• Report: #317814

Complaint Review: OptionsXpress Online Options, Stock, And Futures Brokers

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  • Submitted: Fri, March 14, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, December 19, 2008

  • Reported By:New York New York
OptionsXpress Online Options, Stock, And Futures Brokers
311 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1000 Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

OptionsXpress Online Options, Stock, And Futures Brokers How To Rob Your Customers Without Any Legal Repercussions Chicago Illinois

*Consumer Comment: no suprise

*Author of original report: Logical Fallacy of Ignoring the Subject by Diverting Attention -- Nice Try Tom!!

*Author of original report: Logical Fallacy of Ignoring the Subject by Diverting Attention -- Good Try Tom!!

*Consumer Comment: MIT...?

*Consumer Comment: You imply you graduated from MIT however my research finds only CUNY

*Author of original report: OptionsXpress

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This is somewhat technical if you are not familiar with options trading, but by checking the definitions of some technical words that you are not familiar with you may still be able to understand how artfully I was swindled by my ex-broker of six years, OptionsXpress.

I make use of a put credit spread strategy on the SPX or the S&P 500 index, and when the SPX drops down to the strike price of the short put I exit the spread.

On 1/22/08 I had a spread of 26 SPX Feb 1300 Short Puts x 26 SPX Feb 1275 Long Puts. I had a trigger point set to 1299 so that if the SPX or the S&P 500 drops below 1299 then immediately my spread should be sent to the floor as a Market Order to close.

However, when I examined the fill report, I found out to my amazement that OptionsXpress triggered my spread closing order not at 1299 as I specified when I setup the contingency order, but at 1275.62. The closing cost was $1,400 per spread put or $36,400 for 26 spread puts, and based on my experience (six years as an active trader of options, and almost exclusively trading options on the SPX) if it was done right I should not have paid more than 10.00 or $26,000 for 26 spread puts even under conditions of high volatility because the long leg counterbalances the short leg which is one of the advantages of trading credit spreads versus naked options.

I notified the OptionsXpress executives of this error, and told them that it is their responsibility to absorb the cost of this $10,400 error, and I was even assured by one of OptionsXpress' Executive Vice President, Phil Bennett, who happens to be the brother of OptionsXpress CEO, Ned Bennett, almost 6 years ago when I considered the possibility of a contingent order not activating that OptionsXpress has business insurance for such an event, and I will be made whole in such a case.

To my utter disbelief and bewilderment I found them to turn options theory on its head, and make the outrageous false contention that I would have received the same fill price whether my closing spread Market Order was executed 1 point ITM or almost 25 points ITM on the S&P 500.

Since all I had was a promise given to me through chat by Phil Bennett, and not a real guarantee that is legally loophole proof, I had to absorb the $10,400 loss as well, but as I told Phil Bennett, the least I can do in return is to warn others that behind OptionsXpress nice graphical user interface is a system that is buggy, and should one sustain significant damage because of it, one will find a management team that not only won't accept responsibility for this system irregularity, but will try to show through all kinds of sophistries that one hasn't sustained any damage because of said system irregularity in the first place so any assurances given to the customer in regards to recovery for such a loss from OptionsXpress don't even apply!

Bernard L., MCP, CPA


P.S. Those six letters after my name indicate that I am an Investigative System CPA. It was my job to detect fraud, and catch con artists as they were engaging in their criminal acts, but I was taken by the OptionsXpress Management Team of Con Artists before I even knew what hit me. That's ok because if con artists mess with the wrong people they get back much more than they bargained for in the long term.

In any case, I suggest that if you have any dealings with this firm then head for the nearest exit methaporically speaking. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Financial con artists are generally good at what they do, and some are so good at what they do that they up ripping off the public of millions of dollars legally.

