A US futures broker account balance is depicted here. In their managed accounts program, they were simultaneously buying and selling similar futures contracts (5), so that the "Account Balance" was inflated to $100,475.14 near the $100k initially invested. The real account market value was the "Net liquidity", $3,287.64 They were touting the "Account Balance" as the real account value so that customers couldn't realize the massive losses so they could keep daytrading (thus earning commissions). If customers could detect the losses they would close their accounts and withdraw their funds much earlier without getting into 96%+ losses, but this would end their commissions flow. Isn't this illegal?