While it remains unclear if the Holy Spirit was behind these trades, one thing is for sure: When Charles Erickson's investors opened their recent statements, they said, "Holy Shit!"
As reported by Ponzi Tracker, Charles Erickson of Uxbridge, Massachusetts was looking for a way to supplement his retirement income. Despite having no day trading experience, Erickson jumped head first into the E-Mini Russell 2000 futures contract. In testimony provided to the Massachusetts Securities Division, he said,
It's going to sound a little strange to you, but ... I believe the Holy Spirit showed me this system.
Apparently, the machinations of the Holy Spirit are proprietary. When asked for further disclosure, he said, "I don't want to give my system away." However, he certainly had no reservations about letting his investors give their money away. He promised them monthly returns of 4%. It seems like a small number, but annually, that's about 50%. The 25 "investors" were convinced, and they gave him $3.5 million.
The plan started unraveling in 2013 when Erickson sustained significant trading losses. He eventually halted payments in September 2014, and in December, he told investors he had "zero capital and almost zero assets." Erickson later disclosed that the "system" did not generate returns every month and that he would use reserves to pay other investors during those situations, which is the definition of a Ponzi scheme.
Optimistic investors should consider this as a bump in the road. Eventually, we will see a "Holy Spirit ETF" that will work out the kinks in Erickson's system, and we'll all be on the road to riches.