Whether you were one of hundreds of thousands of teenagers competing for California golden state awards back in 1997, 1998, or 1999, or perhaps one of 50 million+ people that visited the #1 forex reviews website in the world Forex Peace Army, or perhaps one of millions of Russian viewers who watched an episode of Spiritual Diplomacy TV program, you were all touched by a peculiar guy with a quirky hard-to-prounce name Dmitri Chavkerov.
Yes, Dmitri Chavkerov was that guy who pocketed 6 California golden state awards, ranging from recognition to high honors in 6 different subjects.
It was again Dmitri Chavkerov who founded Forex Peace Army, and later appeared in a popular magazine, jumping out of an airplane in his business suit.
And it was yet again Dmitri Chavkerov as main guest in 4 episodes of Russian Spiritual Diplomacy TV program series of "One who believes in Miracles".
In 2005, Dmitri Chavkerov started a website called free-forex-trading-system.com. On this website, Dmitri Chavkerov listed quite a few different forex-related companies that he was involved with. He shared his experience with each company and ranked them from 1 star to 5 stars. I guess the website started to have quite a few visitors and Dmitri decided to do something bigger with it or the domain name was too amateurish, because in January of 2006, Dmitri Chavkerov bought a domain forexbastards.com, and moved all of his content from previous website to this new domain, and created such design and set up that would allow other people to post their opinions and star-ratings about different forex-related websites.
I guess the reason Dmitri Chavkerov named his website ForexBastards was because in 2005 forex was like the Wild Wild West. Most brokers that are big names now and that are regulated were not regulated in 2005, and they committed all kinds of fraud against traders. Perhaps more than 50% of forex education and forex signals websites were deceptive. The most common problem was that they would promise something attractive on a sales page, back it up with refund policy, then customer buys the product, and after seeing that what they received is different from what was promised to them, they would ask for a refund, but nobody would issue them refund or reply to any of their emails. I guess these are the forex bastards Dmitri wanted to expose.
If you search WhoIs Information on ForexPeaceArmy.com, it shows registration date of November, 2007, so I guess at around that time, Dmitri Chavkerov decided to change the domain name of his website from ForexBastards.com to ForexPeaceArmy.com (FPA). Good move Dmitri!
In 2006, Dmitri Chavkerov met a successful news trader from Canada by the name of Tom Yeomans. Dmitri learned Tom's methodology, and offered him to write an e-book in his name and start a live trading service, where Tom would give his trade entries and exits live for a subscription fee.
Tom agreed, so Dmitri Chavkerov wrote an e-book in Tom's name called "Perfect Trader", and started live trading room for Tom. The service became great success with several hundred subscribers, but Tom felt that giving trades to hundreds of people put a lot of pressure on him and negatively affected his judgment, so he told Dmitri that he no longer wanted to do it, so the service was stopped.
I guess this domain eventually expired and was bought by someone else.
In October of 2006, Dmitri Chavkerov started his own live trading service, which he called ForexDiamonds.com. He ran this service for around 1 year, and gave many live trades to people, always recommending 2.5% risk per trade or less. With 2.5% risk per trade, the service realized more than 100% return in 1 year. Dmitri Chavkerov gave only few trades per month at fixed times during major economic news announcements. Sometime in the middle of 2007, a live poll was taken in the live trading room. Approximately 200 people participated in the poll. 160 of them claimed that they were overall profitable from the time they joined ForexDiamonds.com. Another 40 people claimed that they were either break even or at an overall loss.
At the end of 2007, Dmitri Chavkerov offered one of his long-time subscribers Tim Swanson (Sir Pipsalot), to run this service. Tim Swanson agreed and ran the live trading room for another 1.5 years or so. In the end of 2009, the service was closed down.
Sometime in 2006, Dmitri Chavkerov observed big price spikes that happened within just few seconds of major economic number releases. He decided to build an application that would import these numbers, instantly analyze them according to pre-set parameters, and if certain parameter were met, it would generate a "mouse click" in one location. If a different parameter were met, then it would generate a "mouse click" in another location.
The purpose of this software was to enter the trader in the right direction of the inevitable price spike, before the spike actually happened. So if US Retail Sales were expected at 0.5%, the trader could program the software that if the number came out at 0.8% or higher, the software would click a "buy" USD/JPY button on his platform. If however, the number came out at 0.2% or below, the software would click a "sell" USD/JPY button on his platform. If, however, the number came out between 0.3% and 0.7%, the software would do nothing, since the release is too close to expectations, and would probably not create a big enough price spike.
