you may not use any post on futures.io (formerly BMT) to promote your product or service.

Eventually, I started allowing ads on the site to compensate me for my time and efforts. I quickly found that the majority of advertisers out there were companies I would never allow on futures.io (formerly BMT). "Get rich quick" type, indicator junky sales sites, binary option forex sites, etc etc etc. Very few were approved to come on the site.

I knew from the beginning I only wanted the best of the best to be represented on futures.io (formerly BMT), which is representative of how I feel about our community. So if you look at who advertises today: NinjaTrader, IQFeed, Mirus Futures, etc these guys are the best of the best in the business. I say "no thanks" to the overwhelming majority of other advertisers. Yes, for all those out there that think I "sold out", the truth is, I turn down money several times a week because I have very high standards for the site. It isn't about money, it is about integrity and helping traders.

What I also found out was that my general rule of "smack down" when it came to vendors promoting on futures.io (formerly BMT) was appropriate for the vendors that disregard all forum rules and have very negative reputations in the industry aka "bad vendors", but inappropriate and overly restrictive for the "good vendors". So for every vendor that signs up and creates an account on futures.io (formerly BMT) just to promote their website and talk about how much money they made today, there are a few diamonds in the ruff that aren't like that. And these "good vendors" deserve the attention of traders who are trying to find them and learn about available products or services that may assist them in their trading business.

If you ask any advertiser on the site they will all tell you how strict I am. Obviously there are people out there that will insist I am lying and that I've sold out, etc etc, but the truth is - there are 50x as many people that I have said "no" and refused money from compared with the guys I said "yes" and accepted them as a site sponsor.

OK, so that covers the advertisers. Now lets move forward.

So it became apparent to me that I really needed to separate "good" and "bad" vendors. Keep in mind, there are probably 500 vendors on futures.io (formerly BMT), and less than 10 advertisers. "Good" and "bad" has nothing to do with who advertises on futures.io (formerly BMT), except that if they do, you can bet that I consider them in the "good" category or otherwise I would not allow them on the site.

So what to do with these other 500 vendors or so on the site? Well, over many, many months I have developed a program which I am calling "Certified Trustworthy". The Certified Trustworthy Vendor program aims to make it easier for the average trader to know good vendors from bad ones. If you look at the Vendor Review section of futures.io (formerly BMT), you'll see it's very popular and people are constantly wanting advice on how to proceed.

Unfortunately, the numbers are against those people. It seems the trading industry as a whole, on average, has more "get rich quick" type vendors than it has truly honest educators that are trustworthy and want to see you succeed more than they want your money.

Enter - Certified Trustworthy. The program is a combination of the BBB and Yelp, where we allow users to rate and leave feedback about trading vendors they've done business with, while also providing a public way to hold vendors accountable for their customer service and satisfaction.

While I can't name all of the specifics of the entire program today (legal still working on final revisions), I can give you the major bullets we intend to launch with:

- Has nothing to do with being a site sponsor/advertiser
- Must have an excellent overall reputation in the trading industry
- Must meet very strict code of conduct and business practices
- Must make no unreasonable claims of performance on website
- Must offer a free trial period and/or a no questions asked money back period on all purchases
- Vendor will guarantee the above by the way of a security deposit paid to futures.io (formerly BMT)
- futures.io (formerly BMT) will have an arbitration process where several private/unnamed futures.io (formerly BMT) members will be involved in deciding any cases/complaints brought to us, and as needed, pay restitution out of the deposit
- Public futures.io (formerly BMT) vendor profile will include ranking/review information
- A vendor will be removed from the program if their ranking is unsatisfactory

In exchange for this, the vendor will be given our "Certified Trustworthy" status. This status will lift some of the current restrictions placed on vendors, allowing them to more freely and openly discuss their products and services. Any promotional material will be confined to their main discussion thread(s).

Over the last several months, I have reached out to dozens of futures.io (formerly BMT) members whom I respect and solicited their input on this program. The reason I am making this post today on the public forum is to further solicit feedback from the general audience on futures.io (formerly BMT) before the program is made final and launches.

It is my intention with this program to clean up the trading industry, so I would like to see some traction. Keeping that in mind, the majority of vendors out there will not be allowed to be part of the program because they will not meet our requirements.

At this time I'd like to go ahead and open it up to you guys and listen to your feedback so the program can be improved with any tweaks as needed.

Thanks,
Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.


Last edited by Big Mike; February 13th, 2013 at 07:34 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)
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In response off the top of my head, a few questions regarding the "9 Commandments."

Mike, these questions are only fodder to kick start discussion. Hopefully, it is helpful.

