Christopher Terry launched iMarketsLive back in 2013.

BehindMLM reviewed iMarketsLive in August the same year. Our analysis revealed iMarketsLive bundled a securities offering with pyramid recruitment.

Four years later we revisited iMarketsLive. This was roughly about a year after Terry told new recruit Alex Morton ‘he had been through hell and back and his company at the time was barely surviving’.

While a retail option had been introdcuced, iMarketsLive’s securities offering, now with an auto trader, was just as illegal as ever.

Our review was published in September 2017. In March 2018 iMarketsLive discontinued auto-trading.

By this time two fraud related regulatory warnings had been issued in Colombia, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

The UK warned of iMarketsLive “scammers” in July 2018.

Two months later we learned the CFTC had also been investigating iMarketsLive, which likely prompted the company to drop its auto-trading service.

Of their investigation findings the CFTC stated;

iMarketsLive affiliates were receiving automated returns from an entity run by individuals who were not registered and thus authorized provide such a service.

Rather than defend the CFTC’s claims iMarketsLive settled. The settlement imposed a $150,000 fine and acknowledgement that the CFTC’s findings were “true and correct”.

Things were relatively quiet over at iMarketsLive for the rest of 2018 and for most of 2019. Then, out of the blue, in September 2019 Terry announced iMarketsLive was rebranding as IM Mastery Academy.

Whereas iMarketsLive was very much a Christopher Terry affair, IM Mastery Academy sees Isis De La Torre credited as co-founder.

Torre was also credited as a co-founder of iMarketsLive, in addition to being both companies’ CFO, but like I said, iMarketsLive was very much the Christopher Terry show.

In any event, today we revisit iMarketsLive for a third time as the newly relaunched IM Mastery Academy.

Read on for a full review of IM Mastery Academy’s MLM opportunity.

IM Mastery Academy’s Products

Forex and cryptocurrency themed products featured on IM Mastery Academy’s website include:

  • Harmonics – “patterns in the forex markets help you identify potential reversals in the market” (also offered in a cryptocurrency variant)
  • Delorean – “an algorithm that gets you in the right place at the right time with hundreds of market opportunities”
  • Steady – “this algorithm looks for long term, swing trade ideas that you’ll be able to set and forget”
  • Vibrata – “provides multiple strategies that look for trade ideas for you – no analysis needed on your end, ever”
  • Levels – “an algorithm that identifies entry points, stop loss and take profits one level at a time in the markets”
  • GoldCup – “a combination of strategies that correlate with one another and look for high probability trade ideas”
  • BounceBack – “this tool searches for and identifies the best entry points for you to get into the markets”
  • SwipeTrades – “access real time forex trade ideas and market analysis & education sent straight to your phone” (also offered in a “SwipeCoin” cryptocurrency variant)
  • Pivots – “this algorithm takes the guess out of finding market opportunities by identifying key reversal zones on many time frames”
  • Liberty – “this tool focuses on finding high pace trade ideas for Binary Options”

If you scroll up there’s also several “academy” variants on offer:

  • FRX Academy – “gain mastery over trading currencies”
  • HFX Academy – “lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt. lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, adipiscing elit, sed do” (verbatim)
  • DCX Academy – “gain mastery over trading digital currencies”
  • IBO Academy (not a retail product) – “discover how to take advantage of a $180 billion industry and learn the step-by-step blueprint to building a successful home based business”

IM Mastery Academy’s are bundled with Platinum and Elite Starter Packs.

The cheaper $225 Platinum Starter Pack comes with “the mastery academy, goLIVE, the exclusive harmonics scanner and piptalk.”

I’m assuming “goLIVE” is the Harmonics product detailed above, however there is no indication of this on IM Mastery Academy’s website. PipTalk isn’t referenced or explained either.

The $325 Elite Starter Pack is pitched as the “all in” option, providing full access to IM Mastery Academy’s products.

Upon proceeding to sign up as an IM Mastery Academy retail customer however, things quickly fall apart.

Actually signing up as an IM Mastery Academy retail customer does away with the simple two options presented on their website.

Instead new customers are bombarded with seven poorly explained upfront payment options, and four monthly residual payment options.

And I say poorly explained, because products featured in these bundles are not referenced on IM Mastery Academy’s public-facing website.

