One investor who managed to recover the $20,000 from his Celsius Network account just before the debacle misunderstood the fact that the Caisse de depot et Placement du Québec didn’t see the warning signs coming.
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“When I saw that the Caisse had invested almost $200 million, I said to myself, ‘Go.’ When they invest such large amounts in our pension funds, I found that reassuring,” says Karl Sigouin, who is a real estate agent.
Initially, the 33-year-old settles for as little as $1,000 in his Celsius account, but quickly takes a liking to the 14% interest rate and ends up depositing $20,000 after reading a lot about the company.
Like many Celsius customers, he was initially won over by the company’s CEO, Alex Mashinsky, who offered better bang for the buck.
But at the beginning of the year the sky darkens. Clouds hover over specialized sites, and questions fly in the discussion forums.
“This past February and March we felt a wave of uncertainty, so I decided to withdraw my marbles,” he explains. It’s the end of the fairy tale.
When asked why, he replies that back then the free information available in one click on social networks foreshadowed the worst.
“In the Reddit Facebook groups, we felt that there was some kind of tension in terms of the money invested,” recalls Karl Sigouin.
History will have proved him right. By mid-June, Celsius’s 1.7 million customers were locked out. Impossible for them to withdraw their money.
A month later, the news: Celsius is sheltering from its creditors after a tumultuous few weeks marked by allegations of Ponzi fraud in the United States.
In retrospect, Karl Sigouin wonders why Quebecers’ wool socks were not able to measure water temperature in the past.
“I would have hoped for a better cash check,” he chimes in.
Today, the investor is urging Quebecers to become more financially informed to become more familiar with financial products like real estate, which he believes are a safe bet.
“Do your research before you invest. The cost of a good education is priceless. The risk is that we don’t know a domain,” analyzes the man, who has a bachelor’s degree in administration and a degree in finance.
“Cryptocurrency in itself is a good investment vehicle. You just have to do business with professionals,” he says.
The silent PM
Yesterday, the Caisse de depot declined to respond to the fall of Celsius, nor did they respond to our request for an interview.
Asked by The newspaperPrime Minister François Legault’s office returned the ball to that of Finance Minister Eric Girard.
“We are reluctant to comment at this time as this is a legal process,” said his attaché, Catherine Robitaille.
“Note, however, that the Caisse is independent and that its investment decisions follow a strict risk management process,” we were assured.
– With the collaboration of Marie Christine Trottier