Monday, January 07, 2013

Golfing in the Investment Jungle

The broker was a really nice guy, a golfer who spent much of his time on the course, dispensing tips on hot stocks between holes. Once you signed up as a client, he handled your paperwork right there in the club parking lot. What more could a multimillionaire ask?

Using Philip Horn, rogue broker, as exemplar, Dealbook asserts that Financial Fraud Defies Policing. No Madoff, Horn rigged a system that allowed him to trade with his clients' money and skim off the profits.

Some comments appended to the Dealbook article express little sympathy for Horn's victims. You can see their point. One golfer invested $10 million with Horn but couldn't bother to look at the 50-page statements (implying at least ten or twenty double-sided pages of trades per month?!?) that he received from Wells Fargo. "If I had time to do that, I wouldn't need a broker."

Decamillionaires with that attitude should stay out of the investment jungle – or hire a fiduciary.

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