Genius Funds: A sad state of affairs

I have been blogging about this Cyprus-based company for some time. On February 12, we issued a temporary order against Genius Funds alleging that it had breached various securities laws.

Last week, the Alberta Securities Commission issued an interim cease trade order against the company alleging that they have engaged in illegal trading and distribution of funds.

This morning I was pleased to see that the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission issued a warning stating that Genius Funds “is not regulated by the Commission and the authorisation with the number CIF 087/07, which the above mentioned company alleged that it possesses, is fake.”

Last night, we received a comment which we have posted, blaming us for warning people about a possible Ponzi scheme.  Sadly, this is a predictable response from someone who thought that the offer of such high returns (1.9 percent daily on one fund and up to nine percent on a second fund) was possible. Clearly, Genius Funds investors failed to question why these funds can offer returns that are significantly higher than any bank or financial institution offers.

We don’t know how many people have wired money to this website. It could be in the thousands.  Remember the website promoted the funds in seven different languages. This fund was promoted extensively on-line, using social websites and classified on-line ads.

As we have seen in so many other cases, when these schemes fall apart, the first response by investors is to deny that it is happening and to blame the messenger. They are often angry and won’t accept advice that tells them that a particular scheme is not viable.

After reality sets in, the tone and response from investors is remarkably different.   At this point, they have to face the grim reality that they probably have lost most, if not all, of the money invested.

To read previous posts on this and other topics, click on Let’s talk about investing.