Bernie Madoff was dubbed the “Monster of Wall Street” and rightfully so. What did Madoff do to warrant this name? He bilked thousands of people out of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme. As one of the founders of NASDAQ, investors were duped into thinking he was under the closest regulatory supervision. Not only was this not the case, no one was really watching Madoff. Preying on wealthy clients with a proclivity for exclusivity, Madoff chose a hedge fund as his weapon of deceit. With a $1 million initial investment requirement and a lock-down period in which money can not be withdrawn, Madoff knew the opportunity to invest in his hedge fund, would supersede his client’s desire for transparency. In addition to the perfect set-up for fraud, Madoff’s deceit went much further as he bamboozled his own sons. Bernie Madoff’s lack of transparency changed the way we invest, look at investing and are allowed to invest. The Post-Madoff Reforms are extensive.
The moral of this story is that you need to know what to expect when you invest. You must educate yourself on basic investing and use a reputable company. You might ask, “How do I know who is reputable and who is not?” Your best bet is to do your research. Check out the reputation of the company and the broker with whom you want to invest. If you have issues with the investment company, you can file a complaint with the SEC. Be proactive and don’t let a money vampire suck your hard-earned money out of you! Bernie Madoff’s are lurking everywhere!