Bulls On Wall Street
Owner of company makes outrageous claims that, “Over the last 10 years, I have made millions trading stocks”. However, absolutely no proof exists and owner of company refuses to show proof. Owner of company is touting an unregistered broker/dealer operation that is in clear violation of existing US securities laws, and is a clear and imminent target of the SEC. Former insider and sales manager of company (2 years) came forth and told the real story about company, “its nothing more than an educational mill that prey’s on the naive and churns out nothing but failed traders”.
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Bulls On Wall Street is a day trading educational company that was founded in 2009 by Kunal Desai. The company offers two primary trading products. The first is a “boot camp” type educational course at a cost of $2,850. The course is considered a foundational course that teaches the basics of day trading stocks. The second product offering is a broker dealer offering under the name: CliqueFund. What exactly is CliqueFund? CliqueFund is a quasi broker dealer not dissimilar to an ordinary stock broker like TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers. CliqueFund accepts client deposits into a personal trading account that is at the majority control of Kunal Desai. These client funds are pooled together into a single trading account. This account is then used to partition out portions of the account to aspiring day traders.
Why is CliqueFund pooling together customer funds? Quite simply, there is regulation in place that specifically prohibits accounts with less than $25k from making more than 4 day trades per week. In addition to restricting the amount of trades that a small account can place during the week, there are also rules in place that severely restrict the amount of leverage that these small account holders can access. The typical amount is 2/1 leverage. BullsOnWallStreet has devised a clever mechanism that specifically circumvents long standing securities laws. Specifically, how do they circumvent? In order to become a part of the BullsOnWallStreet “CliqueFund”, a person must first purchase the $2,850 educational boot camp. Once the person has purchased the boot camp, they are then admitted into CliqueFund. However, once they are admitted, they must immediately deposit an additional amount of $2,500 to $10,000. Once the deposit has been made in Kunal Desai’s trading account, they are then able to day trade with a margin amount of $25,000 to $200,000.
There are other costs associated with being a member of CliqueFund. Each trader is charged $335 per month to be a member. In addition, the trader must pay a commission per trade of .0024 per share of stock. At the end of each month, the trader must also pay Kunal 10% of any earnings from their day trading.
It is important to note that any funds deposited into Kunal’s CliqueFund will not be returned to the depositor, at any time. In other words, if you deposit $2,500 with Kunal, then your account balance immediately begins draining to the tune of $11 per day. If you do not trade, then at the end of the month, the balance will be $2,165. It is also important to note that a person cannot withdraw any funds unless the account balance is above the original deposit amount.
What happens if a person runs the account balance down to $500? The account is closed and Kunal keeps the $500. What happens if a person deposits $5,000 into Kunal’s trading account and then one week later, they encounter an emergency and need their $5,000 returned to them? The money is forfeited to Kunal. Once the deposit money is given to Kunal, then the money is his to do with as he deems.
Can a person continue to deposit more money into Kunal’s trading account? Yes. Kunal describes continued deposits into his trading account as “re-education fee’s”. Kunal will always gladly accept your money into his trading account.
Is this legal?
BullsOnWallStreet likes to describe CliqueFund as a “hedge fund”, however in interviews with T3 Capital, which is a fully licensed and regulated prop trading firm located in the United States, they describe CliqueFund as an outrageous scheme that’s sole purpose is to flagrantly circumvent US securities laws meant to protect investors from outright thievery. T3 Capital describes these types of firms as fly by night operations that are doomed to failure. “Eventually, securities regulators at the SEC will take notice and shut them down”. T3 describes this situation not as a “IF they will be shut down” but as a “WHEN will they be shut down”.
In my experiences with writing this blog, I have also come across several of these unlicensed prop trading firms that also circumvented US securities laws by pooling together client funds. The results were not pretty for investors at the prop firm known as Nonko. They were accepting trading accounts and simply allowing people to trade only on a trading simulator. Most people never knew they were trading on a simulator until after I published my article the proved that trades were only in SIM mode. Nonko would simply keep their monies without ever placing their trades on an exchange. In the rare instance where a trader would actually make money, Nonko would simply refuse to pay the trader. After publishing my article, Nonko quickly pulled down all of their websites and disappeared. The situation was a real mess for a lot of folks, and a real learning experience for me. This experience also was my first interactions with SEC investigators where I was not the target, instead I was helping them.