I searched the Ripoff Report database, and found out that I had the honor of being the first person to write a ripoff report on OptionsXpress. The company only got started in 2000 so we have to wait a little longer before you know what hits the fan. However, one of their principal business partners is Optionetics, and there are a multitude of complaints against them here regarding their fraudulent sales techniques of selling very expensive options seminars with the promise of making to the marks (often senior citizens) very good money trading options once one has absorbed these Optionetics techniques of trading options. All of this information can be found in a $20 introductory book on options, and better yet one can go to one's library and pick up 2 good books on options and not even spend a penny.

The hard truth if one asks any honest professional trader of options is that around 95% of independent (those that trade only with their own capital) off floor options traders lose money over the long term. It is easier to get into M.I.T. and Harvard than to be a successful off floor options trader over the long term. I should know because I was at M.I.T., and this work in the six years that I have been doing it seems to always find new ways to challenge me so far.

Practical trading strategies that work are not found in options books or at a broker swindler like OptionsXpress or its elder brother in the options con game, Optionetics. They are the original inventions of the traders that utilize them, and they are highly guarded trade secrets because once a multitude of copy cats traders make use of a successful trading strategy the imbalance that existed in the markets and made that trading strategy successful is eliminated.

I don't want to end this post or report on a down note so if one is intrigued by options trading, and one has the necessary mathematical, computer, and financial training together with sufficient capital then one should give it a go. There isn't a job in the world where one has more independence or freedom than in this work, and one is beholden to no one. There are no supervisors and there are no clients. This doesn't mean that one isn't going to be working, and hanging out on the beach or in a bar socializing. I never had a job where I worked more or had more work than in this one, but I do the work on my terms. I don't have a boss breathing down my neck, clients wanting that their work should have been done yesterday, or having to show up to work when I really have nothing to do.

Outside of the academic, experience, and capital requirements for this work what I believe is absolutely necessary to be a successful options trader is to be an independent thinker, to have a keen eye for the most minutest details, and most important of all one has to live to fight whether it be a protracted mental struggle to find a solution to a fault in one's trading strategy or in teaching the management team of one's broker that there is such a thing as right and wrong in this world, and an appropriate punishment will be exacted for a crime committed by them if not by Positive Law then by Natural Law.

Bernard
New York, New York
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/14/2008 04:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/OptionsXpress-Online-Options-Stock-And-Futures-Brokers/Chicago-Illinois-60606/OptionsXpress-Online-Options-Stock-And-Futures-Brokers-How-To-Rob-Your-Customers-Without-317814. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

no suprise

AUTHOR: John Smith - (U.S.A.)

Happy hannauka boys!
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#2 Author of original report

Logical Fallacy of Ignoring the Subject by Diverting Attention -- Nice Try Tom!!

AUTHOR: Bernard laufer - (U.S.A.)

Tom of Arlington, Virginia

The point of my reports is OptionsXpress Fraud and Embezzlement -- not my educational background.

You are obviously an OptionsXpress or Optionetics shill or a sleazy options broker looking for suckers (see the Four Biggest Mistakes in Options Trading by Jay Kaeppel -- "90% of options traders lose money in the long run." -- imo it is more like 95% for off floor traders that only make use of their own capital) if you are trying to discredit my reports with such tangents as to whether I graduated from M.I.T. or not.

I don't imply anything so don't put words in my mouth Tom. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Thank you for clarifying this point in regards to M.I.T. Sandiegosunriser.

I can provide written proof for everything I wrote in my reports or else OptionsXpress would most probably have already gone through and sued me for libel as they threatened to do so several months ago if I make this dispute public, but so far the only one that has had to fend off charges of criminality in regards to this fraud and embezzlement has been OptionsXpress and its executive management from a criminal SEC investigation request that I started against them, and they know for the crimes that they committed in this case I have many other sources to tie them up in knots as I stated in the e-mail posted on the Ripoff site to the OptionsXpress executive management team so even if I don't prevail in getting my money back because their lawyers know how to play the system they will lose more in resources for legal fees than the $10,400 they stole from me so they will not hold on to one dime of these ill gotten gains plus the bad publicity as a result of the crimes they committed against me will follow them forever.


