Should we ban fiduciaries?

Bernie Madoff was responsible for the most massive fraud and Ponzi scheme in history.

The actual fraud number in dollars is still somewhat murky but may be somewhere between $12 billion and $20 billion dollars.

Curiously, in the U.S. they refer to Madoff’s firm, Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC, as an “investment adviser”. In Canada it is very different. An investment adviser or financial adviser refers to a person not a company.

Amongst the many charges levied against Madoff and his firm is breach of fiduciary duty. Although, Madoff is no longer in the daily headlines, I find it incongruent the media made Madoff out as just another financial adviser that has gone bad.

I do not think this is correct. Since Madoff was charged with breach of fiduciary duty, then he must have been a fiduciary.

Therefore, I have problems with the media’s assumptions that Madoff was a rogue investment adviser that stole billions of dollars. I think it would be more accurate to say that Madoff was a rogue fiduciary who stole billions of dollars.

Considering the scope of Madoff’s crimes, do you really want your money managed by a fiduciary?

Author’s note: I thought I would write a counterpoint to what passes for journalism today. Specifically - journalistic bias. Some journalists point to Bernie Madoff as the worst crook that ever lived. Just this one fiduciary managed to steal and defraud more money than in the entire history of fraud in Canada of 100,000+ advisers. This person was a fiduciary. So I wrote the above absurd article from strictly a biased journalist point of view. Oddly, the same biases that journalism holds for advisers do not seem to apply to fiduciaries. See article below. The following journalist refers specifically to Madoff as a fiduciary yet in the same breath says everyone should need one! Therefore, when someone says all advisers should become fiduciaries, think about Bernard L. Madoff, fiduciary.



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