In addition to the two simple retail membership options presented, here are the confusing actual options retail customers have –

  • Prime 3 Month Plan (appears to be Elite Starter Pack equivalent) – $825 every 3 months paid in bitcoin
  • Prime 6 Month Plan (appears to be Elite Starter Pack equivalent) – $1600 every six months paid in bitcoin
  • Prime 12 month Plan (appears to be Elite Starter Pack equivalent) – $3150 every 12 months paid in bitcoin
  • Elite Starter Pack – $325 and then $274.95 a month
  • Platinum Starter Pack – $199.95 (different price on the public-facing website) and then $164.95 a month
  • HFFX Monthly – $189.95 for four products not featured on public-facing website and then $179.95 a month
  • Digital Currency Monthly – $189.95 for cryptocurrency related products and then $179.95 a month

Rather than detail initial and ongoing monthly package costs, IM Marketing Academy splits them – allowing retail customers to mix and match (which makes no sense).

E.g. I can sign up with an Elite Starter Pack and make my monthly payment for Digital Currency Monthly, losing access to nearly all my Elite Starter Pack products.

IM Mastery Academy’s Compensation Plan

IM Mastery Academy fail to provide a copy of their compensation plan on their website.

The following analysis is thus put together from various affiliate presentations, which reference what appears to be official IM Marstery Academy compensation documentation.

IM Mastery Academy Affiliate Ranks

There are eleven affiliate ranks within IM Mastery Academy’s compensation plan.

Along with their respective qualification criteria, they are as follows:

  • Platinum 150 – have a downline of 3 subscribers and generate 435 GV a month
  • Platinum 600 – have a downline of 12 subscribers and generate 1740 GV a month
  • Platinum 1000 – have a downline of 30 subscribers and generate 4350 GV a month
  • Platinum 2000 – have a downline of 75 subscribers and generate 10,875 GV a month
  • Platinum 5000 – have a downline of 225 subscribers and generate 32,625 GV a month
  • Chairman 10 – have a downline of 500 subscribers and generate 72,500 GV a month
  • Chairman 25 – have a downline of 1250 subscribers and generate 181,250 GV a month
  • Chairman 50 – have a downline of 2500 subscribers and generate 362,500 GV a month
  • Chairman 100 – have a downline of 5000 subscribers and generate 725,000 GV a month
  • Chairman 250 – have a downline of 15,000 subscribers and generate 2,175,000 GV a month
  • Chairman 500 – have a downline of 30,000 subscribers and generate 3,350,000 GV a month

Subscribers are either retail customers or recruited affiliates who have purchased an IM Mastery Academy package.

GV stands for “Group Volume” and is sales volume generated by the sale of packages to IM Mastery Academy retail customers and/or affiliates.

Note that up to 40% of required GV is counted from any one unilevel leg.

Retail & Recruitment Commissions

IM Mastery Academy affiliates earn $35 on the sale of a Platinum Starter Pack and $50 on the sale of an Elite Starter Pack.

The same commission is paid out irrespective of whether a pack is purchased by a personally enrolled retail customer or recruited affiliate.

Residual retail and recruitment commissions down an additional two levels (2 and 3), are available to Platinum 600 and Platinum 1000 ranked affiliates.

  • Platinum 600 ranked affiliates earn a residual $10 Platinum Starter Pack and $12 Elite Starter Pack commission on level 2
  • Platinum 1000 ranked affiliates earn a residual $5 Platinum Starter Pack and $7 Elite Starter Pack commission on level 3 (on top of level 2 commissions)

Joining IM Mastery Academy

IM Mastery Academy affiliate membership is $16.71 a month.

Conclusion

The long and the short of it is IM Mastery Academy is a compliance step backward from our last 2017 review.

What IM Mastery Academy is offering today is more aligned with their initial offering, which we stated in our initial review was “so out of compliance it was comical.”

Whereas in 2017 iMarketsLive had mandatory retail volume qualifiers, they are gone in IM Mastery Academy.

It’s entirely possible to sign up as an affiliate and focus only on recruitment of affiliates who purchase packages.

And if this is where the majority of IM Mastery Live’s company-wide sales revenue is originating from, the company is operating as a pyramid scheme.

On top of that potential securities fraud has returned, by way of offered algorithms.

An algorithm suggests automation, or when put into regulatory terms, the generation of a return via the efforts of others.

Those familiar with securities regulation will recognize the above from the Howey Test.

With respect to securities regulation in the US, the Howey Test is used to determine the existence of an investment contract.

An investment contract is found when

a contract, transaction or scheme whereby a person invests his money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party.

The use of an algorithm qualifies as pooled money, as it’s collectively under control of IM Mastery Academy’s algorithms.

