Sue? Arbitrate?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by comintel, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. (At the end of this I will ask whether I should get legal advice on this, and if so, if anyone can suggest a lawyer to contact. But first, let me give the history.)

    I was having about $170,000 managed by a CTA who had an S&P option premium spread selling program. It was supposed to be selling spreads, (not selling naked puts) and it was operating that way as best as I could tell.

    However, what happened after a while was that the broker's back office was making continuous errors most days in distributing the trades from the CTA's account into the client accounts.

    There were corrections, corrections of corrections, canceled trades, reinstating of trades previous canceled, etc. occurring up to weeks after the original trades.

    As a result, I really could not tell what shape the account was in at any given time.

    Then on Oct 15/16 a fiasco occurred where the broker issued margin calls (although I was never notified and could have met any from another account I had at the same broker). The CTA put in hedges overnight on the 15th but the brokerage firm instead liquidated positions at the open on the 16th and canceled all or most of the hedge trades the CTA had put in during the night.

    I only learned of all this recently.
    In late October the broker contacted me and told me that the CTA wanted the positions in my account flattened, or I could take over trading them myself, and to tell him which of these I wanted to do. Well at this point the account showed short 4 puts and long 1 put. I told him to liquidate them all at the market. What else could I do? I was unable to reach the CTA at that time. I thought I had an obligation to mitigate the risk.

    Later the CTA told me that one or more of the positions was not even supposed to be in my account.

    Anyway the account has lost about $45,000 of its $170,000 value. Apparently many other clients did far worse.

    The CTA has filed a complaint with the NFA against the brokerage firm (which is a large clearing firm). Arbitration is underway between those two but I have not been involved so far in any way.

    Do you think I should try to recover damages? Contact a lawyer (and can you suggest one)? The NFA? Or wait and see what happens between the CTA and the broker? I did send a fax/email to the broker's compliance department asking them to straighten it all out but they have not replied so far.

    Thanks for suggestions/comments.

    (P.S. Also the funds are still sitting in cash in my accounts and I am a little worried that they might try to freeze them while working on unraveling all of this - they have not replied yet to my request to wire transfer most of them back to me).
  2. Daal


    there is your lesson to never ever let anybody manage your money besides yourself