To realize this software idea, Dmitri Chavkerov partnered with a Canadian programmer who lived in Arizona by the name of Robert J. Allen. In October of 2006, SecretNewsWeapon.com domain was registered, and shortly after the software was finalized and the website started selling subscriptions to it.
I guess many people bought the software and made money with it, because shortly after it was launched, many brokers started to make news trading difficult. Some of them even proclaimed this activity as "illegal" , and started closing people's accounts that were involved in it, cancelling people's profits that were made on these news spikes, artificially raising spreads right before news announcements, creating execution delays, giving requotes, et cetera.
After that, it became more and more difficult to make money with the software. It was still possible, but started to require much more skill, much more patience, and many more "no trade" scenarios.
Most people don't know what really happened with Secret News Weapon, so here is an insider scoop for you on what happened. By 2009, SecretNewsWeapon.com supposedly had much fewer subscribers than in 2007, so Robert J. Allen who owned 50% of the company, and who started to hurt financially, asked Dmitri Chavkerov for a permission to keep 100% of the profits in exchange for IOU notes. Dmitri Chavkerov refused, and offered Robert J. Allen to buy out his share. Robert J. Allen agreed, but in the middle of the process, hijacked the software, subscriber database, merchant and bank accounts, and moved everything under another domain in his name. He explained his actions by blaming Dmitri Chavkerov for not doing a good job at marketing the software, even though it was being marketed via FPA in the same way as it always was. Dmitri Chavkerov was surprised and upset, and wanted to sue Robert J. Allen for his share, but during a prayer, an answer came to simply forgive, so he did, and that's how this website was ended.
In April of 2006, Dmitri Chavkerov was introduced to a former bank trader by the name of Claude Rob Grespinet (Rob Grespi), who at the time was no longer working for a bank, but instead was trading his own forex accounts, and giving some of his trade calls to some people via Yahoo messenger.
Dmitri Chavkerov asked to be included in the Yahoo Messenger group, and throughout April and May of 2006 monitored live trades that were being given by Rob Grespi, and was very impressed by the performance. He became even more impressed when later he saw statements from one of Rob Grespi's several trading accounts. The account that Dmitri Chavkerov saw showed more than $1 million of real money in it, and the trades taken on that account during April and May very closely matched with the tradesthat were being given to people via Yahoo Messenger during those months.
The subscribers to forexbastards.com back then probably remember this story, when Dmitri sent out the story together with Rob's account statements.
Dmitri Chavkerov offered Rob Grespi to create a website for him with live trading room and market it. Rob Grespi agreed, and so KingForexSignals.com was born, and became very popular almost overnight.
Even though Rob Grespi continued to show positive performance on website's trading videos, many people had very hard time replicating the performance in their own accounts. One of the problems was that Rob Grespi lived in France and traded between 1 am and 9 am New York Time. Many KFS subscribers were from U.S., and had problems staying up all night. Many European subscribers had jobs, so they also had trouble finding the time to follow Rob. Rob Grespi mostly traded GBP/JPY pair, and had very tight spread of 3-4 pips. The spread of most subscribers' with smaller accounts was back then between 6 and 10 pips, so this difference was quickly adding up. After taking 10 trades in one day on GBP/JPY, Rob would remain profitable on his videos, while the subscribers with much larger spread would remain at a loss, and that's after 8 hours of staring at the screen.
Rob Grespi constanstly complained about his subscribers being "forex tourists", because many were signing up and leaving after 1-2 months, and I don't blame them. People were simply burning out, plus Rob was a bit of a dick towards some people, plus he cussed a lot, which pissed some people off.
After about 1 year of running KingForexSignals.com (KFS), Rob Grespi and Dmitri Chavkerov decided to end it, and start a different service, wpips.com
Sometime at the end of 2007, Rob Grespi and Dmitri Chavkerov started wpips.com The idea was that Rob Grespi would only focus on longer term trades that would last at least several hours and possibly even several days, and the subscribers would have a pager, so when a trade is taken, they would get paged, login to the website, and see trade parameters. In addition to that, it was decided that subscribers wouldn't have to pay a subscription fee, but instead would have some money on deposit with wpips.com, and for every winning trade, a certain amount of money would be subtracted from their balance, while for every losing trade, a certain amount of money would be added to their balance. For example, if subscriber got an account at a rate of $1/pip, and the trade yielded a profit of 50 pips, wpips.com would subtract $50 from that account. If the trade yielded a loss of 50 pips, wpips.com would add $50 to that account. If the user got paged, but never logged in to see trade parameters, he would be neither charged nor credited.
