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Why does Big Mike hate vendors? Why is FIO not free?
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Why does Big Mike hate vendors? Why is FIO not free?

  #1 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,354 given, 83,237 received

Why does Big Mike hate vendors? Why is FIO not free?

Hey guys,

So the site has turned 4 years old as of last week. In that four years, I've become somewhat of an expert on all things related to trading communities.

I have been called all kinds of names and accused of all kinds of things. The people screaming the loudest are the vendors. In particular, the ones that have been either banned from futures.io (formerly BMT), or that have negative reviews written by customers who have shared experiences on futures.io (formerly BMT).

So why does Big Mike hate vendors?

Well, speaking as an authority on myself, I can tell you that I do not.

Am I being compensated by vendors? Do I align myself with the vendors that pay me the most money?

No, I do not. Let's take a look at the last three weeks of my inbox when it comes to new advertising leads. These advertising leads are companies that came to futures.io (formerly BMT) and filled out the Contact page, and selected Advertising for their reason to contact me.

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


And this is a very SLOW period, probably the slowest period of the entire year in fact.

So what do all these companies want? They want to give me money in order to either run webinars or run banner campaigns or run email campaigns on futures.io (formerly BMT).

What is my response? "Not interested". In fact, probably 99% of my replies are "not interested", the end, and press the send button.

Why am I not interested in these companies? Because most of them have terrible reputations. I want NOTHING to do with them. It isn't about money, it is about reputation.

If you look at the futures.io (formerly BMT) site sponsors, it has been more or less the same people for four years! And it's only about 10 companies in total. If I get contacted by hundreds of companies per year, and yet over 4 years have only done business with around 10 of them, then you do the math.

So has Big Mike sold out to vendors? No. If it were about money, then you would see the same kinds of ads on futures.io (formerly BMT) that you see on other sites.

What about webinars? I get approached constantly from vendors who want to give webinars. My answer is "not interested" because most of these vendors have business practices that I want nothing to do with. Some of you know that I have been working on a new initiative called "Certified Trustworthy Vendor". It is on-going and although delayed, I am still planning on launching it soon. More on that here:

https://futures.io/feedback-announcements/25858-preliminary-discussion-please-pa...rthy-vendor-program.html

When it comes to trading educators, most of them are trying to sell you systems, indicators or methodologies. I don't have a problem with that. The problem is HOW they do it. They show graphs of how much money it makes, in hindsight or on a backtest, or worse - some of them just flat out lie and tell show you "live trading results" which are completely false.

How is it they are allowed to get away with doing this? Because there are so many uneducated people, potential customers, that simply fork over the money out of desperation in an attempt to be a better trader.

It is that act, the act of taking advantage of someone, that I fight with all my strength on futures.io (formerly BMT).

Do you guys have any idea how hard it is to find good quality educators to come and lecture on futures.io (formerly BMT) webinars? Almost EVERYONE has something to sell, and I have strict rules about "no selling", "no secret sauce", "no special offers or promotions or act now deals". That eliminates just about everyone. Even the BIG names in the industry.

The ones that are left are not wanting to come and pay me for webinars, I assure you. It's the opposite. This month alone I have spent around $5,000 of my own money to line up educators to come speak on futures.io (formerly BMT), in combination with giving away some books during those webinars. The other stuff that has been given away this month as part of our 4-year anniversary was donated by site sponsors.

OK, so we've established that I often have to PAY for educators to come do webinars on futures.io (formerly BMT). That would seem to also put me squarely in the "not" column for hating vendors.

Last we have email campaigns. I am approached all the time to run email blasts and often times it is top dollar. You guys should see the stuff they want to sell. Get rich quick crap. And they are willing to pay a premium to target the 40,000 users on futures.io (formerly BMT), because they know from experience they will sell their product. I do not allow ANY form of advertising in emails, even from site sponsors. I do not sell or rent the email list in any way.