Promoters of such schemes sometimes set up the investment contract to operate from individual accounts, however the use of a central algorithm deems this pseudo-compliance.

That said, the SEC or CFTC are yet to go after an MLM company with this setup.

If IM Mastery Live winds up being the first company they decide to make an example of, expect a repeat iMarketsLive CFTC outcome.

I have to caveat here in that I’m assuming that’s how IM Mastery Live have set up their algorithm offerings.

The company’s website doesn’t go into specifics for any of the algorithm products, which feels like an intentional decision.

Another aspect to consider is that iMarketsLive has been around since 2013. The company has had six years to generate trading success stories – yet I couldn’t find one referenced on IM Mastery Academy’s website.

An external search revealed some testimonials, but as far as I can tell these are all from affiliates.

Shouldn’t IM Mastery Academy, following on from iMarketsLive, be swimming in retail customer trading success stories by now?

That of course assumes IM Mastery Academies algorithms and what not actually work long-term.

Based on the lack of ranting and raving from satisfied retail customers, I have my doubts.

The rest of IM Mastery Academy’s products fall within regulatory compliance. That is either education, or signals a retail customer or affiliate has to manually act on.

Automation trading of any kind is where securities fraud comes in, anything manual is fine.

Something else I want to touch on goes back to iMarketsLive’s CFTC settlement.

If everything was above board, why didn’t iMarketsLive pay the settlement fine and then register FX Signals Live with the CFTC (and SEC if required)?

Ditto IM Mastery Live’s current offering, which requires subscribers to agree to the following pseudo-compliance:

I fully understand that iMarketsLive [sic] is NOT an investment company offering financial advice.

Honestly, how are you going to sell trading information, offer multiple automated algorithm and manual signal trading services and state you’re not offering financial advice?

Puh-leese.

And look, just so we’re clear here; here’s an official IM Mastery Academy marketing video literally equating trading with the Delorean trading bot to an investment.

Yeah that video is probably going to disappear shortly after this review goes live – but that doesn’t change the nature of IM Mastery Academy’s algorithm bot investment opportunity.

It’s not illegal to offer passive algorithm returns through an MLM opportunity in the US, but it is if you do so without registering the opportunity with regulators.

Doing so requires a company to provide periodic audited financial reports, so make of that what you will.

All I’m saying is iMarketsLive and IM Mastery Academy seem more concerned with what they can get away with, rather than making sure everything is regulatory compliant from the get go.

And speaking of regulation, why is bitcoin the only payment option for Prime subscriptions?

If you sign up as an affiliate IM Mastery Academy offer a credit card option, so it’s not like they don’t have a processor.

So why is the big subscription money being funneled through cryptocurrency?

Had bitcoin of been an option along side typical processor options, that’d hardly raise suspicion. Bitcoin being the only payment option however is highly suspicious.

On a less nefarious note, it also makes advertised savings disingenuous.

Take, for example, IM Mastery Live’s 12 month plan on the right.

Advertised savings are $150 annually, which hinges on bitcoin not decreasing $150 in value from the time of payment.

It may or it may not, but the point is IM Mastery Academy don’t know where bitcoin will go.

Thus advertising a $150 comparative discount to fiat on an annual payment required in bitcoin comes across as false advertising.

Also if you’re going to sell multiple subscription packs, these need to be detailed accurately on IM Mastery Academy’s public-facing website.

It’s completely unprofessional to present two subscription options and then hit retail customers with a confusing smorgasbord.

Even more so when half the products listed have no explanation or reference point on the public-facing website.

Again, iMarketsLive has been around since 2013. And given the September reboot was now almost three months ago, it’s just not good enough.

The one positive I’ll give IM Mastery Academy is their seven day refund policy. This applies to initial pack subscriptions and ongoing monthly payments.

As advertised, if a subscriber isn’t happy, they are able to claim a subscription payment back within 7 days (this doesn’t include previous payments beyond seven days).

Something else that’s not good enough is an MLM company failing to provide the public a copy of their compensation plan.

This leads to the question of why on Earth does IM Mastery Academy have eleven affiliate ranks when only to pertain to the compensation plan?

I imagine there’s hidden components IM Mastery Live aren’t making public (for whatever reason), but every public reference to IM Mastery Live’s compensation plan I found only referenced the three-level deep commission structure.

Ultimately however the takeaway here should be algorithmic trading concerns and a potential response from the CFTC and/or SEC.

Or the FTC if, as I suspect, IM Mastery Academy retail subscription revenue is dwarfed by affiliate subscription sales.