ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from a Queensland-based options trader and his associated companies following an investigation into misleading and deceptive conduct in the marketing of share trading software.
Between August 2008 and July 2010 Rob Wilson, also known as ‘Aussie Rob’, and Gold Coast-based companies Lifestyle Investor Services Pty Ltd and Lifestyle Trader Pty Ltd marketed and sold options trading software known as ‘Lifestyle Options – Share Rental’ and offered steps on how to use the product.
ASIC found that statements made by Mr Wilson, who is from Hervey Bay, and the two companies in marketing the software were misleading and deceptive. These statements included:
“Writing covered calls is the same as ‘Share Rental’ or renting out real estate”;
“Options trading is easy”; and
“Returns of 5-10 per cent per month and 60-120 per cent per year can consistently be achieved through use of Lifestyle Options – Share Rental”
Mr Wilson’s and the two companies’ EU includes an agreement to permanently refrain from using the above phrases in connection with options trading.
Lifestyle Investor Services Pty Ltd and Lifestyle Trader Pty Ltd have also agreed to provide a refund to people who bought the product after one or more of the misleading and deceptive statements were made to them.
Under the EU, the companies will write to the relevant clients and provide them with information to help them claim any refund that they may be entitled to.
The EU also requires Lifestyle Investor Services Pty Ltd , for a period of 12 months, to ensure all of its advertising material or that of its authorised representatives - in connection with any options trading product - which is marketed or distributed, is assessed by a lawyer for compliance with applicable laws prior to publication.
Lifestyle Investor Services Pty Ltd’s compliance with this requirement will be reviewed by an independent expert who will regularly report to ASIC.
Editor's note: Claims for refund should no longer be made to Deborah Williamson or to the telephone number quoted in the enforceable undertaking. On 16 April 2012, Gavin Charles Morton of Morton's Solvency Accountants was appointed Liquidator of Lifestyle Trader Pty Ltd. Claims should now be directed to Morton's Solvency Accountants or the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited as follows:
Morton's Solvency Accountants
PO Box 10891 Brisbane Adelaide St QLD 4000
Tel: (07) 3832 7131