So let's talk about the vendors who become site sponsors. Why are they so special? Well, first I do as much due diligence as I possibly can -- and I've got pretty good at it over the years. Then I talk with the owners or management of the company and see if their goals and mine are aligned. Then I look at what product or service they are offering, and see if I agree with their business practices. I have a list of requirements they must meet before they are allowed to be a sponsor, assuming everything else checks out. On top of that, these days I am only interested in 1-year ad deals because I simply do not have the time to micro manage the accounting side with quarterly or six month payments and renewals. If a business does not want to agree to a 1 year deal, then I just turn them away.

Let's also talk about referrals. Many, many vendors work on referral or affiliate basis. A lot of the emails above will show how I could make $10,000 a month or more from one single vendor, by simply doing a referral deal with them. Referral or affiliate deals means that if you open an account with a vendor (broker), I get paid something like $100. I refuse to have anything to do with it. futures.io (formerly BMT) has never, and will never, do ANY kind of business on a referral basis.

If it were only about the money, then none of these things would be true. So hopefully I have established it is not about the money.

So what about the vendors that get banned on futures.io (formerly BMT)? This happens when they break site rules, most commonly is advertising their product in posts. Let's be clear, vendors are allowed to engage users and answer questions, but they are not allowed to make any post which is self promotion (ie: advertising). When a vendor signs up on futures.io (formerly BMT) they are explained this very clearly.

How about other reasons vendors get banned? It's almost always for lying or deception. Pretending to be a "normal user" raving about how fantastic their product is, when in fact, it's the vendor themselves. I am a tech guy, some would say a geek. I've been an expert with pretty much all-things computer related since I was 9. I've picked up some skills in the last 25 years to help me expose these lying bastards, and when I land on one of them, I ban them.

You would be amazed at some of the very high profile vendors who have been banned after I caught them doing this. Yet you don't see me going around bashing them at every opportunity, and believe me, there are plenty of opportunities. So do I have an agenda? Am I out to get them? No. If I was, then I would certainly use all the opportunities made available to me to educate all of you about these vendors. Instead, I simply ban them and move on.

OK, so that's a pretty good start about vendors. Now let's talk about the other side of the thread title.

Why is futures.io (formerly BMT) not free?

Why is Big Mike allowed to make money from site sponsors, AND also charges an Elite Membership fee from users?

Let's back up and ask why I created the forum. It's because as a trader, I couldn't stand the other forums out there. They were full of rude comments, childish behavior, name calling, and just completely worthless junk posts. For every thread I wanted to read to find something useful, I had to dig thru dozens of junk posts. I knew I could do better, and I knew I had the technical experience to help.

So I created futures.io (formerly BMT) with the goal of being a different kind of community. One where members cared about each other and tried to help one another be better traders. I knew I needed to build a sense of equity if you will, some sort of investment, that people had to make so that they would respect other members more almost by default. And that was the Elite Membership.

The words "Elite Circle" came from the name of my old BBS which I ran when I was about 13-14 years old, one of the largest in the world in fact (this is pre-internet days). I liked the name so kept it, and eventually it got shortened to just "Elite".

A separate section of the forum was created so that members that paid the Elite Membership fee had a place of their own, away from the public section. Initially it was $20 for lifetime access. Then $25, then $50 (current as of this post), and as of July 1 2013 the price will be $100 lifetime. I gave notice about that in a separate thread a couple months ago along with the reasons for the increase, which I will just briefly summarize here -- price goes up to keep quality up. Quality is both in terms of members (users) as well as in terms of my work on the site.

By having this paid section of the site, people respected the other members who also paid to support the efforts of futures.io (formerly BMT). futures.io (formerly BMT) is not just about me, it's a community. So when people ask:

"Why is Big Mike allowed to make money on the site, is it because he can't trade"

The answer should be clear to everyone who has actually spent time on the site. Anyone who is not just passing thru knows how much time and effort I have put into the site, and like most people in our society, I do not donate all of my time and energy for free - I do expect some sort of monetary compensation. That is just the world we live in folks.

