Monday, July 09, 2012


In what appears to be possibly a more devious scheme than MF Global with smaller amounts of money, PFG was locked down by the Feds today. It appears that there is virtually no money left in the segregated funds, and they falsified those balances to meet regulatory requirements for the past several years. You can read the NFA complaint on the web, it is everywhere, which gives specifics on this. I had the majority of my money there and it is apparently now all gone. I believe SIPC will reimburse some of it, but far below my balances. I am basically screwed, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been taken from me it appears, that I will never see again.

I do not have any idea how all of this will be resolved, and I will report what I learn in here when I learn it. For now it is time to look out for my family as I am going to have to make some significant life changes to get through this. I have taken a huge hit here.

In this instance this appears to be more egregious than the Man situation because of the incredibly low balances in the segregated accounts. It appears that instead of $400 Million, they have $5 Million. I have no idea what the government intends to do about any of this, but on the heels of the Man situation, there may well be people who moved to PFG from Man, who got double dipped here.

I am going to have to cut back so much in my life for a period of time until I can rebuild, that I may not be posting much here. I really have to give all my focus to trading, to get back what I have had taken away here. I guess my first goal has to be to make back what they have stolen from me, once I have done that I can get on with things again.

Best wishes to all my readers, and I will still be here just not posting every day until I can get my life back together here. I do have my ability to trade profitably, they have not taken that away from me.

Once I have updates on this situation I will post them here.


Anonymous said...

Oh no. It is times like this that you realize how little everyone's sympathy and condolences really help. I have no idea what we would do if this happened to us. It helps nothing to say that I am sorry to hear it. But I am. You can't really know anyone from a blog, but as far as I can know you from what you write, you seem to be decent, honest, and hard working. And the shame of it is, that if you were none of those things, the government would be rushing in to help you with tax money taken from someone who did work hard. Society's parasites are on tax-funded life support. Society's workers who really did just draw a bad hand are on their own. My condolences.

Robert said...


Just went through all of this with MF Global---I ended up with most of my money back but it took almost 6 months of fighting with the Trustee and the lawyers.
All i can tell you is to bug the hell out of the trustee and his group of attorneys .
What helped me the most was the press--the WSJ did a story on Mf and i was included in the article.After the article was published ,that's when i got my money back...The power of the press.
See what happens and let me know ..i can give you the name of the person who did the story--he has many contacts and was the main reason i got my money back--
That jumping the gun --but expect a long battle---

Robert -your gold bug friend

sibeiho said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss Chris, but i am sure of all people you will be able to make a comeback with this..by the way i received an email from Larry saying it would be better if you do not liquidate your positions, as thereafter it would not be considered as cash positions with PFG.

sibeiho said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss Chris, but i am sure of all people you will be able to make a comeback with this..by the way i received an email from Larry saying it would be better if you do not liquidate your positions, as thereafter it would not be considered as cash positions with PFG.

Quantum Mechanic said...

I am sorry to hear this. I am also a fulltime trader. I can understand your situation well.

I wish you all the best in handling this kind of situation. Just to give moral and any financial support (if needed). Think positively.

Anonymous said...

hi Chris,

Very sorry to hear that from you. I always think that money is best kept at the big brokers such as Interactive Brokers or the like, I don't trust those small brokers with big money.

We like your regular posts about market are very timely and educational. Understand that you need time to sort things out and work harder get through this mess. Regards and look forward to your return to blogging.


Vikas said...

Cannot even imagine how you must be feeling right now Chris, all I can say is that I pray this mess gets resolved and everything works out for you and your family.

PJ Whiteley said...

I am so sorry about the theft. No one is safe from the big financial gangsters anymore,as they are never prosecuted and so get bolder and bolder.
Even if you rebuild, how can you protect yourself from another thief? The financial world is lawless now.

PJ Whiteley said...

I am so sorry about the theft. No one is safe from the big financial gangsters anymore,as they are never prosecuted and so get bolder and bolder.
Even if you rebuild, how can you protect yourself from another thief? The financial world is lawless now.

HT said...

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Hope you are able to recover everything very soon. I will miss your blog entries. Careful out there trading and best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I really feel for you. You indeed still have your trading skills and resilience to get back. Best of luck with your trading!!!

klh said...

Hi, Chris,

just heard about it - another terrible thing to happen to retail futures and my paranoia wonders if there isnt something driving all since Refco (JPM had the balances!). let's wait and hopefully you will be restituted more appropriately than you fear. I got an email from LW on this and he is apparently effected too.

good luck!

M said...


Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I don't know you, but I believe you have a good heart, and I'd like to thank you for sharing with me and others with your writing.

I had no idea things would get this bad, even after MF. I closed my IB in the days after October 31. It's been a wild trip through despair, shock, confusion understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, evolution and fulfillment! Today I feel I've gained more than I lost.

The one thing no one can steal from anyone else is the soul. It's made of energy and light and love, and it cannot be captured or destroyed by anyone without permission.