One of the SEC investigators that I conversed with is now in private practice and we spoke by telephone about CliqueFund. I asked his opinion and he gave a hilarious response, “This CliqueFund is about as much a hedge fund as an ice cream sandwich”. And, “we have seen these schemes come and go, over and over, it amazes me that people continually get suckered into these schemes”.
The big problem with these unregistered broker dealers like CliqueFund is that once the SEC finally arrives to shut them down, the money simply disappears. Some fine examples would be Lake Street Trading, Broadstreet Trading, Juggernaught Trading, IBWorldwide Trading, Nonko, and Team Trading. All of these firms shut down overnight and all funds went missing. What does an SEC shut down actually look like? You would think that the SEC would show up like thugs and kick doors and flash badges, but this is usually not the case. The SEC simply sends a one page letter that warns the entity to “Cease and Desist” from accepting customer funds and that they need to become registered. The proprietors of these unregistered broker dealers simply close up shop and keep the money. Does the depositor or customer have any recourse? Nope. This is all considered a civil manner and the only path forward for deposit holders is to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. Of course, most people do not do this and the scammers move onto the next scam.
Is CliqueFund a scam? In my opinion, it is not a scam. Rather, it is more like a food truck that shows up at the football stadium on game day. The stadium officials (SEC, T3 Capital, etc) that are all abiding by the rules are pissed off because Kunal’s food truck just showed up, and he is selling hot dogs and beer for only $5. All of the underfunded folks are going to rush to buy the cheap dogs and beer, and of course the stadium officials want to keep folks paying $7 for a hot dog and $14 for a beer. Once the stadium officials find Kunal they tell him to beat it, and he does. Usually very quickly. And this is exactly how CliqueFund is going to disappear, a letter will arrive from the SEC to Kunal and he will simply shut down.
How long before the SEC shuts down CliqueFund? This of course is the million dollar question. Truthfully, nobody really knows when an SEC hit is about to take place. However, the louder and more aggressive the marketing of the unregistered broker dealer, the quicker the SEC moves. There are several of these broker dealer/pooled resources trading operations currently in existence and they have been able to remain intact for several years. Why? Because they stay ridiculously small and do not flagrantly advertise all over the internet. In fact, I have spoken to two separate trading groups that are currently pooling together resources and they were kind enough to give me open access on how these operations are set up. Both firms are very concerned with the size and scope of Kunal Desai’s CliqueFund. A good example would be the local pot dealer that grows a few plants in his back yard, and enjoys the bounty amongst a few friends. This type of activity is not going to bring the authorities. However, Kunal appears to be very aggressively and flamboyant about marketing his unregistered broker dealer. How aggressive and flamboyant? Very. So much so, that three separate trading educational firms are now aggressively pushing the scheme.
CliqueFund: BullsOnWallStreet, Fous Alerts, Lincoln List
Clique Fund is less than one year old. In terms of age, its a baby. However, it is currently being very aggresively marketed by not only BullsOnWallStreet, but also FousAlerts and The Lincoln List. Many of you are probably aware of my review of Fous Alerts. Its no secret that I have a high level of disdain for Cameron Fous of Fous Alerts. You can read all about Cameron Fous in the following review. In a nutshell, Cameron Fous is complete and total fraud that claims he makes millions of dollars each year day trading stocks, however no proof can ever be found or provided. To see Fous Alerts aggressively pushing this is a huge red flag. It is also outrageous that he touts this unregistered broker dealer all over his website and YouTube, which of course garners thousands of eyeballs.
The one thing that all three of these organizations have in common is that each of these organizations require that the trader spend about $3,000 in educational costs in order to be admitted into the CliqueFund. The educational costs serve as an entry fee.
What exactly is happening here?
Many readers might be wondering why I am spending so much time talking about CliqueFund, and not the educational product known as BullsOnWallStreet? Let me explain. The average person that purchases the BullsOnWallStreet, FousAlerts, Lincoln List day trading educational product is typically young, naive about financial products, and extremely underfunded. The typical person that gets caught up in these types of schemes is hoping to turn a few thousands dollars into new career as a full time day trader. These trading educators have tailored their educational products to specifically target this demographic by offering a supposed complete solution to become a full time professional day trader.
The average person that falls for the pitch usually has no more than $5k in cash that they are able to scrape together through savings and credit cards. The primrose path of these educators is to entice the naive person into first spending $3,000 on the educational product, and that this educational product is the exact knowledge that they will need to become a full time day trader. In addition, they offer a live day trading room experience that gives the impression that once a person obtains this wonderful secret day trading knowledge, that they will also be able to shadow trade the guru, and by proxy will be able to copy his success. The final piece of the puzzle is the supposition that a $2,500 deposit into Clique Fund, and the leverage to $25,000 is the capital that they will need to make their day trading dreams come true. Unfortunately, their eyes sparkle brightly towards the big round number of $25,000, but in reality they are only allowed to lose $2,000 of their own money.
