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Hello Traders:

I want to share a couple thoughts on the implosion of the broker PFG and how it‘s demise relates to us as traders, our trade plans, and overall personal response to large financial loss.
First of all I was a PFG client and all of my monies for trading the FOREX market were there. I along with thousands of other traders (many in our small group here; part of the Triple Threat Trading community) were rocked by the news coming out late Monday afternoon when it was announced that PFG’s CEO had attempted suicide and the company s assets had been frozen by the governmental regulating bodies associated with and tasked to watch over the futures /commodities markets and trading firms. After a few phone conversations I was told that there were large financial irregularities (missing 200 million dollars) and that while there is a slight chance of my monies being returned to me the most probable outcome is that I have lost everything. 
Now, keeping in mind that the goal of becoming a professional trader and the financial freedom I had been working towards, The capital I had worked so hard to acquire in order to open an account, all the hard lessons learned along the way, all the personal beliefs I had to overcome and install a new, all the accounts ups and downs as I “finally” grew into a consistently profitable trader, everything had been washed away as surly as the footprints along a sandy beach at high tide. Except one, only one thing remained intact. That is the sure and certain knowledge I now possess (thanks to Triple Threat Trading tremendous mentoring) on knowing how to trade successfully and consistently. Nothing can ever take that away from me or any of the others here who have invested in themselves by learning the Skill of trading.

I know for certain that many clients of PFG upon learning they had been defrauded were instantly on phone screaming a yelling, probably pleading with the other party to somehow make the exception for them in order to retrieve their monies in their accounts. Now, I am not suggesting that I wasn’t angry or any of the other host of emotions that well up in us when an unexpected loss occurs.  Fortunately I have come to understand that we each have the ability to make instantaneous decisions on how we react to each and every event we encounter, even the unexpected. Be it a 200 pips loss or the complete disappearance of your trading capital it’s up to each of us to decide how we respond. I didn’t go off the deep end emotionally blaming everyone, kicking the dog, or yelling at my wife. I took responsibility. After all when it’s all said and done it was me who wired my own money to them in good faith.  

Perhaps I found a little solace in the fact that I had done my due diligence by investigating PFG, looking at what the regulatory bodies had to say, how many violations they had etc. Just as with every trading strategy I investigate it by back/forward testing before committing my capital. Only then would I go live and so it was with me and PFG. All the reports I read gave me a good degree of comfort in knowing they apparently were a solid firm with a good reputation.

What it boils down to is that even if you do EVERYTHING right you can still lose. This is true in your daily trading business, relationships, and in life. Sometime we do everything correctly and still receive what we didn’t want, expect or even deserve. We do our best to plan for every contingency but still the unexpected occurs. When these things happen we aren’t expected to like it, but part of what defines us as professional traders is how we choose to react to them and what the levelheaded, sometimes difficult decisions that need to be made in the aftermath.  

  As for me I choose not to moan and groan over my loss. I will continue to get up every morning at the same time and go to my charts and trade. Granted it now in a new sim account but I will continue to perfect my craft and work diligently at finding additional income so as to fund a new trading account. I choose to look forward not back. I picture myself as a rather charred and crispy Phoenix, but still a Phoenix rising from the ashes none the less. I choose not to count the number of time life knocks me down, only the times I get back up! I will never, ever, ever give up on my dreams.

Ted Stieghorst

 


 


Comments

Nuno Leitão
07/12/2012 5:38am

Hey Ted, hang on there, Our "family" as you called it has become really shaked with this. Im a lucky one that had is money returned, since i made the wire after the goverment lockdown and it was returned; but man, i really had a lesson here. i had been gatering this amount for months, as soon my money management allows me i'll split the money to other broker account and i'll trade 2 separate accounts, so the odds to be left without my business can be increased... hang tought man, hang tought!

Reply
Ted
07/12/2012 6:02am

Nuno, I am so very pleased that you didn't have to go through what so many of us have, and I think your wise to have a couple of accounts for trading. It's kinda of funny that last week I was starting to look at other brokers to do the same thing. Hindsight is 20 20, not so that you constantly beat yourself up over decisions made but that hopefully you learn from them. Anyway, that my story and I'm sticking to it. Wishing you continued success!!

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Nance Ghattas
07/12/2012 7:16am

Hi Ted and our trading family. I too have had my account frozen, but I have faith in the Father and believe that any attemps to curse us in the natural world will ultimately fail. I am praying that all PFG clients will be made whole. God bless you and may he prosper you abundantly in all that you do. I am also praying for those lost souls whose greed caused this situation, that they may find their way to God and be saved.

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Ted
07/12/2012 7:46am

Hi Nance, I too remain optimistic that we should see at least a portion of our monies returned and I appreciate your prayers for ALL OF US to prosper. It is after all through our prosperity that we each may be able to help others. Even if I don't receive anything back I know that I can always make more money and start a new account. All it will take is a little time. Unlike the PFG CEO who if he survives his suicide attempt will learn that his greed/unlawful actions will have cost him everything; the friendship and respect of his peers, his life's work and business, his family and home, all of his wealth and possessions , and finally it will probably cost him his freedom.

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Gary Rice
07/12/2012 8:35am

Hi Ted: Thanks for a well written outlook on the PFG situation. The news was sort of ironic for me as on the day before I had recived a check from the MF Global liquidation trustee and a letter informing me the check should bring me up to 80% back of what I had lost with them.I had a small future account with Alaron a few years back and they were taken over by PFG, so when I started in forex I swtiched my futures account to forex. When I started in forex, I was warned by many not to put more than 2k with any one broker just because of this happening. But, pitching a fit won't do anything but raise my blood pressure higher than it is now and I don't need that. I just dread the thought of looking for another broker.
Thanks again

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Ted
07/12/2012 9:26am

Hi Gary, Thanks for the kind words on my post. It is something I wish I never had to experience or write about but sense it obviously did happen I thought it important to bring into the public forum. I know that the traders here like yourself who have been around for a while have experienced personally or know someone who has been through something similar and know how painful it is. I am dropping in a link from ZeroHedge on brokers. Note that PFG is in the bottom 5, at least according to this rating system. Maybe we can add the information here to our other research in finding a new broker. I hope it helps. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/first-mfglobal-now-pfg-who-next

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Joelyen Hill
07/12/2012 3:00pm

Your philosophical attitude does you enormous credit brother. I know I would be one of those on the phone ranting and raving, threatening to blow things up!

Hope it all works out for you and with your positive outlook I'm sure you will come out the other side even stronger (easy for me to say I know)

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

- Reinhold Niebuhr

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Ted
07/12/2012 4:17pm

Hi Joelyen, I think maybe you have given me more credit than I deserve. Those type of thoughts did indeed cross my mind (more than once) but I know from experience that in the end they don't produce anything but more of the same. I have found it much easier to except the facts and try to make informed decisions on what to do next. I appreciate your comments as well as all the others and by the way the quote from Niebuhr is one of my all time favorites.On the lighter side I'm not sure how much stronger I need to get....

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