- Has nothing to do with being a site sponsor/advertiser -
O.K.
- Must have an excellent overall reputation in the trading industry
Would research be able to ferret out the good vs bad testimonials?
- Must meet very strict code of conduct and business practices
On futures.io (formerly BMT)'s site?"
- Must make no unreasonable claims of performance on website
Unless they can prove it? Otherwise, how does one define unreasonable?
- Must offer a free trial period and/or a no questions asked money back period on all purchases
Really like this one. Kick the tires before buying the car. Thank you
- Vendor will guarantee the above by the way of a security deposit paid to futures.io (formerly BMT)
Yes. Gotta have some skin in the game.
- futures.io (formerly BMT) will have an arbitration process where several private/unnamed futures.io (formerly BMT) members will be involved in deciding any cases/complaints brought to us, and as needed, pay restitution out of the deposit
Again, complaints would be verifiable. Save those emails
- Public futures.io (formerly BMT) vendor profile will include ranking/review information
futures.io (formerly BMT) member reviews? Are those reviews the means for ranking?
- A vendor will be removed from the program if their ranking is unsatisfactory
When does one finally 'cross the line?' How is their security deposit affected each time they receive a demerit? Can vendors 'repair' or resubstantiate their ranking?

COTtrader

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  #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're opening a can of worms....

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  #4 (permalink)
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COTtrader View Post
In response off the top of my head, a few questions regarding the "9 Commandments."

Mike, these questions are only fodder to kick start discussion. Hopefully, it is helpful.

- Has nothing to do with being a site sponsor/advertiser -
O.K.
- Must have an excellent overall reputation in the trading industry
Would research be able to ferret out the good vs bad testimonials?
- Must meet very strict code of conduct and business practices
On futures.io (formerly BMT)'s site?"
- Must make no unreasonable claims of performance on website
Unless they can prove it? Otherwise, how does one define unreasonable?
- Must offer a free trial period and/or a no questions asked money back period on all purchases
Really like this one. Kick the tires before buying the car. Thank you
- Vendor will guarantee the above by the way of a security deposit paid to futures.io (formerly BMT)
Yes. Gotta have some skin in the game.
- futures.io (formerly BMT) will have an arbitration process where several private/unnamed futures.io (formerly BMT) members will be involved in deciding any cases/complaints brought to us, and as needed, pay restitution out of the deposit
Again, complaints would be verifiable. Save those emails
- Public futures.io (formerly BMT) vendor profile will include ranking/review information
futures.io (formerly BMT) member reviews? Are those reviews the means for ranking?
- A vendor will be removed from the program if their ranking is unsatisfactory
When does one finally 'cross the line?' How is their security deposit affected each time they receive a demerit? Can vendors 'repair' or resubstantiate their ranking?

COTtrader

1) Ultimately it will be my decision, but if there is some doubt then it will likely mean they can't join the program. I am also fully aware that competitors create fake accounts to bash their competition, it has happened here on futures.io (formerly BMT) and I've caught it and banned the vendors that did this. But I've gotten pretty good at research over the years and it's usually pretty easy to find out if a company is the kind of company that I want in the program, or not. I realize that for less experienced traders this can be quite difficult to ascertain, because often the fancy websites are the ones that have the worst reputations. So it's not easy to tell just from first glance, but I feel confident in my skills. That said, it is my program, my rules, my decision.

2) In the way they conduct business, so that means their site, sites they are part of, webinars they do, youtube videos, forums they post to, you name it - I will be evaluating it.

3) A classic example of unreasonable claims are the vendors who have youtube videos or websites that claim how easy it is to make money with their system, and show spreadsheet-like trading results with how much money you can make. That's a huge red flag. There are other examples as well, but the point is that they need to be honest and realistic with traders and posses a fundamental desire to help them, not just take their money.

4) Yes, the review system will be by futures.io (formerly BMT) members who have used the product or service. There is no real "ranking", like 'best vendor' or something. I used that work just to mean that they need to be in good standing in order to be in the program.

5) I am not expecting problems with the vendors who I will allow in the program. But should I make a mistake and the feedback demonstrates that fact, then the reviews and the vendor score would show it. A low score would mean the vendor cannot be in the program. I don't have an exact figure to give you because I haven't decided on a 5-star or 10-point system yet for the score. The security deposit acts as a backstop. I can't provide exact details on that until I have final language from legal in place, but the idea is to add confidence in your purchasing decision that the vendor will make good on their money back guarantee if they have one (if they don't have one, they'll be required to offer a free trial instead).

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
 
  #5 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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kbit View Post
Sounds like you're opening a can of worms....

I never said it would be easy, but I do feel compelled to do this because I see far too many traders get taken advantage of. If you read all the posts like I do, you would feel the same I am sure.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
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  #6 (permalink)
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Mike...

you already go way way beyond the call of duty even by the highest standards. I do think this will result in a significant work load for you, and some frustration. That said, I am a guest here. Talking about your motivations and how you define and execute your contributory role is simply not my sword to swing.

I could name a few members/vendors though that have proven to be all class, no nonsense credible guys with legit offers. Many of those like @Fat Tails and @Big Mike and @tigertrader have contributed so broadly and so freely that I often want to ask for their PayPal id to contribute in a way that justifies all they have given to me.