The shadowy promise of 10-1 leverage is only a mirage of opportunity. It feels like you are getting a lot of money, but in reality you are only getting the ability to lose your $2,000 of your own money extremely fast. There is no possible way to lose beyond the deposit amount.
In its entirety, you can see the synergistic effect of all three components. The first is the secret day trading knowledge that the victim must acquire for $3k, the next is the live trading room that gives the impression that they can simply copy the guru and achieve success, and the third is the promise of massive leverage over a tiny trading account. All three components work together to create a very compelling fantasy.
What is the fantasy?
One thing that you will notice with BullsOnWallStreet and FousAlerts is that both make some bold and outrageous claims. For instance, in the following snippet that was taken from the BullsOnWallStreet website, notice how Kunal boldly claims that, “Over the last ten years I’ve made millions trading stocks.” Pretty bold claim! However, just try and ask for proof of this amazing trading success. I did. However, after several months of asking for proof, none has arrived and I expect none ever will.
Another thing that Kunal does is post supposed monthly profits he earned with his day trading. Some of these are borderline outrageous…and if not provable clearly demonstrate fraud. Why? Because all of these results must be accompanied with a disclaimer that states whether they are simulated or real. The lack of disclosures implies that these are real results. Have a look for yourself…all taken from Archive.Org. Notice the lack of disclosure.
These are just two of the quick snippets of the supposed amazing trading abilities of Kunal Desai. I recommend that readers have a look at Archive.Org and browse through his stated results pages. Amazing stuff folks. Month after month he claims $20k, 30k, 40k, 50k, etc. But where is the proof? Is it really too much to ask if any of this is real? Also, I believe most damning is that I could find absolutely zero losing months. By his own marketing magic, he seems to be the worlds most perfect day trader with no losing months. Heck, if I were making all of this money with amazing ease, then why sell my magic to the masses?
Of course, these amazing trading results are only part of the pornography that Kunal employs that create the fantasy image of his trading success and fantasy lifestyle. A look at the Bulls On Wall Street facebook page reveals Kunal driving around in convertible sports cars and travelling to exotic locations all over the world. All of this imagery is what I like to call “Trader Porn”. These images are meant to convey a sense of freedom, wealth, and fun. The idea behind these images is to convey that all of this wealth is possible through Kunal, and all you need is a lap top computer. You too can travel all over the world and make millions of dollars day trading and living the “baller” lifestyle. Have a look at some of the images…
So what exactly are these images? What do they really mean? In a nutshell, these images are a Red Herring. They are nothing more than clever visual distraction that are meant to divert your attention away from suspicion. All of these images are pure theater, well scripted image candy. Any rational person would look at this Kunal person and ask the following rational questions…Question #1: Does this Kunal guy trade? And to what degree of success or failure? By learning this, we can evaluate whether his teaching is worthy of time and investment. Question #2: How are his students performing inside of the “CliqueFund”? Are they profitable, are people making money? This is another clue as to whether we should participate. The truth is that I do not really know if Kunal has really made millions of dollars trading, as he claims. He could provide me proof, and the tone and tenor of this review would be quite different. However, he simply refuses to verify his amazing claims of day trading success. So, I am only left with collecting evidence, wherever I can find it. Sometimes evidence pops up in the strangest places.
Conversations with an insider
On the first week of January 2016, I began to receive a string of emails from a random person that said that I really needed to write a review of Bulls On Wall Street. After a few back and forth emails, I was able to establish that the person in question was the former sales manager at Bulls On Wall Street. Apparently, this person (whom prefers to remain anonymous) had quite a story to tell. The following is the email that I received from the insider on January 8th, 2016.
