Monday, January 28, 2008

Fall from Grace.

So let's all trade "my worst day ever" stories shall we?

In one simple email, from a person that I thought I could trust to get things done properly - laid the very worst case scenario position I could ever hear about. Horizon FX Investments was linked to Razor FX Investments in a Fraudulent Ponzi scheme that would wipe out at least 26M of investor money from our side of the fence. Talk about a hard pill to swallow...

At this point in time, I was sitting in a meeting learning more about purchasing Real Estate, and I had already marked myself down for 3 properties - none of which I'd have the money for at the drop of a hat. As I read the email, I felt sick to my stomach, and simultaneously thanked the stars that there was a cease trade order on Horizon to prevent even more of my friends, family, loved ones and acquaintances from further harm. The thought of hurling myself off of the penthouse balcony shortly after the presentation also sounded quite inviting at the time as well, but if it hadn't been for my wife, and baby on the way the lure of the pavement below might have enticed me to try and fly.

With the thought of suicide passing through my mind - the very next thought I had was to immediately find Gem to ensure that he didn't jump himself. First of all was that he was a friend from my previous life at Business Objects - second was a selfish thought that he was my only connection to the supposed "traders" that had run off with our money! Needless to say, the last pieces of the presentation were a blur, but I'll get back to that LAND opportunity later. I'm starting to seriously think that real estate might be a really damn good option to pursue at this point in time seeing as I can touch the ground, the bricks, swing the door and ride up and down the elevator to convince myself that it is, in fact: REAL.

Needless to say there was a bit of a panic among my 1000+ customer base (how much of it is still around I have yet to find out) who trusted my initial due diligence on the historical reports that HFX provided. For those of you that know me - I am a novice forex trader, but knew enough back then how to back test the data - and it all came back just fine. However the problem was that I had stopped testing the new data, and chalked it up to a typo when my Chief Trader overseas told me that the reports were off a few times in the last few weeks. Lesson learned - never stop testing. Next time, that'll have to be part of the situation - among many other safety methods for the collective investment group.

I've had some time to cool off and think things through a bit. Hindsight being 20/20 - here's a summary of the lessons learned so that nobody repeats the same mistake:

1) I don't care how long you've known the person running the company - get background checks on the traders and the principles of the company and all that are involved. PERIOD. Never trust anyone to get it done for you - no matter what. Make friends with the police and get a regular account going with them. Hell, make friends with the gangsters so they can run background checks from their end. Do what it takes to make sure that the investment is running clean.

2) Apart from due diligence, the next step in the phase is vigilance. Check, doublecheck, triplecheck, and keep checking as a religious ritualistic procedure to ensure that you don't get caught blindsided by evidence that would point to your investment not being as "sound" as the owner says it is.

3) Learn the industry. You don't have to become a master at it, but learn enough to network your way to the people who are strong enough to help maintain the vigilance at a level higher than your own. Then strive to increase the thoroughness of the testing. You can never be too sure. Taking a calculated risk is required - but keep your hands on the calculator.

4) Diversify, not diworseify. From now on in, I'm going to fix the spread on my investments across multiple markets, and adjust more often. Currencies, Stock, Real Estate, Commodities.


To all of the investors that have believed in me on this one - I apologize. I truly didn't see it coming. I think my immediate and extended family lost just over 2M on this. Hence lesson #4 - I'll keep in mind not to overextend again - ever. I had personally tested EACH and EVERY line of the historical reports and they fit to the graphs that I have purchased. These guys were professionals in this arena - so let's all be better prepared for next time.

What are the next steps to take?

1) Seek legal counsel.

2) Join others that are looking to either a civil suit or class action suit

3) Collect all email or written documentation with HFX.

4) Save all your weekly reports

5) Ask your bank for all documentation that supports deposits or withdrawals

6) Talk to your accountant about possible write-offs from this investment loss.

7) Contact the BC securities commission to see what they are doing about this.

8) Keep your head up. This sucks for everyone but the only way you are a victim is if you let this defeat you.

9) Call the US DOJ and get a claim number if you can.

10) Find the case number and post on this site so we can all keep updated.

11) Contact any other investors that you know and alert them about this site so that we can work together as a team rather than lost individuals.

12) Contact the BC or Canada DOJ to see what kind of help they can provide us all.BC - CAN -


On a personal note - although I too was burned by this, I'm creating a fund from my other investments to work on helping those that overextended to the breaking point financially. It's not that you shouldn't be more careful and expect someone to come bailing you out in a riskier endeavor - however if you came in under my wing, or the Infiniti Point flag - know that I will not rest until I have protected each and every last one of you, at least to an extent. We're currently looking over our legal options, alongside other avenues to recoup what we can from the lost money. The iPoint HFX victim's fund will be started immediately to help those in need. I'll also be contacting accountants to give us options on mitigating the loss in its current form to our utmost advantage (tax write offs - hopefully something other than capital loss/gains).

With a heavy heart - it's hard to start the year out with a large loss, but it's only through a fire that a phoenix is re-born. I still believe this is a year for opportunity. It can't get much worse than this now can it? Join the group currently at the hfxscam wiki to find out more information as things progress. Check out Karl's blog for more too.

Although the sound of a "normal" job sounds really enticing to even me right about now, I still do believe that there are opportunities out there for someone in the middle class to attain a higher standard of living without the need to sacrifice time that could be spent with family and more pleasurable and humanitarian pursuits. So keep your head up, don't let this loss drag you down, and keep striving to reach the Infiniti Point. I dreamt that I touched it once - and I still believe that it is within our reach to find a true and real opportunity out there. I've been demoted from a humble student to a now shamed and humble student. All the more reason to work harder at working smarter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Infiniti Point: Ritz, more than just a cracker.

