Monday, December 28, 2009

When the Going Gets Tough . . .

. . . the Ponzi schemes get going.

For evidence of the going getting tough, WSJ subscribers can see Adjusted for Inflation, Dow's Gains Are Puny. The DJIA would have to soar another 25% and more to equal its real 1999 level.

We've called attention to the inflation-adjusted DJIA before. This chart shows the severity of the slow-motion crash in the 1970's. Even if we avoid repeating that slide in the 2010's (keep fingers and toes crossed!) investors may continue to find decent returns hard to come by.

The more frustrated investors become, the faster Ponzi-style plundering proliferates. None of the schemes that unravelled in 2009 equaled Madoff's, but there were an awful lot of them.

Moral: Now more than ever, investors need true fiduciaries to help them navigate in shark-infested waters.

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