I would prefer everything that I tell you to remain anonymous. Obviously I need a motive for coming to you, right? Basically, it is this. I used to work for them (Bulls On Wall Street) after being a student of theirs and got left high and dry. Kunal has no regards for his “employees”, much less his students. I can tell you how the bootcamp works, their costs, how to pay virtually nothing for it, the setup, and who Kunal really is as a person. I can tell you that he doesn’t have one successful student out there floating around and that Maribeth doesn’t even trade anymore for 2 reasons: she is too busy trying to hustle in students for the bootcamp and chatroom and she can’t trade profitably anymore.You want to now how profitable Kunal really is trading? I can fill you in on everything from his fake trades to his so-called screenshare not being real-time. I also know the ins and outs on Clique and that it is set up illegally, acting as a hedge fund when it should really be setup as a prop firm and that I never saw one profitable trader in that fund.What is your motive behind all of this? I can give you tons of details to write probably one of the best reviews you have but I’m just curious. Also, you have made a name for yourself within the trading community and Bulls was scared of what you would find out if you kept prying. Are you here to just write reviews to help the trading community? Is there any money for you in it? Trust me, I’m not looking for anything on you…just want to know how to go about it!
After I received this email, I was quite intrigued and certainly needed to authenticate that the identity of this person before I published or spoke with this person further. My next step was to contact a former subscriber as well as cleverly speak with the current sales manager at BullsOnWallStreet to authenticate that this person was the real deal. After I was able to pin down the identity of the person, I next initiated a telephone call to the former sales manager. What he told me was very interesting.
Telephone call from the insider
On January 9th, 2015 I recorded a telephone call that lasted approximately 30 minutes in length. The person in question described themselves as an employee of nearly 2 years of Kunal Desai. He had recently left the company and needed to talk. My first question was why? And why now? The person described their journey as beginning like any other student, with so much hope of becoming a full time professional day trader. He placed all of his trust and faith in Kunal and truly believed that he was a good person. Eventually, at some point in 2014, Kunal offered him a job selling mentorship packages to the approximately 200 leads that were coming in monthly.
At first, he enjoyed the money. But after awhile it became apparent that nobody was making any money from trading (including the instructors), rather all of the monies were from selling trading mentorship packages to the general public. The sole and entire focus of the organization is to paint this fantasy of how much a person can make, and then ultimitely pitch the $3,000 educational package. The vast majority of these people were total newbies and have no idea what they are getting themselves into. Selling this fantasy was too easy.
Eventually, at some point he began to really question what he was doing. That nagging drumbeat of his conscious began to grow louder and louder. When we are young and just trying to survive, its easy to put aside the goodness that all humans innately carry. We sacrifice it in the name of survival. But as we grow older, we learn that the nagging conscious is warning us of the uglyness that is slowly consuming our soul. This is exactly what happened to this young person. At some point, the money was just not worth it anylonger. How many lies can a person tell, day after day, and continue to function? I certainly know how he feels. I took the ugly path for many years, all in the name of money. Always trying to pile on more money, in hopes that it would fill the growing black hole that was my soul.
For this young person, the final straw that threw him over the edge was when he got to see exactly what Kunal was earning from his supposed amazing day trading abilities…for 2015 he could only verify that Kunal had earned only a very paltry sum from his trading. He was shocked. At that point, he knew it was over. He could no longer sell the lie and live with himself.
Coming clean is painful
The insider that helped me craft this review, it took a tremendous amount of courage for this person to come forward. Some of the readers might be tempted to lash out and say that this person is no better than Kunal Desai. For he did sell the product for nearly two years, and surely a tremendous amount of people got taken in. Some readers might also be thinking that this is just a disgruntled ex employee with an ax to grind. I am sure that there is a small amount of truth at every angle of the argument. However, my message to this person that came clean is very simple…you are a decent human being. You have probably saved countless others from falling into the fantasy trap that Kunal is so adept at constructing. And you probably feel like I might of said too much about what we talked about over the telephone. However, what you said was your truth, and it needed to be told. It took a lot of courage and I am sure that the trading community appreciates what you have done.
Wrapping Things Up
I am sure that there are going to be a tremendous amount of people that are going to feel betrayed by BullsOnWallStreet. And there are also going to be quite a few people that are going to feel that their trading guru, Kenal Desai has been wronged by this review. However, I believe that overall, now that all of the evidence has been weighed and the former sales manager came forth to tell the inside story…the evidence clearly points toward BullsOnWallStreet being yet another scam operation. An operation where the guru himself, which has claimed to make millions of dollars day trading, simply cannot prove his claims of million dollar trading profits. Furthermore, his disdain for existing securities laws, however unpopular gives a sense into his character. For if he is willing to flagrantly circumvent US securities regulations, then he is probably willing to also take advantage of the people that have placed their hopes and dreams in his trading program.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading this review, it was a long one. And please leave your comments below. Even the haters and trolls will find that their voices will be heard.