Bernard L., MCP, CPA


P.S. Tom, I trade index options on a part time basis. I have my parents caregiving to keep me fully occupied. I am into algorithmic strategic trading which doesn't take much time once one has a profitable algorithm going (but does require daily monitoring and fine tuning now and then), but before I got into this work I was an Investigative Systems CPA in private CPA firms and NYC/NYS government agencies so OptionsXpress Executive Management Team couldn't have picked a worst person to defraud and embezzle assets off so I won't rest until I pay them back for their treachery in full plus interest!
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#3 Author of original report

Logical Fallacy of Ignoring the Subject by Diverting Attention -- Good Try Tom!!

AUTHOR: Bernard Laufer - (U.S.A.)

Tom of Arlington, Virginia

The point of my reports is OptionsXpress Fraud and Embezzlement -- not my educational background.

You are obviously an OptionsXpress or Optionetics shill or a sleazy options broker looking for suckers (see the Four Biggest Mistakes in Options Trading by Jay Kaeppel -- "90% of options traders lose money in the long run." -- imo it is more like 95%) if you are trying to discredit my reports with such tangents as to whether I graduated from M.I.T. or not.

I don't imply anything so don't put words in my mouth Tom. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Thank you for clarifying this point in regards to M.I.T. Sandiegosunriser.

I can provide written proof for everything I wrote in my reports or else OptionsXpress would most probably have already gone through and sued me for libel as they threatened to do so several months ago if I make this dispute public, but so far the only one that has had to fend off charges of criminality in regards to this fraud and embezzlement has been OptionsXpress and its executive management from a criminal SEC investigation request that I started against them, and they know for the crimes that they committed in this case I have many other sources to tie them up in knots as I stated in the e-mail posted on the Ripoff site to the OptionsXpress executive management team so even if I don't prevail in getting my money back because their lawyers know how to play the system they will lose more in resources for legal fees than the $10,400 they stole from me so they will not hold on to one dime of these ill gotten gains plus the bad publicity as a result of the crimes they committed against me will follow them forever.


Bernard L., MCP, CPA


P.S. Tom, I trade index options on a part time basis. I have my parents caregiving to keep me fully occupied. I am into algorithmic strategic trading which doesn't take much time once one has a profitable algorithm going (but does require daily monitoring and fine tuning now and then), but before I got into this work I was an Investigative Systems CPA in private CPA firms and NYC/NYS government agencies so OptionsXpress Executive Management Team couldn't have picked a worst person to defraud and embezzle assets off so I won't rest until I pay them back for their treachery in full plus interest!
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#4 Consumer Comment

MIT...?

AUTHOR: Sandiegosunriser - (U.S.A.)

I suggest you reread what Bernard wrote about MIT:

"It is easier to get into M.I.T. and Harvard than to be a successful off floor options trader over the long term. I should know because I was at M.I.T.,..."

Bernard did not write, nor did he imply, that he graduated from MIT.
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#5 Consumer Comment

You imply you graduated from MIT however my research finds only CUNY

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

You either didn't go to MIT or flunked out. Regardless, your attempt to imply that you graduated from MIT gives you very little credibility now. You surely implied it, a way of lying and giving yourself a plausible denial.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/5/83b/72b

Bernard Laufer's Experience
Index Options Trader
Bernard Laufer, MCP, CPA
(Investment Management industry)

City University of New York-Queens College
M.A., Computer Science, 1993 1995
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#6 Author of original report

OptionsXpress

AUTHOR: Bernard laufer - (U.S.A.)

From: "Bernard ----"
To: "Ned Bennett" ,
"Peter Bottini" ,
"Phil Bennett"

Subject: Last Chance Officers of OptionsXpress to Return the $10,400 Cash You Stole from Me or Face Positive and Natural Law Consequences

Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 06:38
Bernard ----, MCP, CPA
New York, New York
March 29, 2008

Mr. Ned Bennett, Executive Vice Chairman and Previous CEO of OptionsXpress
Mr. Peter Bottini, Executive Vice President of OptionsXpress
Mr. Philip Bennett, Executive Vice President of OptionsXpress
OptionsXpress Online Options, Stock & Futures Brokers
311 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, Illinois 60606


Gentlemen:

Re: Very Late SPX Contingent Order Activation on 01/22/08 apparently(?) by OptionsXpress System Irregularity


There is no point in hashing this matter out again. We did that already through 23 e-mails so we both know where things stand in regard to this issue.

I have decided to give you one last chance to return the $10,400 you defrauded me of before I stop playing around, and seriously pursue you on a protracted basis if I may take the liberty of piercing of OptionsXpress' corporate veil by making complaints with the SEC, FINRA, NASD, Illinois Attorney General's Office, FTC, etc., and make this fraud public on complaint sites, and on various investing and trading forums so it will be common knowledge from one end of the Internet to the other.

I have the OptionsXpress e-mails regarding this matter, and other OptionsXpress records to substantiate this complaint against OptionsXpress, and I have absolutely no qualms in releasing this information to the various investing and trading forums, government agencies, securities regulating bodies, and sundry complaint sites.

To prove to you that I mean what say, contact your lackeys at Optionetics and ask them about the posts I made on their broker forum from March 2, 2008 to March 14, 2008. The topic was titled "OptionsXpress Contingent Order Fiasco," and contained similar information to the complaint I made against OptionsXpress at the Ripoff Report site which I appended at the end of this e-mail, and is available online at http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/317/RipOff0317814.htm by the descriptive title OptionsXpress -- How To Rob Your Customers Without Any Legal Repercussions. You had at least one shill there as well so he should have filled you in. He infuriated me by repeating your sophistries, and as I was about to release the e-mails on this matter, as a result of his baiting, indicating your deceit the Optionetics sycophants came to your aid, and deleted every post I made. But not before something like 350 different pairs of eyes saw this heated controversy.

Should your shill or shills have engaged me in the first place? People just love to come out and observe when two sides are fighting. On the other hand, to leave my post unchallenged would have also been bad for you guys as the officers of OptionsXpress. You have a dilemma here which you can easily solve by returning the $10,400 you stole from me.

How much do you figure this airing of dirty laundry had an effect on your reputation in the eyes of OptionsXpress traders or potential OptionsXpress traders, and the actual dollar loss in potential OptionsXpress traders deciding to choose another broker after reading how OptionsXpress cheated one of its active traders of six years, as well as current OptionsXpress traders after reading this topic and fearing that what happened to me may happen to them as well so maybe they should start looking for another broker?

You guys can't do what you did to me without taking a hit that will be several multiples of the $10,400 once this complaint is spread far and wide even if OptionsXpress has the nicest, most user-friendly, intuitive graphical user interface, and a host of other bells and whistles that make trading easy and pleasant. If you lose the trust of your customers it is all for naught. And don't forget that I am not the only guy out there that has a gripe against OptionsXpress so once my complaints against OptionsXpress start to appear all the over the place you may experience a chain reaction of complaints against OptionsXpress as is the case with Optionetics so that they are well known in the options community as options scam artists.

What happened at Optionetics is now water under the bridge, but I have the ability to update the OptionsXpress Ripoff Report, and state that after some hesitation you did return the $10,400 to me so you will salvage your reputation there as well as on the Web (google "OptionsXpress Online").

If I don't receive a positive reply from you by Monday, March 31, 2008, I will assume that you are steadfast in this theft, and initiate further actions against OptionsXpress as stated above to prove to you that committing monetary crimes against certain people is a very poor business decision.

Sincerely,
Bernard -------
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