The fact is, the site has dramatically cut into my own trading and it's something I wrestle with all the time. There are so many things I want to work on for my own benefit as a trader, but don't have time because of the site. I am re-adjusting some of those priorities as some of you know who I've PM'd and talked to about it. It just means I am going to be taking some more time for myself. I am a trader, not a site admin. My passion is trading, and running the site is great fun. To a certain point. Past that point it is a huge job and challenge and constant headache. So why put myself thru it? I am just trying to do my part to fill a need in the world of trading as I see it.

OK, so how does Big Mike make money on the site? It's simple. I make money from advertising banners as mentioned above. And if you didn't read the first part of this long post, you need to, before rushing to any conclusions. And then the second part is on Elite fees.

It's interesting that some people focus so much on me making money on futures.io (formerly BMT) as a business. If you look at some other trading forums, it is obvious they are run as a business. Based on some knowledge I have about certain situations, I know that two of the other sites are worth multi-millions and they generate far, far, far more in advertising revenue than futures.io (formerly BMT) does. I don't want to get back into the whole advertising thing, but suffice it to say I am sure I could quadruple my revenue from futures.io (formerly BMT) overnight if I allowed anyone who wanted to pay me to do so.

So getting back to Elite... is Elite worth it? There are several threads on this already started by users and you can go do your own research and draw your own conclusions. But for anyone who thinks the answer is no, I will admit that I don't understand.

Don't get me wrong. Some people won't sign up or pay for anything. It has nothing to do with value, it's just because they don't want to pay. But if someone thinks you could spend a better $50 (or soon $100) as a trader, I'd love to hear how

I know that some vendors out there have made it a priority to 'bash' the name of futures.io (formerly BMT). Some have created websites devoted to spreading lies about the site. Some tell their subscribers I have an agenda, hate vendors, only allow people who pay me to talk, etc etc. So I hope that with this post, you have learned enough that you can do your own research and draw your own conclusions.

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.

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  #2 (permalink)
Elite Member
Cedar Rapids, iowa
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker/Data: Ninjatrader - Continuum
Favorite Futures: 6E, TF, 6J
 
Tasker_182's Avatar
 
Posts: 626 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 426 given, 1,126 received

Hey BM,

I can imagine it is a real drama to maintain the integrity and bounce off vendors and others who stink up the place. I've never had a concern about the elite fee and I thought the $50 was well worth it as one of my first expenses (and still do!).

Your efforts are the reason why advertisers want to come here as they know you keep it real and thanks for that!

You wrote a lot and i could write a lot as well but it comes down to this, thanks and carry on futures.io (formerly BMT)!

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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
Chicago Illinois USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: IB
Favorite Futures: duh hammer!
 
wldman's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,077 since Aug 2011
Thanks: 971 given, 2,638 received

Mike...


futures.io (formerly BMT) well worth it at many times the new cost structure.

I do not know why you feel like you need to answer or address the items in the original post...you do not.

I was an experienced career pro when I came here BUT, that not withstanding I hold futures.io (formerly BMT) as a resource equal or greater in standing than ANY other single beneficial item in the last 20+ years. I don't engage trolls or second quintile IQ's anymore as doing so could get me banned.

You are simply the best at what you do. You do a remarkable job with this site and as such deserve to make what ever the market for your product clears. Infinite value here. Please continue on the current course Mike and thank you very much for extending the privilege of membership to me. Very special thanks for not kicking me out when I've engaged idiots and been a jerk. Thanks also for reviving me when I'm OD'd on hopium.

I do not believe you need to explain yourself or defend what you view as best practice.

Be well Mike

Dan

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  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
Harrisburg, PA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart,TradeStation
Broker/Data: Multiple
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
pedalon's Avatar
 
Posts: 23 since Apr 2013
Thanks: 101 given, 30 received

@Big Mike,

Foremost, Happy Anniversary and Congrats!!

