Report: #1053998

Complaint Review: TD Ameritrade Inc./Red Options

  • Submitted: Sun, May 26, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, April 25, 2014
  • Reported By: Mat — Redding California
  • TD Ameritrade Inc./Red Options
    4211 S. 102nd St., Omaha, NE 68127
    Omaha, Nebraska

TD Ameritrade Inc./ Red Options Misled me to believe investing in Options Calls/Puts and using "Red Options team" was right for me Omaha Nebraska

*Author of original report: Red Options legally ROBBED YOU TOO ?!

*Consumer Comment: 10K to $600 Fast

*Author of original report: Case / Situation Update

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

On November 20, 2012 I decided to open a second account, ...........709, at TD Ameritrade with enough cash so that the “Red Options” Team, 877-733-6786, can use their three different investment strategies which were: “Iron Condor” with me allocating $5000, “Vertical Calendar” with me allocating $2000 and “Index Calendar” with me allocating $2000. TD Ameritrade referred me to the Red Options team. Red Options is owned by TD Ameritrade Inc.. I was told by a TD Ameritrade representative that the Red Options team watch and manage the investments every day and that it is an investing system with a different approach to investing using Option calls and puts. I had never heard of this type of investing and was very curious and wondering if I should have the Red Options team invest my money into calls and puts for me in their managed account program. I was willing and did set the risk tolerance level to about six or seven referring to a scale from 1 to 10 and 10 being the most extremely risky. I had no intentions of being invested at an extremely high risk level. Instead I chose a little bit higher than the midrange of the risk levels I had to choose from.

But, before I invest any of my money into a investment team or entity I do everything I can and ask all the questions I can imagine to cover as much aspects and details to make sure I do the right thing with my money and don't end up in a situation where I lose thousands of dollars which has happened in this situation by trusting and being led to believe that that Red Options team AND investing into options is something for me to do or not do with my money. So, before I allowed Red Options to begin investing my money I spoke with Sean (or Shawn, not sure exactly how his name is spelled) for about an hour and a half on the phone trying to figure if investing into Options calls or puts is something for me and something I'm willing to do. Sean is Red Option’s representative who was trying to help me with my questions and concerns to help me understand about investing into options, puts, or calls. I told Sean I don't know anything about that type of investing. Sean asked me if I would like to pick and choose my own calls, puts and learn how to invest into those myself. I said I don't know anything about that type of investment and said I would rather let your team do the investing.                                                                  

During the 1.5 hour conversation with Sean, before I allowed them to invest my money, I was only told that this type of investing was “risky” and never told or led to understand how EXTREMELY risky with the possibility of losing thousands of dollars in account value before possibly going back up again in value it is while investing into options. I was never told by Sean that my invested cash value could drop down as much as six or even $12,000 before going back up in value. I was only told about this by Chris, whom is the manager act Red Options team, after I saw my account value had dropped $5000 and called to complain in shock about what I was not made aware of and what could happen to the account value.  Chris at that time told me my account value could even drop as much as $12,000 in total before those calls or puts would go back into cash at the end of their investment time frame.

If I had been told by Sean what I should have been told I would never have taken that chance on investing into options. Well, guess what happened within the first month and a half? The account value dropped more than $5000! And I was extremely shocked and angry that the possibility of this happening was not explained to me.  If Sean had explained this to me correctly I would never allow the ”Red Option” team to invest one dollar of my money!

Sean also did not explain to me how when after purchasing calls or puts and if and when the cash value of those drops a noticeable amount the value of those calls or puts usually never go back to the original value of the initial cash investment or purchase price. In other words when those cash values drop they usually never come back up to where they started at. Again, if Sean was able or willing to let me know about this I, again, would never have invested my money into calls/puts investing!

During that hour and a half conversation with Sean I asked him how many customers did Red Options have which would help me determine how popular and liked their investment strategies have been to other customers. And the amount of customers would help indicate to me how good the Red Options team really is. Sean told me they only had a few hundred customers. I asked Sean why do you only have a few hundred customers?  Sean told me the reason was because they do not advertise and get their new customers by word-of-mouth, customers referring other potential customers to them. Sean also told me it's also because they are “new at TD Ameritrade” which led me to believe and understand that it is a new investment team and they're just getting started. But, I later found out that the Red Options team had been investing for their customers for over 10 years! Again, if I had been explained properly about these details I would never have invested a single dollar into that investment team because they only had a few hundred customers after 10 years of investing! I am not an idiot and I would never have allowed my money to be invested into the Red Option investment team nor into any calls or puts, ever! I was completely misled and not told all the information that I should've been told to help me evaluate if Red Options was a proper place to invest my money which it apparently is absolutely not!!  And those recorded conversations I had with Sean and Chris will help everyone understand how I was misled and/or not explained properly what I should have been told before I made my decision where to invest or not to invest my money regarding Option calls, puts and TD Ameritrade's Red Option investment team.