Great idea, right? The question is why the service was shut down so quickly? Here is an insider's scoop for those that are interested:
To set up the technology, and run operations of the service, Henry Liu was invited, and was issued 20% of shares in the company. At around the time this service was started, Rob Grespi got into trouble with French tax police, and was presented a big bill for unpaid back taxes. This created a lot of tension between him and his wife, and reflected quite poorly on his trading (or at least that was the excuse for him performing so poorly for two month).
After a couple of months of poor trading, wpips.com was in debt, and to make matters worse, large portion of customer's deposits were supposedly held in Rob Grespi's personal paypal account, which he supposedly decided to empty and keep.
To solve the situation with wpips.com, both Henry Liu and Dmitri Chavkerov had to bring personal funds into the company, in order to process refunds to unhappy customers and compensate for the lost money that was taken by Rob Grespi. In addition to that, Rob Grespi was replaced by an anonymous trader under the identity of "Mr. X", who started giving trades for the service. Some portions of wpips.com debt were worked out by Mr. X's overall positive performance. Others by personal funds brought into the company by Dmitri Chavkerov and Henry Liu, while others by offering to subscribers subscriptions to some of Dmitri Chavkerov's and Henry Liu's other services. When the debt was fully worked out, wpips.com was closed and dissolved.
In the process of cleaning out wpips.com mess (read above), Henry Liu and Dmitri Chavkerov started a website FXNewsWiz.com, which mostly offered trade signals from Mr. X for a monthly subscription fee, but once wpips.com mess was cleaned out, this website closed down together with wpips.com
In November of 2007, Dmitri Chavkerov did a fund raising event for Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (ftpf.org), which was publicized on his forexpeacearmy.com website, which at the time was still called forexbastards.com. Dmitri Chavkerov rented this 300-person yacht:
It was more of a small cruiseship than a yacht. To give you an idea how big it was, on one of the levels, full dinner was conducted for 200 people. And there were 4 levels on this ship. The deal was that Dmitri Chavkerov would pay for the rent of the ship and dinner for everyone out of his pocket, and people who would attend were asked to donate between $500 to $1,500 each to ftpf.org. In addition to that, Dmitri invited several of his investment friends to give investment presentations during the event. He also promised to share more of his own trading secrets at the event.
Sometime in 2006 or 2007, Dmitri Chavkerov claimed that he was contacted by an individual from South America, who offered Dmitri $100 million to manage, but Dmitri refused due to a bad feeling about this guy and the money being offered, so nothing came out of it.
Around March of 2007, Dmitri Chavkerov was contacted by Mike Krywenky, who was setting up a billion dollar fund. Mike Krywenky offered Dmitri Chavkerov to trade and invest $500 million in exchange for 30% performance fee. At first Dmitri Chavkerov was interested, contract was prepared, and meeting was arranged with some important people, so that Dmitri could sign the contract, but during the meeting, Dmitri Chavkerov had a bad feeling about the whole thing that he couldn't explain, so he decided not to sign anything and walk away from the deal. A couple of years later, the following interesting and very disturbing article about the fund: http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=69248722
Sometime in 2007, Dmitri Chavkerov and Claude Grespinet decided to form their own investment pool, which both of them would manage. They named it Spartan Forex Fund. The minimum investment was $10 million dollars. Claude Grespinet had a brother Frank Grespinet, who worked for Credit Suisse Bank and managed a pool of several hundred million. He also wanted to get involved with the management of Spartan Forex Fund. The slogan for Spartan Forex Fund was "First 16% you keep, everything above we split." What it meant was that the investor would keep first 16% of the profit per year, and all profit above that would be split between investor and the fund 50/50. So neither Dmitri Chavkerov, nor the Grespinet brothers would make a penny until the investor earned 16% annual return on their money. SpartanForexFund.com was started, in order to solicit money for this investment pool, but after the wpips falling out between Dmitri Chavkerov and Claude Grespinet, Spartan Forex Fund was closed.
I think this pretty much sums it up on Dmitri's websites and their history. If you read all the way to this point, thank you for your time and interest.
Chavkerov Update#1 (January 19th, 2013)
Here is a link with a lot of useful content on some personal life details about Dmitri Chavkerov: