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Atlas Ratings on FCMs
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Atlas Ratings on FCMs

  #1 (permalink)
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Atlas Ratings on FCMs

Looking for a futures broker and wonder whether the ratings from Atlas are valid?

I really like what I read about Matt and his team at Optimus, but Vision Financial is rated #50 by Atlas. That seems to be only marginally better than PFGBest/Peregrine Financial, which was rated #41, now busted for fraud.

Plus, did a BASIC search at NFA on Vision Financial and found ten regulatory actions and fines against them for general conduct, record keeping, trade practice, and sales practice. Not being too savvy about the regulatory stuff, it may well be that these types of actions are typical within the industry.

Seems reasonable to be concerned about Vision, but don't want to rely too heavily on the Atlas Ratings without knowing more about them... and don't want to give undue weight to the NFA info without knowing more about that process.

Would appreciate opinions from others who are more knowledgeable in this area.

I'd post the link to the BASIC search results on Vision, as well as the Atlas Ratings, but haven't made the requisite five posts yet, so not allowed to post links.

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  #3 (permalink)
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From the PFG thread:


ZeroHedge
It seems the murky world of segregated accounts and FCMs is coming under the right amount of scrutiny once again. Atlas Ratings - who provide detailed ratings analysis on the entire spectrum of FCMs - had identified PFG Best in the bottom 5% of all FCMs (but with 4 other firms ranking lower on their proprietary rating scale - see below). As they note, almost across the board, PFG Best lagged dramatically in most categories. The only category where they did not have low marks was in regard to exchange penalties. The commodity exchanges had not penalized PFG very often for their clearing procedures or floor record-keeping, that much was done adequately within the company. Everything else we monitor showed weakness within the company:

Their net capital ratio and the trend of that ratio was extremely weak.
Their business is not diversified, they rely on minimal interest revenue, commissions and any proprietary trading.
Customer assets growth has been weak, healthy companies attract and retain new accounts.
PFG Best has had many CFTC & NFA penalties, these are major red flags. They failed to ID a massive ponzi scheme.
The big question - obviously - is who is next? The following table provides some clear indications of where the stress may just explode next.

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It would seem account holders at Pioneer Futures, Rosenthal Collins Group, Crossland, Forex Capital Markets, and Velocity Futures should be checking in on those funds?

See also:

http://www.atlasratings.com/2012/07/10/what-went-wrong-at-pfg-best/

Mike

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Atlas Ratings on FCMs-20120709_fcm1.png   Atlas Ratings on FCMs-20120709_fcm2.png   Atlas Ratings on FCMs-20120709_fcm3.png   Atlas Ratings on FCMs-20120709_fcm4.png   Atlas Ratings on FCMs-20120709_fcm5_0.png  
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  #4 (permalink)
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ondafringe View Post
Looking for a futures broker and wonder whether the ratings from Atlas are valid?

I really like what I read about Matt and his team at Optimus, but Vision Financial is rated #50 by Atlas. That seems to be only marginally better than PFGBest/Peregrine Financial, which was rated #41, now busted for fraud.

Plus, did a BASIC search at NFA on Vision Financial and found ten regulatory actions and fines against them for general conduct, record keeping, trade practice, and sales practice. Not being too savvy about the regulatory stuff, it may well be that these types of actions are typical within the industry.

Seems reasonable to be concerned about Vision, but don't want to rely too heavily on the Atlas Ratings without knowing more about them... and don't want to give undue weight to the NFA info without knowing more about that process.

Would appreciate opinions from others who are more knowledgeable in this area.

I'd post the link to the BASIC search results on Vision, as well as the Atlas Ratings, but haven't made the requisite five posts yet, so not allowed to post links.

@ondafringe


1. Let me see if I can help you get your post count up.

2. The one positive thing that came about due to the PFG fiasco is that traders are now taking due diligence seriously .

3. In regards to regulatory actions,for each broker you are interested in, take the number of actions and divide it by the number of years they have been in business. Then compare the brokers by their "action index". Rosenthal Collins has a lot more actions, but they have been in business for 90 years.

Read the actions and determine how serious they are. ex. I read one concerning Rosenthal Collins. A customer who lost $30,000 trading futures in his self directed account, filed a complaint against RCG to get his money back ,claiming RCG should never have allowed him to open an account since he claimed to be mentally disabled, even though he had acquired two college degrees and a mortgage and could show no proof he had ever informed RCG of his alleged disability.

4. For what it's worth, PFG cleared through Jefferies, who is rated at #54.

I'm just a simple man trading a simple plan.

My daddy always said, "Every day above ground is a good day!"

Last edited by ThatManFromTexas; July 14th, 2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Piss Poor Typing
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  #5 (permalink)
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ThatManFromTexas View Post
2. The one positive thing that came about due to the PFG fiasco is that traders are now taking due diligence seriously .

BTW:

https://futures.io/brokers-data-feeds/21648-futures-broker-due-diligence-notes-post-peregrine-financial-group-pfg.html

Mike

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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.
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6)
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  #6 (permalink)
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Another interesting post from the PFG thread: FCM Data from CFTC

I attached the file for safekeeping.

Perhaps we should start our own rating process? Some of the most interesting factors in my view are the structure of the FCM (controlled by whom/how many/audited by/....) and their business model (what do they derive income from? FCM, prop trading, interest rates....).
Also very important and a good starting point:

ThatManFromTexas View Post
...
3. In regards to regulatory actions,for each broker you are interested in, take the number of actions and divide it by the number of years they have been in business. Then compare the brokers by their "action index". Rosenthal Collins has a lot more actions, but they have been in business for 90 years.

Read the actions and determine how serious they are. ex. I read one concerning Rosenthal Collins. A customer who lost $30,000 trading futures in his self directed account, filed a complaint against RCG to get his money back ,claiming RCG should never have allowed him to open an account since he claimed to be mentally disabled, even though he had acquired two college degrees and a mortgage and could show no proof he had ever informed RCG of his alleged disability.



And one more question: Who the hell is Atlas and how do they do their rating?

vvhg

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Last edited by vvhg; July 14th, 2012 at 02:31 PM.
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  #7 (permalink)
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@Big Mike

Thanks for posting those links for me... and for resizing the images so they are easier to read.

@ThatManFromTexas

Thanks for the suggestion. Not too concerned about Vision's arbitration issues because it looks as though most complaints did not stick. BTW, thanks for the help in getting to five posts!

@vvhg

Thanks for the link.

Now if I had said, "Thanks," using three different posts, I'd have my five in by now!!

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  #8 (permalink)
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vvhg View Post

And one more question: Who the hell is Atlas and how do they do their rating?

vvhg

It is easy enough to find out who they are, just check the About page on their site:
http://www.atlasratings.com/about/

The information they posted is simply taking data they assembled and creating a chart.

Kinda like the charts we trade with a SMA.
The SMA does not mean anything and the chart does not care about it.
But it is simply using historical data to create a measure of what has happened.
It does not predict the future or tell you of a coming crash or boom.

If you wish, you can assemble your own data and do you own comparison of that data.
Maybe you can come up with a better way to compare brokers that would benefit all.

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  #9 (permalink)
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ondafringe View Post

Now if I had said, "Thanks," using three different posts, I'd have my five in by now!!

You're learning...




vvhg View Post
Another interesting post from the PFG thread: FCM Data from CFTC

I attached the file for safekeeping.

Perhaps we should start our own rating process? Some of the most interesting factors in my view are the structure of the FCM (controlled by whom/how many/audited by/....) and their business model (what do they derive income from? FCM, prop trading, interest rates....).
Also very important and a good starting point:




And one more question: Who the hell is Atlas and how do they do their rating?

vvhg

I agree with you . The problem is deciding how to weight each category...

1. Should funds in excess of required deposits be weighted by size or percentage?

2. Should large firms with huge balance sheets be weighted heavier than small firms? If so, how does a small broker who offers excellent customer service get started?

3. How do you weight years in business? Is an older firm secure or a dangerous dinosaur? Is a newer firm a risk or are they more technologically astute?

Atlas appears to put a lot of weight on CFTC complaints. Rosenthall Collins is rated near the bottom. Is that because they deserve to be , or is it because they have been in business for 90 years and have accumulated a normal number of complaints per year?

I'm just a simple man trading a simple plan.

My daddy always said, "Every day above ground is a good day!"
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  #10 (permalink)
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ThatManFromTexas View Post
Atlas appears to put a lot of weight on CFTC complaints. Rosenthall Collins is rated near the bottom. Is that because they deserve to be , or is it because they have been in business for 90 years and have accumulated a normal number of complaints per year?

I'm not saying their report is useful. In fact, I don't think it is.

But, are we sure that they aren't already weighing that column by year? If not, it would seem to be a huge oversight on their part.

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
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