Also, I really don't know who's responsible for this which I am going to mention now. I never was told or led to understand how expensive it is to order or purchase these calls and puts. After I noticed how much my account value had dropped after only 45 days I noticed that TD Ameritrade charged me over $900 for the calls or put purchases or trade orders for 30 different calls or puts investments! If I was made aware that it would cost me about $1000 just to purchase these calls or puts I AGAIN would have NEVER invested my money that way.

Who, in a normal state of mind, would ever: invest into a investment plan which would cost about $1000 in trade purchases every two or three months; allow their investment cash value to go down significantly and then not have the account return to the beginning investment amount during those calls adjustment value changes; would ever trust in a investment team or group which only had a few hundred customers in the last 10 years of doing investments, or allow their money to be invested into Options.  I NOW UNDERSTAND IT IS TOO RISKY FOR ME TO INVEST MY MONEY IN OPTIONS AT ANY SET RISK FACTOR LEVEL AND IF I WAS EXPLAINED PROPERLY ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW BY SEAN BEFORE INVESTING MY MONEY I WOULD NEVER HAVE INVESTED A SINGLE DOLLAR INTO ANY CALLS OR PUTS ACTIONS.


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#1 Author of original report

Red Options legally ROBBED YOU TOO ?!

AUTHOR: original complaint author - ()

Please supply more details.

When was it you trusted Red Option to invest your $10,000 into options?

What type of options were they?

Who was it you spoke to at Red Option and convince you to let them invest into options for you?

Did you call Dan Pilmier the "Client Negotiator" 408-970-7558 at TD Ameritrade and tell him about your experiences with the Red Option salesman and the shocking amount of your Money lost due to their poor investment strategy and market going up or down guess work yet?

Did the Red Option Team's poor investment strategy and using the options THEY chose to invest for you cause you to lose approximately $9400 as you stated?

I hope you understand why I'm asking you these questions. It is important that enough details are given so that other investors understand more and why they should NOT trust investing any money into TD Ameritrade's Red Option Team or do any business with TD Ameritrade because of thier very poor corporate decisions and approval of the worst financial investment managed system they own to supposedly help their existing TD Ameritrade customers.

Still, apparently, TD Ameritrade has taken no action and have no plans on firing Shawn Cruz for him lying and misleading TD Ameritrade's customers, like myself and others. Nor does TD Ameritrade plan on no longer referring its customers to the Red Option team which means more customers will be lied to, misinformed of the true realities of their inability to invest into options and predict the market movements during those option purchases.

Also, the Red Option team needs to take education courses on how to invest into options more safely than they believe they know how to, which they don't!

And if the Red Option Team or TD Ameritrade's "Client Negotiator" Dan Pilmier would like to know how to invest into options more safely for its customers I will be glad to give the phone number for the company that taught me how to invest into options using safer strategies when purchasing options during a rather volatile market as it is now and as it was at the beginning of last year when the Red Option Team THOUGHT they knew how to invest my money into the options they chose to invest for me.

I chose an allocation of just above midrange regarding risk. The Red Option Team chose the type of options and how to place the trades. I trusted them to make the right decisions because I knew nothing about how to invest into options properly. Now there are customers losing thousands and thousands of dollars continuously!


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#2 Consumer Comment

10K to $600 Fast

AUTHOR: wordtothewise - ()

Red Option turned my 10K account into approx $600 in just a few months.  PLEASE check thoroughly if this "service" is suitable for you.

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#3 Author of original report

Case / Situation Update

AUTHOR: Investors fool me not - ()

    About a year ago I decided to send this issue to Finra, case # 13-01094, and see if they could verify I was lied to and misled by Shawn Cruz AND my money was improperly invested by the investment team at Red Option which is owned by TD Ameritrade Inc. Finra’s job is to try to verify the public customers have not been mistreated and abused in any way regarding investment services provided to the customer, me for example. The issues I brought up to Finra to investigate were:

  1.  Being lied to by Shawn Cruz at Red Option team and misled to believe the Red Option team was good at investing into options for TD Ameritrade customers, which they were apparently not with my money.


  2. Through poor investments the Red Option team made for me I lost $6300 in the first 45 to 60 days of their team investing my $12,000 into three different type of options.


  3.  Red Option team decided by themselves that the stock market would be going down but instead the stock market went up therefore proving they had no idea what they were doing.


  4. Red Option team did not use any risk management procedures when they purchase the options which I later learned after I spent $5000 on an education program telling me how to invest into options properly which showed me how to invest without losing thousands and thousands of dollars as the so-called good Red Option team lost for me due to poor investment techniques


  5. Shawn Cruz lied and misled to me how long Red Option had been in business and investing for their customers. Shawn Cruz told me on the phone in the month of November 2012 before I decided to give my money to them to invest for me, that they only had a few hundred customers because they were new at TD Ameritrade. Which they were new at TD Ameritrade because TD Ameritrade just purchased them a few months prior to our phone conversation which was in November 2012 which I was not aware of at the time. Shawn Cruz lied to me because he told me they only have a few hundred customers because they are new at TD Ameritrade and they don't advertise for new customers which led me to assume a brand-new company with only a few hundred customers made sense to me. BUT, THE FACT WAS Red Option team had been in business for 10 years, again 10 years! Nobody out there in the amateur or professional investment world, including myself, would ever trust a company to invest $12,000 into options when they only had a few hundred customers after being in business for 10 years! Again, Shawn Cruz lied to me and misled me to trusting them where as if I was told all the facts during that one and a half hour conversation I would never have given them any of my money. And what's worse is TD Ameritrade still owns Red Option team and still employs Shawn Cruz at 773-244-4288 or 800-934-4448, press #8, then enter ext. 209239.

