Complaint / review text:
Beware! Chuck Hughes Inner Circle Advisory Service (recently combined with his Private Wealth Group Advisory Service) is a scam and a ripoff.in particular, his statement on the Advisory Service Enrollment Form that you are "Guaranteed To Make Money Or Your Full Purchase Price Back" is worthless.
In Apr 2007 I paid $5,500 to subscribe to this service. I placed $12,740 into my options account with MF Global and began trading May 4,2007. The account was auto-traded from the beginning based on signals Chuck Hughes sent to the broker at MF Global. For the next 21 months the broker got me in and out of every Chuck Hughes trade recommendation.
The Chuck Hughes guarantee reads in part, "The money-back guarantee is based on trading profits during the 12 month period after purchase of the program." After 12 months of trading my account had shrunk to $11,052.26, a loss of $1,687.74.
After several failed attempts to contact the right Chuck Hughes support people to discuss my situation, I finally was told Leticia at Diversified Trading Strategies, Inc of Carlsbad, CA (1-877-872-3351) was handling refund requests. She had me send her all my monthly broker statements and said it would take "a couple of weeks" to get an answer. This turned into a month and a half of frustrating delays and excuses.
Finally, when I didn't just go away as I'm sure she would have preferred, she gave me her answer. Leticia said the marketing company that sold me the subscription (Profit Partners, Inc) is out of business, and they were the ones making the guarantee, not Chuck Hughes. She said she was sorry, wished she could do more, understood my frustration, agreed with me, but Chuck Hughes was "unable" to honor the guarantee.
Imagine that, one of the greatest traders ever, winner of 6 World Cup Trading Championships, was "unable" to keep his word and stand behind his guarantee. Leticia said the best Chuck Hughes could do was offer me a free one year subscription to another of his advisory services. Uh, no thank you!
That same afternoon I found a different support phone number for Chuck Hughes subscribers with problems. The lady who answered at this number was very nice, but said her company no longer had the contract with Chuck Hughes for customer support. However, she added that she knew from past experience what the Chuck Hughes policy was for refunds. She said he required commissions and fees for each trade be included when determining profitability.
In other words, only if you add the commissions and fees for every trade to the ending account balance and the result is still less than the beginning balance are you not profitable. The commissions for my first 12 months of trading were approximately $3,000 from MF Global, the broker Chuck Hughes recommended. So my account balance needed to drop over $3000 (23.5%) or according to Chuck Hughes I'm profitable and not covered by his guarantee! If my account dropped only 23%, by his definition I'm profitable!
Whether Chuck Hughes is "unable" to fulfill the terms of his guarantee, as Leticia claimed, or he has simply defined "profitable" as losing less than $3,000
I don't know. What I do know is this: "Guaranteed To Make Money Or Your Full Purchase Price Back" is a lie. The only thing guaranteed is Chuck Hughes will find a way to keep your subscription fee regardless of how poorly your account performs.
I urge everyone, in the strongest terms, to avoid Chuck Hughes like the plague.