Ross Hooks

Discussion in 'Trading' started by El Cazador, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. J-Law


    I agree. Methodology counts, but nowhere near as much as knowing yourself & building the character to stick with it when the losses come and bite you in the arse.
    #31     Oct 22, 2002
  2. dottom


    This is just the "tip of the iceberg". I'm just cut & pasting from some old emails I have handy. Don't make me dig out the rest.

    The issue isn't the quality of JR's content, it's his blatant lies and misreprenstations in order to sell his educational materials. That's the issue.

    Here's some food for thought (again, just the tip of the iceberg; there is a lot more but this is a decade long issue I only have these data points handy):

    - Joe Ross (JR from now on for short) claims that he has been trading since he was 14. Yet in the Ken Roberts (the King of vendor hucksters) marketing materials for over a decade now is a prominent testimonial that reads "I owe you a lot, Ken, for having introduced me to the world's most profitable and best business. After completing my three months, as of June 1st, I am a professional trader. It's what I do for a living. This may very well be the last bastion of true capitalism in the U.S. It's fantastic! - JR., age 53, Lee's Summit, Missouri." Lee's Summit is the former address of Joe Ross, who was born in 1935. In his first book, Ross wrote something quite similar: "Trading commodities ... is the best business in the world. I earn my living in what is probably the last vestige of true capitalism in the world." In Trading Is a Business, he calls it "the last bastion of true entrepreneurial capitalism in the free world." While Joe publicly denied that he was author of that testimonial, a former Joe Ross student (a well respected futures broker with a national trading firm) claims that Joe admitted to her that he was indeed the infamous testimonial used by Ken Roberts. The first question is why did he deny this so vehemently in public (and was proven WRONG!)? Secondly, if he did get introduced to trading through Ken Roberts, then I guess he didn't learn it from his family and started trading when he was 14 now did he?

    - JR claims he had 29 years of trading experience when his first book was published. In one of his sales literature since the books were published, JR claims that he was taught trading by his family and "am now in my 34th year of trading." Yet JR cannot produce a trading statement before 1980 to support his claim.

    - Joe Dinapoli, a well known trading author and educator himself, claims Ross came to him in mid-1980's to learn to trade. Dinapoli said Joe Ross was "destitute," had no money, and did not know many trading fundamentals. Not only did Ross take Dinapoli's displaced MA methods and market it as his own, but if Dinapoli's claims that he taught Ross how to trade in mid-1980's is correct, then all of Ross claims about being a master trader and trading since he was 14 are false. There have been numerous requests for JR to produce *any* trading statement to prove that he traded prior to 1980 (not even that he traded profitably, just that he traded) and JR has never produced anything. Yes, in this country you are innocent until proven guilty; but in the vendor business, trading statements speak louder than words.

    - When JR was hitting the trading vendor scene with some heavy marketing in early 1990's, CTCR newsletter had lots of questions from its readers. Many questions were asked about JR's trading background when some of the above information started surfacing. CTCR asked JR to produce any one trading statement showing a 25-lot S&P trade (which JR claimed he made using the very same techniques discussed in his book). CTCR would publish it and JR would have the biggest positive free marketing he could ask for. JR never produced a single statement. CTCR then asked JR to produce *any* statement to support *any* of the trade he claimed to have made in his first book. JR did not produce any statements. (The book talks about making the trades it describes precisely for the purpose of including them in the book.)

    - JR used to sell a fax newsletter that was advertised with his books and seminars. They had several losing years in a row but JR would not acknowledge the past results of his newsletters and would not make past issues public for independent review.

    - JR's managed accounts all suffered heavy losses despite his claims that he was trading very successfully and was soliciting new funds to manage. Duane Howe opened an options account with JR and closed it after it after a 50% loss in a short period of time. He published an article in 4/98 issue of Club 3000 about his experience and how he believed JR lied about his background, experience, and methods in soliciting money. Howe wanted others who lost money with JR to contact him for a lawsuit. JR threatened to sue Howe for slander. He published actual trading statements. After Howe publically invited JR to sue him so that the truth can come out JR completely backed off his threats and claimed he was "too Christian to use lawyers". He wansn't too Christian to threaten the lawsuits in the first place. Much of this played out on Usenet so there is a very detailed written record.

    - The late Bruce Babcock researched JR's claims regarding his trading background and could not find one single iota of proof to support JR's claims. In fact, he found many things that were 100% contradictory to JR's claims. Normally a person's trading history is no big deal, but JR was heavily marketing his books, seminars, newsletter, and managed accounts all on his reputation without providing any documented proof of his past claims. Anyone desiring information on Joe Ross would be well advised to read pages 99 through 108 of Bruce Babcock's book, Profitable Commodity Trading from A to Z. There you will find an enlightening expose on how Joe Ross has fabricated his trading background in order to sell his books and seminars.

    - There are numerous credibility issues based on the what JR has said in his books, seminars, newsletters, and interviews. For example, in one of his books JR says, "if I'm holding overnight in a grain, or crude oil, but also with metals and softs [and Eurodollars], I consider spreading off against a back month to prevent being surprised by a gap open against me." This is nonsensical. All it does is incur an extra commission and extra slippage. If you are worried about an overnight gap, you exit. You gain nothing by spreading against your position. This is classic amateur play normally used to avoid taking a loss on a bad trade."