       On 2-27-14 the Finra arbitrator Mr. Frost decided and declined my arbitration case award/repayment of the $6300 loss against TD Ameritrade Inc.

      The reason I did NOT win the case against Shawn Cruz, Red Option team and TD Ameritrade is because I could not obtain the proper telephone call recordings or records proving the one and a half hour conversation took place with Mr. Cruz in the month of November of 2012. And Mr. Cruz would NOT be honest and tell the truth or was told not to say anything about it to anybody just so they all could conspire against me AND Finra, whose only job is to try and find the truth, which they failed to do. Mr. Cruz, Red Option team and TD Ameritrade did not want to have to admit their wrongdoing. They ALL wanted to make this issue fade away as though it never happened or took place and not have to reimburse my $6300 financial loss due to Mr. Cruz's lies and deceit and the unprofessional investment abilities of the Red Option team which is owned by TD Ameritrade.

      TD Ameritrade's lawyer Mason supplied a phone records list for the month of November 2012 which is one of the phone systems Mr. Cruz had used while talking to some of his customers. But, obviously, that was not the phone number I spoke to Mr. Cruz on during that month of November 2012. I was not sure which phone number I called when I spoke to Mr. Cruz. I had only used two different phone numbers when communicating with the Red Option team. The second number was the TD Ameritrade's 800 service number I had called where I was transferred to Mr. Cruz.

      So, the hour and a half long recorded conversation OR  records showing the call took place can be retrieved from their databank because large corporations like TD Ameritrade always make sure they record all conversations going through their systems for liability issues. Apparently, TD Ameritrade/attorney Mason will not release those records because it will only help me and hurt them and cause them to lose the arbitration against them forcing them to reimburse my $6300 loss due to their incompetent, lying, misleading and unreliable Red Option team representative Shawn Cruz and the Red Options team's ability to properly invest into options for their customers like myself.

       If TD Ameritrade had decided to work with me and Finra to resolve the issue FAIRLY AND PROPERLY they would have released the recorded phone call that took place which would prove every single thing I said above was true. But, TD Ameritrade including Dan Pilmier, TD Ameritrade's “client negotiator” at 408-970-7558 had decided NOT to work with me and covered up the evidence, phone call which would prove I was right and I should have been awarded the $6300 I lost due to all the reasons I listed above.

  Then, on 12-24-13 attorney Mason sends Finra and I an e-mail with this statement:

, Respondent (TD Ameritrade) renews its prior statement that it does not agree to an extension of time for discovery beyond Claimant’s telephone records and asserts that Claimant’s request for additional information regarding its records is improper and burdensome.

 Thank you for your attention to this matter.




Hollie Mason attorney for TD Ameritrade


 What is so “improper and burdensome” about allowing more information to be submitted to help resolve this issue fairly and peacefully?


Does everyone see the game they play? These are the so-called trusted corporate individuals that manage your money and then when they screw up and cause you to lose thousands and thousands of dollars in losses due to THEIR POOR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES and THEIR MISLEADING AND LYING PERSONNEL ADVISORS they play this attorney game by first saying “yes we have no problem allowing claimant more time to acquire phone records” then, the next e-mail refuses to allow me more time AND TD Ameritrade's assistance in getting the additional phone records to prove my case against Shawn Cruz, Red Option team and TD Ameritrade Inc.

  If I had said something extremely threatening during that hour and a half conversation with Shawn Cruz in the month of November 2012 rest assured TD Ameritrade would be able to find the phone call recording. But, the bastards, thieves and con artists at TD Ameritrade corporate level decided to win the case against them by simply refusing to release the phone call records!

 And to add major insult to injury against me TV Ameritrade attorney Mason at 402-574-6041 told me they're going to file papers and force me to pay for their attorney costs defending TD Ameritrade against my accusations. They are not just my accusations, they are actual facts! I find it extremely difficult to accept a $6300 loss through their poor investments of my money and now I'm expected to psychologically handle and tolerate being ‘raped” for more thousands of dollars when I was only trying to prove Shawn Cruz incorrectly led me to believe investing into his Red Option team and the type of options without any safety precautions during the option trade purchases to prevent from too much financial loss.

  I would like to again thank this website for allowing me to share with the world my horrible experiences with TD Ameritrade corporate personnel and Shawn Cruz at Red Option team. Their phone numbers have been listed. Feel free to call them and discuss any issue you would like to with them because I'm sure they would like to get some feedback from their existing customers and their new customers on how they treat their customers, as they did to me.

 If anyone would like to ask me some questions directly at this website I will answer them ASAP.


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