Investment Strategist of the Decade award goes to
February 21, 2009, 04:01 AM
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Bernie Madoff, who is now said by the authorities to have made zero trades over the last 13 years with all the money he received to manage. Granted, who knows if that`s true, and he still managed to blow it all, but I`m just sitting here thinking about what if I had cashed in everything I owned in 2000 and buried it in my backyard, instead of prudently investing it in index funds and CDs and the like. I could have had my own private non-trading Madoff fund, with myself as sole investor and sole (non-acting) hedge fund manager. Would I be ahead?

Personally, I`ve always been sympathetic to the poor sap slave in The Parable of the Talents who buries the money his master has given him to invest, while his smarter co-slaves get rewarded for earning 100% returns on investment. The dumb slave just gives the one talent of money back to the boss with no ROI and gets in big trouble:

Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, �Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered, �Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29 For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’�
Jesus would have been a pretty demanding hedge fund client.

(Yeah, I know it`s metaphorical, but still ...)