The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Capital Punishment

05/17/2018

I have long urged investors to make sure there is always a custodian (TD, Schwab, Pershing, etc.), because that keeps their advisor honest.  But, I’m increasingly despondent, as I was just reading about yet another Ponzi scheme, based in Boca Raton, stealing $1.2 BILLION from 8,400 investors, mostly in Florida and Colorado.

It is a travesty to measure a Ponzi scheme by the dollars stolen.  It should be measured by the number of suicides, early deaths, divorces, college degrees lost, hearts broken, etc.

The article was styled “Sanctioned Schemers Keep Shilling.”  In this case, there were 17 unregistered “salesmen” representing the “perennial problem:  insurance agents with problematic histories selling securities, who market themselves to individuals as wealth and retirement advisors.”

“problematic histories” . . .

Punishment for these crimes is usually little more than loss of license, being barred from the industry, and maybe a little time at some country-club prison.  Then, they are free to destroy the dreams of even more investors.

Some crimes are so heinous, that offenders don’t deserve a second chance.  Investors do!

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