Thanks for reading today’s update of SchoolOfTrade.com and SidewaysMarkets.com
On November 22, 2015, TradingSchools.Org published a negative review of SchoolOfTrade.com and SidewaysMarkets.com.
The review was direct, concise, biting, and downright nasty. Over a 3-month investigation period, TradingSchools.Org recorded dozens of hours of highly questionable activity within the “live trading room” and interacted with many individuals that had been allegedly scammed by SchoolOfTrade.com and SidewaysMarkets.com.
The response from SchoolOfTrade.com/SidewaysMarkets.com was predictable. The owners of the company claimed extortion by TradingSchools.Org. That they were being threatened with a negative review unless they paid a fee. That they were the victim. And they refused to pay, “out of principle, courage, morality, and a sense of justice.” Some individuals quickly came to their defense and posted highly complimentary comments of SchoolOfTrade/SidewaysMarkets on the TradingSchools.org blog. However, the overwhelming majority of comments came from individuals that had experienced extremely negative results.
Many of the individuals that were interviewed by TradingSchools.Org also took the additional step of registering a complaint with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The CFTC responds
It appears that the cluster of complaints from various individuals triggered an official investigation by the CFTC. What the CFTC uncovered was shocking. The following is a list of bullet points from the official investigation:
- The owners of the company were using fake names. There is no Joseph James, or Meghan James. The real owners of the company are a husband and wife team named Joseph Dufresne and Megan Renkow. Currently residing at 1521 Addison Road, Palos Verdes Estates, Ca 90274.
- Since 2011, the company has sold at least $2.776 million dollars of trading educational materials and live trading room memberships.
- June 2016 through April 2016, the company was averaging $60k per month in sales volume.
- The company claimed that purchasers of the $4,999 educational package could expect to recoup those costs within an average of 16 trading days, by simply following the live trades within the trading room.
- Joseph Dufresne claimed to have started trading in the year 2000. And after 3 years of successful trading, he opened his first hedge fund in 2003. Claimed to be a “Professional Day Trader” at Vantage Capital Advisors LLC in Los Angeles since 2000.
- Claimed to have received an award, “Trader of the Year” in 2001; and was named “Top 30 under 30” by Professional Trader Monthly in 2006.
The CFTC discovered that all of Joseph Dufresne and Meghan Minkow’s claims of performance history were fraudulent, the employment history and hedge funds claims were bogus, and no awards were ever issued.
Furthermore, the CFTC discovered that prior to September 2007, Joseph Dufresne had no trading experience whatsoever.
Prior to September 2007, through 1999, that Dufresne worked as a maintenance worker at a country club, worked the front desk at a fitness center, a student worker at Arizona State University, and a salesman at various mortgage companies. In fact, from November 2007 through October 2008, Dufresne was altogether unemployed.
The CFTC also discovered that Dufresne had been incarcerated for 6-months in 2005, a felony conviction for attempting to sell narcotics in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Joseph Dufresne Trading Performance
Joseph Dufresne claimed to be a hugely profitable day trader. The CFTC discovered that Joseph Dufresne was a terrible day trader. In fact, in a review of his trading records, the CFTC discovered that between September 2007 and April 2016, that Joseph Dufresne was a complete and total failure at trading. His total net losses were over $119k.
A deeper review of his trading records revealed that from December 9, 2014, through July 20, 2015, Dufresne had not placed a single live trade. Yet, his daily marketing materials claimed that he was consistently profitable. During the TradingSchools.Org investigation, we discovered that Joseph Dufresne was using the following spreadsheet as proof of supposed performance. Notice the claims of nearly $500k profits for 2014.
The CFTC’s investigation revealed that Dufresne claimed the following, real money results to purchasers of his trading products:
- 2011, $411,715
- 2012, $433,861
- 2013, $491,145
- 2014, $626,864
- 2015, $716,104
All of these claims of profits were fraudulent.
The big question that readers should be asking, how did this douche-bag double-team, Joseph Dufresne and his wife Megan Renkow pull off this scam? Did they spend massive amounts of money on Google advertising? Did they advertise on AM radio or direct mail? Nope.
The root of SchoolOfTrade.com/SidewaysMarkets.com can be traced back to the earliest promotional efforts of NinjaTrader Brokerage/Ecosystem. In fact, for several years, NinjaTrader Brokerage/Ecosystem was the feature promoter for SchoolOfTrade.com/SidewaysMarkets.com.
Ninjatrader Brokerage/Ecosystem exposed their prospective customers, numbering the thousands, directly into the arms of these scam artists.
Some readers might be thinking to themselves…”Oh, there he goes again, picking on NinjaTrader”. Maybe I am being unfair. But in the past 2+ years of writing reviews of trading educators, the reoccurring theme is that the overwhelming majority of trading scams are originating from the direct promotional efforts of NinjaTrader Broker/Ecosystem. Sorry folks. But that is just the reality.
Until someone starts calling out NinjaTrader Ecosystem/Brokerage, they are going to continue with their terribly irresponsible promotionalal behavior.
Thanks for reading. And for those that like to get into the nitty-gritty details of the CFTC investigation…the following is the court filing:SchoolOfTrade/SidewaysMarkets