Need your help - Open position on statement

Discussion in 'Trading' started by ml77, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. ml77



    I made a few trades yesterday. I canceled all orders and was flat when I closed Strategy Runner. I AM SURE ABOUT THAT.

    This morning I receive the statement from Penson GHCO and I have an open long position!! Needless to say, it's a big loss.
    I am a young trader with a small account and it basically means I can now close my account and walk away.

    What happened? What can I do? I read in the Strategy Runner reviews on EliteTrader that one user had this problem. But who is going to give me back my money? What can I do to prove I am right?

    Thank you for your help, I really need it!
  2. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how SURE you were that you had closed all positions and canceled all open orders...

    If you don't have PROOF that such was done...not much you can do with that small account. Thus, you won't get back your money without any proof to verified what you were SURE about.

    However, in the future, you should use a screen video recorder to record your broker platform the moment you open it until you close it. This will give you the PROOF that something went wrong whenever it does. Yet, sometimes, even that's not good enough and always read and then re-read the fine print of those account documents you signed when you first open your trading account. :mad:

    Last of all, you should get into the habit of re-opening your broker platform to ensure all orders have been canceled or that there aren't any open orders (take a screen capture image an save them daily). This habit alone for me has caught three times last year an open position with a few remaining contracts when I was SURE I had exited all contracts.

    It's similar to coming home for the evening and you close your door and then lock it after entering the house. Later in the night "before" going to check again to make sure your door is locked.

  3. LeeD


    Try to tack down when the order was entered into teh system and when it was executed. This will give you a better idea of what has actually happened.

    Was it a stop or limit order that happened to be left with the broker but you couldn't see?

    Or was it an order that was entered after you shut down the platform? Doesn't Strategy Runner allow running trading strategies on the broker servers even after the user front end has been shut down? If you left such a strategy running it could have generated some orders.
  4. It is worth researching. There is a reason why the CFTC requires CTAs to keep independent trading records from the brokers, and there is a reason why these are reconciled.
    I had enough trouble with one of my long-term systems that I insisted that broker place the orders manually for me. Sure enough, he right-away had a problem with a missing exit fill. He entered the order for this overseas market correctly, it executed correctly, but the affiliate execution wasn't recorded in the brokers system. He calls me and asks what to do. He confirms that the position was still live (and going against me.) He sent another sell order which was also executed correctly. By this point, both affiliate executions were recorded, and I was short the market. He then offsets the short which, thank goodness, did show up. It was then on the broker to eat the loss, and after a couple of months, they did get the overseas affiliate to eat the loss for them.
    There is a trader here in Florida who was reported to have a staff of 5 fulltime accountants to keep up with the reconciliation work for his personal trading. I don't know the details of your trading, but reconciling and disputing have been necessary to keep ones account whole.
  5. ml77


    Thank you for your answers.
    I am not using an automatic strategy. I only made a few trades, scalping the CAC40 futures.

    In the statement, one sell order is missing while I even remember its exact price. Therefore, I have 5 buy orders and 4 sell orders, hence one long position remaining.

    So it was not an order that I left and forgot, it was an order that got filled on the platform and then does not appear on the statement.

    Again I am sure that I did not make any mistake. Indeed my account is small and I trade only one contract at a time. So, it's very easy to see what's going on. I really believe it's a mistake related to Strategy Runner or GHCO. But what can I do? By the way, I did not even got a margin call from my broker last night.
  6. ml77


    Thanks, this is very interesting.

    So do you think this is even more possible given that the missing order is on the French CAC40 (foreign futures)?
    Is it possible that 9 orders got recorded in time and one is going to be recorded later?

    What do you recommend?
  7. Nice post. Multiple fail-safes are important in trading, where one error can end your career and bankrupt you. Just like in the airline industry where one cock-up can kill 300+ people, they have checklists and triple failsafes up the wazoo. Traders should aim for the same level of diligent safety, backup safety, triple checks, and so on. If you *ever* have a position error or mis-trade, your systems aren't good enough. I say that as someone who has had errors in the past. You should aim for perfection i.e. no mis-trades or position errors from now until you retire from the game.
  8. ml77


    I totally understand but the mistake this time is not mine.

    And actually, aside from this open position, some trades I did on Wednesday morning appear finally on today's statement. So to me, it seems that GHCO has issues with trades on foreign futures. They are not recorded at the right time.
  9. I don't know your software. Are there confirmations somewhere, anywhere. Can you get the time and sales data for that point in time?

    Talk with your broker. CAC40 is not a US exchange. Who was the actual executing broker?

    Since you know the approximate time and price and executing broker, talk with the trading desk at the exchange.

    If they don't show it, then work backwards, do your broker's logs show the missing order? How was it handled? What it was handed off to the next broker in line, what was the transaction number? ...

    These things happen to little guys the same a big guys. Big guys can get the broker to eat it more easily, but there is a reason why all of these things are recorded.

    Ultimately, I have had to drop disputes sometimes, but this needs to be settled quickly so that more losses don't mount.
  10. Does the platform create a log file of all "important" events for the day? That'd be the first place to look for orders sent, acknowledgements and execution of orders, and more importantly timestamps and event Ids that are mirrored on the log and your brokers platform.
    #10     Jan 29, 2011