I have only been here a short period of time, but from the little time I have been here, it is evident that you bust your butt on administering and maintaining this site. When it comes to the forum posts, vendors, etc, you run a tight ship and don't allow the BS that could easily fill up the forums if you were like the other sites, and this is what makes futures.io (formerly BMT) so great - IMHO. Don't change anything that you're doing, except to find a way to take time off and enjoy some "me" time - you deserve it.

What you do here for us traders is appreciated more than words can describe. Keep up the great work, but get some R&R too.

Kevin

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  #5 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,354 given, 83,237 received

If you do a google search, you'll find this:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


It does upset me that spot #2, #3, #4 and #7 are all from banned vendors, and yet they land on the first page of a google search result.

If you go to any of those sites and try to post positive experiences about futures.io (formerly BMT), which HUNDREDS of people have done and told me about, they just get deleted so it's a one sided story.

BTW, if a post is deleted on futures.io (formerly BMT), all users can see the deletion notice. There is NOTHING TO HIDE.

Continuing to page #2 on google search results:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


Spot #5 (ripoff report) really irks me. The rip off report was created by a vendor who has created a dozen or so YouTube videos, blog posts, and other articles all over to try and disparage futures.io (formerly BMT). He did this because a futures.io (formerly BMT) user created a vendor review thread about his company, and called them out for their absolutely horrible reputation.

You should go read it, here is the link:

 
Code
http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Big-Mike-Trading/internet/Big-Mike-Trading-is-using-his-own-board-to-slander-other-traders-online-Internet-1050885
It's a good read and pretty funny when viewed just in passing. Except that some people in this world are truly mentally ill, and devote their entire lives to things like conspiracy theories and the like.

Let's not use this thread to talk about that vendor. I don't want to create a split topic and get side tracked. There is an existing thread for that below, if you want to discuss that vendor:
https://futures.io/vendors-product-reviews/18290-oil-trading-academy-www-oiltradingacademy-com-review-he-calls-bmt-scam.html

And with the above, you basically see the exact set of patterns or conditions that happen when someone ends up getting banned on futures.io (formerly BMT). They have their side of the story, and I have mine. I trust everyone can reach their own conclusions after doing their own homework.

So some vendors yell at the top of the mountaintop that futures.io (formerly BMT) is anti-vendor (the ones that have bad reviews here, or have been banned). Yet other vendors have good reviews from members of the community, and have accounts here and post. And get this, about 99% of them aren't even paid sponsors! Can you believe it? I am sure you can, because you are already here.

Changing the subject, and just talking about regular individuals -- do you know how I know I made the right choice after I ban someone for rude behavior on futures.io (formerly BMT)?

A quick search for some colorful language in my inbox lands some results:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


I can't remember the specifics of this individual, other than on multiple attempts he was "heckling" or making rude remarks in futures.io (formerly BMT) webinars to presenters. When someone "goes postal" over being banned, then I am quickly reassured it was the right decision In fact, on some occasions I receive a sincere apology from a user after they were banned, and I have zero problems reinstating them.

Some others:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


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.

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  #6 (permalink)
Elite Member
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT8/JIGSAW
Broker/Data: MacQuarie Futures/AMP Clearing/CQG
Favorite Futures: ZB/FGBL/GC/CL/HG/6J/6M/6B/FDAX/NQ
 
xiaosi's Avatar
 
Posts: 483 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 381 given, 440 received

Big Mike, thanks for the thread and honest post.

I don't post much here, for the simple reason that i mostly spend my time reading. I am a moderator on another international site, of which I've been a member for nearly 8 years. I am a full time EOD trader, with some time spent so far on intra-day trading with break even success at best, its a tough line of work.

