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My broker sent me this email:

This is an automated message to alert you that your overall account value has just decreased by -10% within the day.

The broker claims that this message means, the account decreased by 10% from the beginning and is more or less ignoring the within the day.
I am Austrian and therefore not an English native speaker but an English friend [from Liverpool] read the email and she told me that the email means the account value decreased by these 10% in 1 day - be more specific: The previous day the email was sent.

My question:
How is this email really to be understood? Is it clear what the broker says that they mean the account value decreased by 10% from the beginning, or does it mean the account value decreased by 10% that one day?

Another point:
When writing decrease I consider the minus sign in the percentage value also as not correct. The word decrease is precise enough so in my eyes it should be like this: ..has just decreased by 10%...

I am asking because this a one of the biggest brokers and they send in my eyes not clear statements.

So, in the end I would have expected the email something like this:

... has just decreased by 10% since the account was opened.

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    If this is indeed the decrease "from the beginning", then I guess that "within the day" tells you that your account passed that 10% mark during the previous 24 hours. But I agree that my first guess would be as your Liverpudlian friend said. – GEdgar Jul 12 '18 at 13:26
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    I agree with your point about the -10% -- that looks redundant and illogical. – Oliver Mason Jul 12 '18 at 13:37
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    To decrease by -10% means to increase by 10%. I believe the use of the minus sign here was a mistake. – Jason Bassford Jul 12 '18 at 14:32
  • I would argue that the meaning of the message is that you need a new broker. (If they're not going to be careful about messages to their clients, will they be careful in managing your account?) Normally, I would expect within the day to be used in a future context, as in "I will respond within the day." In this instance, when combined with "has just", I would take it to mean that your value is 90% of what it was yesterday -- the decrease has occurred in the last 24 hours. If they wanted to say that it just passed the 90% mark, they ought to say it just reached or passed it. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 12 '18 at 17:30
  • Also, the minus sign was almost certainly an error -- which leads me to wonder if your account has fallen in value because they purchased or sold negative amounts. – Roger Sinasohn Jul 12 '18 at 17:31
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"Within the day" seems pretty meaningless in this context. The phrase is commonly used to refer to the future ("we will deliver it within the/a day," or some number of days) or a 24 hour period. Here is an example: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Wines Pulled Within A Day Of Backlash, meaning it was pulled within 24 hours.

So, for your example, I would expect something more specific like: "since the start of trading today", or "in the past 24 hours" or, if it really does mean what they claim, "since the account was opened" (as you suggest).

I think this is an example of the problems caused by letting engineers or non-English speakers write automated messages!

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    Or letting money men write them. (My dad was a CPA but my mom wrote all the correspondence so the grammar and spelling was impeccable.) – Roger Sinasohn Jul 12 '18 at 17:32

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