Downtown Vancouver pricing on real estate seems to have no true upper limit as of yet. The Ritz Carlton (not to be confused with the other "Ritz" )has just broken the $20 million price barrier and is now the most expensive condo penthouse in BC.

Now with that type of price tag - it's no wonder that people think Vancouver is expensive to live in. Even though it's still considered as one of the top ten places in the world to live. Having said that I'm about to embark on a journey towards learning more and more about real estate.

It's about time I suppose that I move into that territory as it complements the stock market training I'm undergoing as well. With the support from my income in the Forex sector - it's a definitely worth a deeper look. I'll be attending the course run by Albert Lowry on Friday through to Sunday.

However before then, I'll be taking 2 days off my normal "working" time - (if you can call what I do "work") because it's my wife's birthday on the 10th - and our dating anniversary on the 9th. (Damn you Karl for prodding me to ask her out the day before her bday. If only we had that discussion a week earlier, or later...) Now see, I had asked her out without thinking of the financial ramifications of having Christmas, New Years, Our Dating Anniversary (which sounds funny, but is almost more meaningful to us than our wedding anniversary), Her Birthday, and Valentine's Day within the same 2 month timespan. But that was then, and now I'm doing a little better than before with my $5/hour martial arts teaching job, and paper route back in the day. Never forget to balance the whole work/family ratio in life. We have to stop and smell the flowers once in awhile eh?

Well - back to the real estate, I just purchased a house for $540k on the market - and after the renovations, I'm hoping to pull out the equity growth to invest for cashflow and not have to worry so much about the mortgage payments. (not that I worry a whole lot now, but meh, less worrying is even better) Time to see if I can't buy the next house on the block and make it cashflow as well... only time will tell, but I'll keep you all posted on what happens next. Gotta love that Smith Manoeuvre ... oh that and spellcheck. God Bless spellcheck. M-A-N-O-E-U-V-R-E... I'll get it right one of these days.

Just because I'm the CEO of Infiniti Point doesn't mean I stop researching... why you ask? One - because it's no fun being alone on the beach without my friends, and Two? Well - I can't afford a penthouse at the Ritz quite yet. Almost, but still a little journey away. Until then, have a good one, and I'll just keep reading and researching away.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Infiniti Point: Really Good Returns?

What are "really good returns" to you? To me, it used to be 8-10% or higher when I was just a regular sheep following the herd into RRSP land. Then it changed to 30% or higher, now with the investment banking training, forex trading training, and real estate training between my ears, it'd better be 200-400% or higher. What is risk but a calculated variable? If you can mitigate risk with control - then is it truly still called gambling? Counting the cards is frowned upon, but a necessary skill when attempting to take on Vegas is it not? A 1% average win ratio above and beyond the house is still an asset. What then is the difference being armed with the power that is knowledge when entering the financial realm? I know it's an over-used term, but crossing the street is still considered taking a risk is it not? However crossing without looking or running across a highway isn't the brightest thing to do either. Besides, knowing more than the average investor gives me a little more than that card counting 1% bonus.

The best investment by far is the asset that lies between your ears. This doesn't mean that I'm about to go informercial on your ass and try to sell you some lame "how to win at everything" e-book duct taped to DVD's and a chaser seminar to upsell you even more crap that you don't need. In the future, iPoint will go even deeper into the educational portion with proper lessons, but it'll just cover the essentials before someone can get their feet wet with their new found opportunities.

iPoint is a company that researches investments and shares it with their clients. We all take part in helping to decide whether or not an investment is a good idea or a bad idea, and help everyone by providing a proper opinion from a non-biased standpoint. I'm usually the first guinea pig to test something out with my own personal funds, but I let people know where and when I'm playing so you can help give your own opinion, or tag along for the ride. I'm not a licensed financial planner, nor will I ever want to become one because it limits what I'm allowed to say to people, as the place where my license would be hung would dictate what to sell, and what to say. Besides, I'm not selling - but rather educating people on their options in what's truly available out there. Although I'm somewhat successful, I don't consider myself to be a genius, a guru, or an expert of any sort in the financial realm. I am but a student - willing to share what I know in exchange for a chance to learn more because for me - it's no longer a necessity, but a game and a labour of love. In the end, my loyalty lies with the bottom line, and my people.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Infiniti Point: New Year - New Opportunity

So, it's the year 2008 - what I believe will be a definitive year for Infiniti Point Strategies. With the 8 in the year representing our "Infinity" vision it's time to make things happen.

My own personal and business resolutions:

- Read at LEAST one inspirational business book a month and post and share the wisdom online
- To continue to read and learn and SHARE information on my blog posts 2x week
- Help those closer to me attain at least 500k/annum in passive income by 2010
- "Earn my leather jacket" - I'll post what this means to me in a future article.
- Balance my life using the techniques learned from Timothy Ferris and his 4 hour work week
- Create automation and tighter community in the iPoint world so more can be done in less time

With each passing day it seems that my eyes open wider and wider to allow me to see even more opportunity than ever before. It's a shame that so many others out there waste time with excuses, "reasons" and rationalizations to prove why they can't be successful when even someone with such a simple mind can figure out ways to win in this world. 6 3-point shots in a row isn't a fluke. Reaching my old yearly income in a month isn't a fluke anymore either. Now to set the bar even higher, and let's see how long it takes to reach 1M/month. Apparently there's something beyond infinity after all... Now... bring me that horizon. and touch the Infiniti Point