I have been through the beginners cycle, the cycle on which the unscrupulous vendors prey. It is fact that it is easier to make money in the business of trading, than it is to make money in actually trading as a business. When you are a beginner, you are searching for the easy fix, the holy grail. These vendors know this and they making millions selling it to you. There are however, a small percentage of real traders out there that hedge their trading income, by educating and mentoring others. I've been lucky enough to be associated with one for 7 years, and we have become good mates. Most of these people will tell you they do it for two reasons, one: to provide income through the inevitable draw-downs, and two: to give back to the trading community....

When i was introduced to Big Mike's, i was looking for a certain indicator. Another member introduced me, suggesting that it was entirely worth more than the $50. Since then i have learned so much about intra-day trading from the site, money well spent many times over.

I like the site because there is no BS, no praising vendors unless its a real review by trusted members. Things are very easy to find here as well. Off topic comments and mud slinging are not tolerated at all, which i also like.

I've seen almost every popular trading forum there is, been a member on most.....this is the most strictly moderated and its refreshing.

I'm not writing this to blow sunshine at Big Mike, just giving an honest unbiased opinion from someone that has seen allot in the last 7+ years.

Happy Anniversary and thanks for all the effort on the site, it doesn't go unnoticed.

Cheers,


XS


Last edited by xiaosi; June 19th, 2013 at 06:51 AM.
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  #7 (permalink)
Elite Member
Milan Italy
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader, Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 523 since Feb 2010
Thanks: 470 given, 629 received

Thanks for the look backstage, it makes what you've done with the forum even more impressive. I remember when you first started this site - I didn't join right away because I didn't think anyone would be able to create a viable new forum when there were already such large and well established ones. But after a few months I checked in and saw the overall level of discussion was much more consistently serious, and the level of irritation was almost zero. So I joined, and soon hardly ever went to other forums. It's really astonishing what a resource it has become in such a short time.

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  #8 (permalink)
Elite Member
Charlotte, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradestation, Ninja Trader
Favorite Futures: Forex
 
Posts: 34 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 25 given, 49 received

Funny

Big Mike

First I admit that I have a "sick" sense of humor.

I find hilarious the emails you got from banned members. I am not the one being called names, so you may not find them as funny.

Specially that David from Oil Trading Academy.. his whole strategy for getting the thread about him taken down, was to create a lot bad content about you.. and the come to you begging for mercy )

Anyway.. Congratulations Big Mike for the anniversary. You are a very valuable resource for all traders. Your site has certainly been invaluable to me.

Hector

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  #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
desert CA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, TOS
Broker/Data: AMP/wCQG, TDA
Favorite Futures: CL,YM
 
Posts: 2,027 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2,211 given, 1,551 received

Thanks for the great site and all the work that you do Big Mike and congrats on the anniversary. futures.io (formerly BMT) is the best nexus of sharing among traders and favored vendors. I'd prefer some method of member input/voting on favorite vendors in the future, but it's your site and there is no "hate" of vendors, just judicious filtering imo.

Sorry about that Oil Trading Academy guy's rants. Oddly , those videos that pop up on the search engines are the older ones from last year, and not the more recent outrageous ones. Most aspiring traders who have a brain can probably discern the ludicrous theme of his videos, but still.. We need more people to downthumb those youtube videos. Unfortunately the guy is well versed in creating multitudes of fake accounts, messages , and reviews and has had a history of doing so all over the web. But enough votes could help make youtube recognize what's going on with those videos.


Last edited by Cloudy; June 19th, 2013 at 10:48 AM.
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  #10 (permalink)
Elite Member
Northern Germany
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Favorite Futures: FDAX, CL
 
vvhg's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,583 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1,016 given, 2,807 received


Maybe we need a new category for the futures.io (formerly BMT) Best of Trading Awards: Best Snake Oil Vendor

@Big Mike let me thank you for not becoming cynical despite receiving all those emails from rather unstable personalities. That in itself is quite an achievement!

vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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