How often have you heard that expression, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"?

Probably a lot.

But probably no other piece of investment advice is ignored more often, by more people. I've been intrigued reading about how Bernie Madoff allegedly attracted so many investors.

And now, the guy they're calling "Bernie Madoff Lite," R. Allen Stanford did the same, but on a smaller scale. Between the two of them, reportedly absconding with upwards of $60 billion of folks' money, some powerful folks' money, simply promising they could make them money.

A lot of money.

Bernie promised 14 to 20 percent returns, good market, bad market, any market. And people bought it. Because the earliest investors in this Ponzi scheme believed it, and could prove it. Or so they thought.

Until they thought otherwise.

And before you know it, Bernie created a cult. Everyone wanted in, even though they had no idea what they were getting into!

Same with this Stanford character, whose victims of choice usually were professional athletes fresh with money, but fresh with no idea how to hang onto that money.

So they gave it to him, and now apparently lost it with him. Believing it was a no-lose bet, until the bet went bad.

And they lost it bad.

And suddenly, what seemed too good to be true was too good to be true. And starlets and athletes and boldface names becoming boldface fools. Victims of the oldest con on earth. Greedy enough to think they could beat the odds.

Stupid enough to assume they would.

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