    - Another credibility issue- [from Gary Smith] Joe's feature interview in the December 1995 issue of Stocks&Commodities magazine that I really began to have major questions about the guy's credibility. It was in that interview where he mentioned how much money a trader would have made had they simply gone long a one lot S&P contract from the beginning of January or had they spread a one lot S&P against a one lot NYFE. The figures Joe quoted were way, way off and indicative of someone who didn't even know how much a point move in the S&P and NYFE equated to. I was blown away. Thinking this must have been a misprint, I spoke with Thom Hartle, the editor of Stocks& Commodities and who was also the interviewer. In reviewing his tape, Thom said Joe was not misquoted.

    - JR claimed that he "traded 25 (full S&P contract) lots as research" for his books, and in interviews has claimed he regularly trades 10 lots. Yet repeated requests for trading statements to back up his claim has never been produced.

    - In one of JR's books he says "Seasonal trading is not the most reliable as far as timing is concerned. Seasons just refuse to come on time. There are seasonal tendencies in commodities. But these tendencies change periodically and I don't care to lose a few thousand dollars while I find out that this has happened." But about a year ago JR added spread trading (which is entirely based on seasonals) to his repotoire and dubbed it as "a whole new way to trade". Also note that spread trading has been around as long as the futures market has, and has been made popular by many an author long before JR dubbed it "a whole new way to trade".
    #32     Oct 22, 2002
    comagnum likes this.
  3. and you would be decidedly mistaken...

    dude, i wasn't saying the pyschological aspects of trading aren't important.. they most certainly are...

    the point is, when someone has a qualm with a trading product vendor the complaint isn't that the lessons on trading pychology sucked, it's about the advice on characteristics of price action...

    it's when a vendor makes a claim that using his methods one can expect x% returns blah blah that the level his claims are evaluated on is accuracy of methodology.

    personally, i'm not looking for trading advice from anyone, least of all some selfstyled guru... i just get riled up when i see some huckster flogging hyped up trading prodcuts...which, from what i hear of him, is exactly the category i'd put ross in...

    now, i have never read any of ross's work, so i can't really speak about whether or not his "stuff" works... my point to you was that just because ross can quote some generic cut and paste trading or "success" psychology has nothing to do with the accuracy of his methods...
    #33     Oct 22, 2002
    #34     Oct 22, 2002
  5. dottom


    To followup on daniel_m's point, in addition to the claims about the viability of the methods themselves, you must also consider the vendor's claimed history.

    If you have a vendor that sells overpriced trading books, seminars for $3-5k a pop, fax newsletter, is a CTA soliciting managed funds, and he claims:

    - that he is a "master trader"
    - he started trading commodities when he was 14
    - he has had 40+ years of trading commodities
    - he tested the techniques in his books trading 25-lot S&P contracts

    then part of your rational for purchasing any of his services is partially based on his claimed trading experience (just like a resume is use to help judge the potential candidacy of a job applicant).

    Yet facts show that:
    - he had his first intro to trading by taking the Ken Roberts beginner course
    - he was only a beginning trader when he learned from Joe Dinapoli in mid 1980's
    - he could not produce any proof of a single trade from his first book in 1991 which he claimed were real trades
    - he could not produce any proof of any 25-lot S&P trade which he claimed was used as part of his research/validation of methods discussed in his first book
    - he could not produce any proof of any trades made prior to 1980 despite having been trading commodities since he was 14 and has 40+ years of experience trading 25-lot S&P day trades he claims to make regularly
    - he will not subject his fax newsletter to independent review to verify their year-to-year profitability (statements from those who subscribed to the fax newsletters said it lost money year-to-year)
    - continual contradictory and amateur-type statements in interviews and on Usenet archives that a "master trader" with 40+ years of experience would never state

    And please don't tell me that Joe Ross had nothing to prove because many of these arguments between Joe Ross and other well known people in the trading industry during this time was on Usenet (with Ross posting responses himself, and others posting emails and letters quoted exactly as sent from Ross), and as letters and articles published as is sent in to Club 3000 and CTCR newsletters - both the top futures/trading newsletters during their prime. Top industry experts, authors, and registered futures brokers challeneged Ross (i.e. not just your average wannabe anonymous trader or disgruntled customer) - so this was a high stakes, prime-time opportunity for Ross to prove all his disputed claims. Any marketter would have jumped all over the opportunity, so I absolutely do not buy the "Ross doesn't have to prove anything" theory. Remember, at one point Babcock asked Ross to produce *just one* trading statement to verify *just one* trade in his first book that he claimed were all *real trades*. In fact, he has a section in the book where he condemns hypothetical trading statements and says that he only included actual trades in the book to show the viability of the methods in real-time trading!

    The items I posted were the well known issues with definite proof available. There were *many* other issues raised by former customers and students of Ross but there was a lot of "he said, she said" type arguments so I didn't post those. Much of this is all available in old Usenet archives, CTCR archives, and Club 3000 archives.
    #35     Oct 22, 2002
    shihpinlo likes this.
  6. Dottom:

    Good work...This was very interesting reading
    #36     Oct 22, 2002
  7. Dottom,

    Awesome stuff. Also brought back lots of memories of CTCR and Club3000, not to mention Gary Smith. I sure wish he would surface here. Wonder what he's doing now?
    #37     Oct 22, 2002
  8. jem


    Bravo Dottom

    Thanks for putting your time in on this stuff.
    #38     Oct 23, 2002
  9. props to dottom!
    #39     Oct 23, 2002
  10. Wow. I fell like I have just been hit by a Ross "Left" Hook... :)
    #40     Oct 23, 2002