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Monday, 20 February 2012

A competition to find the biggest crooks and fools. Who would win? And an investment puzzle

I don't know what quirk in me makes for this never-ending fascination with rogues and fools.

Anyhow the funniest things I read on Saturday covered both. First, a headline saying "FTSE settles above 5,900 on Greece optimism."

It is my sincere belief that anyone who thinks Greece is not going down the pan is a fool.

And second an email from a charitable well-wisher which read:

This Money Maker is Going CRAZY!!

And it has something for EVERYONE!

1) Don't spend a cent, and learn how to become more successful - online and offline!

That means absolutely FREE!!

Actually you will get $10 in your account to start... on the house.

2) Be passive and...
Triple your money in a few months!

3) Promote actively and...
Earn hundreds per month, right from the start!

Earn thousands per month, with just a little more time...

There's nothing like it on the web!

This is not quite true, actually. There's a LOT like it on the web and clearly a lot of fools fall for it.

But there are also a lot of fools in the investment world - a point beautifully made by the radiant Merryn Somerset-Webb a week or so ago.

"Invest in a Hedge Fund and you will get what you pay for in the sense that someone in Mayfair will randomly shift your money around to save you the effort of losing it yourself."

She then went on to point out that Private Equity Funds are if anything an ever bigger rip-off, as they charge you a thumping great fee whether they invest your money or not.

Years ago when I was writing stuff for an investment firm I read that you would be better off with a blindfold throwing darts a board than taking advice from the average fund manager.

Anyhow I don't understand what goes on in people's heads. Four months or so ago I asked if anyone would like to employ our services on a no-win, no fee basis.

The offer was to do with getting better results on the internet, with us sharing the savings or profits produced.

Quite a few people said yes, but few went ahead.

One who did go ahead has since saved over £50,000. Some of the others didn't want to share the necessary information - their analytics. Others, as far as I can make out, just found the idea of someone else making money out of them obnoxious.

There's nowt so queer as folk.

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