I believe that the game that's being played cannot last much longer. The psychopaths are becoming more desperate each moment. More afraid and more dangerous in many ways... Now, they're turning against each another in an effort to fix what they believe to be total power over a race of human slaves. But the harder they fight for total control, the more they will lose it! The outcome of of the game was fixed at the birth of the cosmos. Light overcomes darkness. Forever. So, after the psychos burn it all down, let's get together and build something much greater than we ever imagined...

Much Love,

John M said...

Damn, Chris, this really sucks. It's hard enough to make money, much less have some bastards irresponsibly piss your money away like this. Nobody should have to go through this. Thieves and liars, man...who the hell do you trust these days? Good luck with rebuilding in the aftermath and hope you're back soon.

I suppose it's too much to ask that these clowns do serious jail time and have their personal fortunes stripped from them to pay back the people they ripped off. But that would be the only justice here, and even that doesn't fully make up for what they did.

Squire said...

I am in shock.

Chris Johnston said...

Wonderful comments, thanks to all of you for them. This is a fluent situation so it is yet to be determined what if any money is left. In a moment of my deepest troubles it is comforting to know that I have apparently touched a few people through this forum.

I will try to maintain the posts, but my money is locked up and or gone, so I won't be in any of the trades at the moment.

Thanks to all of you for reading, putting up with my childish rants at times, and sending nice thoughts!!!!

pimaCanyon said...

very sorry to hear of your loss. And very angry also, that this kind of embezzlement and fraud has occurred (at MF Global and now PFG) and no one has gone to jail, no one has paid back the embezzled funds.

Sadly, instead of prosecuting this kind of criminal behavior and preventing in the future, our government merely enables and protects these swindlers.

I wish you the best in getting your funds reimbursed. Hopefully the government will surprise even me and reimburse all PFG accounts.

Don Moorman said...

I, too was with PFG, but as a beginning trader, did not have the loss that you have endured. There is no doubt that you'll be back and probably stronger than ever with this experience. My trading will continue, looking at this as just another bump in the road. Best of luck.

Don in Virginia said...

Sorry to hear it is as bad as it is for you.
This setback is just that - a setback caused by corrupt, greedy minds and criminal behavior.

It may mess you up financially but it can't ruin your life unless you let it; money can be earned again.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, you're young at 52 and you're a very emotionally strong and very bright person and will come out of this better and stronger if you keep your head on straight and keep things in perspective.

Your security is what you put in your shoes every morning not a bank or brokerage account balance.
Those add comfort and security to your life but they are not your life or your essence as a person.

You have a lot more money than I do but I have wiped out twice in 15years which takes me back to
your age now - the first time I wiped out I was 54. My loss at the time was smaller in dollars but equally bad for me at the time in terms of my net worth.It's a matter of perspective. If I can pull it back together twice) then I guarantee that you can because you are smarter and better disciplined than I am.

The most important thing is the lessons learned.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and I can only offer two suggestions;
1) as you recover use different brokers to keep balances at risk to a minimum
2) keep the majority of your money in an FDIC insured bank account; if you needd more in your account
for a position money can be moved within hours by wire transfer; the wire fees are a small price to pay for account balance security. You might even be able to avoid the fees if your account is in the same bank as the broker.

On that note, I just learned something today that I was not aware of. Apparently you can hold account balances (fully guaranteed)in a bank that are protected beyond the FDIC insured maximums as long as the money is in a non-interest bearing account. Haven't verified it yet, just something I heard on the radio.
Hang tough,
Don in Virginia

Michael Tredr said...


i'm sorry. i think i speak for most when i wish for a speedy and full reimbursement of your money.

i'm beyond angry; for you and for the other customers of that brokerage house.

colin said...

Good luck Chris, we will miss your regular posts. Just hope this will turn positively for you.

Anonymous said...

This is just beyond words terrible to read. Hate hearing you got swept out by PFG, Chris. Please keep us posted as you can. --Mark

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear that Chris. I know how difficult(needs so much mental strength, discipline and hard work it needs) it is to accumulate money by trading.

It is unfortunate to see so many traders got impacted for none of their actions. That is why we need to some regulations on how these brokers do business with account holders money. Unfortunately, these brokers and wallstreet control both parties (Republicans and Democrats).

Even after 2008 debacle, no controls were put in place and none of the culprit held responsible for that debacle.

Both parties have bad policies: one gives money to poor and other gives money to rich and both always controlled by wall street and super rich....

A free market with some good regulations will never happen in this world....

Hope you recover your hard earned money. Otherwise you need to blame both Republicans than Democrats as they never control the financial gangsters.

lpark said...

Since I read your blog daily I thought I'd offer some words of encouragement.
I hope you may focus on getting back what was taken from you.
I hope you may ask empowering questions to find the answers you need.
I hope you may leverage this painful event to fuel your trading.
Best of luck.

Chris Johnston said...

Well I am where I am so it is on me now to make a killing and write a book about all of this. I will eventually be able to build this back, but I am starting relatively low so it is going to take some time.

In the mean time hopefully we can all rise together. I am debating something that if I decide to do it would greatly benefit readers, I am just not sure if it puts too much pressure on me at a time I don't need any more. If I decide to do it I will post the idea in here and what it involves.