17/1/2014: The parent company of Guardian ATS: ELKK Enterprises, is now in liquidation. Their offices in Bundall are abandoned, and website has been ‘being updated’ since November. So, while there was no concrete evidence of a scam, the material reviewed here is still of interest as to how you should look at a company you are interested in investing with. Always be cautious when the entry fees are high, and the evidence they supply, flimsy. Incidentally, they threatened me with defamation action in September and I was persuaded to take down this article.
I started investigating this company after seeing some references to it on another site talking about various scamsters. I have not reached a final conclusion about them yet, but I am not feeling that enthisiastic about them.
First of all, they seemed rather suprised that someone rang Them out of the blue, rather than them ringing anyone. I explained that I had just been searching for investments.
They offer trading sofware with automatic trading features so that you do not have to touch it and the software will trade for you and make returns of 30-50% a month!
The trading software they use is Tradestation, which is a legitimate third party software available to anyone, but needs to be used with Tradestation Securities who are a broker for trading. Where Guardian comes in, is supplying the settings for the software to use to make the automatic trades.
The risk with these kind of automatic trading systems, or indeed most systems is that they are back-fitted, which means the systems and rules have been devised by running the program through past data, and then refining the rules to filter out poor results, so that you usually end up with a nicely climbing profit graph. The problem is, that when you come to test your lovely new system live, the system usually performs terribly. Its all to do with statistics and reversion to normality. Nearly every betting or trading system ever devised suffers this problem.
In some information on their website, they hint that this may be the process by which they arrive at their magnificent results they post:
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So, on their website they have a Peformance page which offers screenshots of supposed account statements. I can see they are straight from the software and not actual account statements from the broker.
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This is suspicious. Researching the Tradestation software on the web, many users and reviewers point out that one of the features of the software is that it is great for is testing past data and building reports on past performance for particular settings. This is my guess as to what this screenshot represents.
I pressed the woman on the phone if they had actual trading statements from the broker, but she kept directing me to the screenshots on the performance page. After five minutes of repeating the question, they still were not going to produce anything.
Like most of these operations, the price tag is $15,000-20,000, or $3700 lease with $350 a month payments.
I would be very cautious about this one. Hopefully I am getting some sort of live demo next week and will be able to report more.
Two other pieces of doubt: they operate out of Gold Coast Financial Centre where I remember one other company I investigated was operating from..just can not remember which one. Second thing is that the woman on the phone, trying to convince me of how advanced automation is, was telling me this story about a US army base in the NT. She said that all the planes flew in, un-manned. Were unloaded, un-manned. The cargoes assembled into buildings, un-manned and the planes took off again, un-manned. Hmmm
Update 12/8/13: I rang Tradestation Securities who are the brokers that supply the trading software that Guardian use. I asked them if they supply their clients with trading statements. The answer was yes. They email them monthly statements on pdf files, or other periods at request. The statements are not given by the software.
So Josie at Guardian rang today to see if I had looked over the credentials for Guardian and was satisfied. I told her that the ASIC verification means little but what I want to see is actual trading statements from Tradestation Securities. She gave me the same old lines about the statements being the screenshots on the website, and then later, that they could not supply their clients private information, nor the statements of anyone who works at Guardian who uses the software. It is quite easy to blot out any sensitive information so I believe they do not have statements or at least statements showing the same glowing returns that the screenshots show.
So, at present I am not convinced as to the legitimacy about this one. Be cautious, do your homework. I have been contacted by Guardian ATS and they will be giving me live proof of their trading results. So stay tuned for more updates.