As you know I struggle at times to suffer fools with grace. I'm just now to the point where I can ignore the troll. Sometimes I want to help individuals, occasionally the masses. Other times I'm happy for the new supply of fresh money for me to transfer to my account. I think the plan you outline is well laid out and very reasonable. If you want the extra police work and can suffer the occasional frustration that will inevitably happen, I think your proposal will be a rich addition to what is already the premier site of its kind. Your a special person Mike. You already do everything except execute the trade for people. I believe this change will lift even futures.io (formerly BMT) to an even higher level.

Dan


Last edited by wldman; February 13th, 2013 at 09:41 AM. Reason: change vendors to members second paragraph
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  #7 (permalink)
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Outstanding BM of futures.io (formerly BMT)!

Outstanding.


Too many operators quickly put together their glossy brochures (websites, 5 (five) full screen website enticements / advertisements) followed by their twist your arm pleas to buy their services, products, methos or auto strategies, almost solely for the goal of harvesting where ever a poor of retail traders puddle.


Too often, the trade show, trade presentations and industry forums, annual meetings and such are populated with vendors that rebrand, repackage and resell themselves, almost solely for the objective of reaping a harvest of hundreds if not tens of thousands of dollars from well meaning (desperate) investors looking for "something" that will make the difference in their results.


Too often, many of these operators and operations are based, created, influenced and promulgated by many of the same persons, as the prior last "just come lately" products from the last show, and prior years show.


Too often, the products offered are methos and approaches that the latest industry / professional firms' automated systems have already invalidated, and only through rigorous and vigorous discussion threads to expose', share and validate or invalidate those approaches, would have given some inkling, some indication, some discussion, some leg up, some insight, some anything before purchase, if one chooses to search or research before purchase.


Too often, these operators think there's no recourse these customer can take against them and their sophisticated, slick sales tactics, other than challenge through Visa, Mastercard or some other credit card. Too often, meeting the burden of challenge fails even their checks and balances and we as traders almost all of us, know others we have met or traded with, fall victim of.


Idealistic?, perhaps. Lofty goals (this proposal)?, perhaps. Reasonable?, absolutely!


Perhaps this website will further distinguish itself from others, even more so than before.

Thanks BM.

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  #8 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
I never said it would be easy, but I do feel compelled to do this because I see far too many traders get taken advantage of. If you read all the posts like I do, you would feel the same I am sure.

Mike

I think the "taken advantage of" phase is probably a part of the journey. Most of us here were looking to get rich quick at first, spent money on vendors and eventually realized they were BS, and went seeking something better (and perhaps ended up here). I think it's noble to want to help aspiring traders avoid the pitfalls in the industry, but I'm not sure everyone wants the help unless it's the right time for them.

If you think it's going to be worth your time and hassle, I think it's a good idea. Lots of work, not a lot of appreciation, but a good idea.

20,000,000
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  #9 (permalink)
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What I always liked about futures.io (formerly BMT) is it sense of realism about the difficulty of trading.
What hit me a little as a shock was the survey that was done by BM where traders were asked as far as their return expectations. If I recall, 70% were expecting to make 5%-10% a month.

In the context of someone who is taking an educational course, and has those expectations, I suspect that most vendors would fall into the category of "scam"(?? ). It would be interesting to find out how people categorize vendors besides their total bottom line P&L.

I find that most vendors don't trade, therefore I consider the knowledge they deliver is rather theoretical as oppose to to practical. Do I think that they are all are scammers as a result? not really. If I did, then I need to align my experiences with this logic and say that most of the text books in my college days along with my professors are scammers as well. But they were not, they provided great framework that I was able to build upon.
My strategy professor left such an impact on me that until today I recall his classes..almost 20 years later.

I am not naive. I am FULLY aware how beginner traders are taken advantage off.
But, this happens to all of us as soon as we enter a new business, because there are those who thing of short term as oppose to long term relationship building. It's sad, but it is a reality.

I suggest when judging a vendor use some these guide lines:
Does the vendor provide a frame work to trade on? Namely, could you build a methodology on it?
What is practically integrated into your trading? Did you understand the material you purchased?
I am not going to mention those who promise a daily or monthly P&L because that is absurd.

Just my thoughts.

Matt

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.
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  #10 (permalink)
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Quoting 
It is my intention with this program to clean up the trading industry, so I would like to see some traction.

IMO that is a huge undertaking. As an Elite member I had to turn ads on to remember how they looked on futures.io (formerly BMT) and that may be one of the best features of Elite membership--no ads. I find motion and changes in colour in online ads disturbing since I respond to motion and colour changes when trading. Ads as conceived by marketers I find intrusive and more or less demeaning no matter what the medium.

As for the content I think the ratings idea is good but I prefer to hunt for what I want and pick up on relatively subtle clues (like "Vendor" under someone's ID, and care about what they're selling only by what the individual has to say about a trading topic), not have it thrust at me, so something less modern. Like a catalogue if necessary, or a separate space where we expect disturbing things.

futures.io (formerly BMT) should include advertisers who, like Rolls Royce, when asked about the horsepower of their engines, are prepared only to reply "Adequate".

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