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Biggest Investor Mistakes: iPonzi, Anyone?

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-13T22:48:05Z

Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images

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Signing Over Millions

Even in the era of Bernard Madoff, some people trust financial advisers way too much. Harold Evensky, president of Evensky & Katz Wealth Management, recounts a time when a mother and daughter--"sweet, trusting people" who had just won an accident settlement--handed him an endorsed check for about $2 million. "In effect they handed me cash," he says. Generally, clients shouldn't be writing checks to their advisers at all, but rather to the independent broker or custodian that holds the client's assets, says Evensky. Otherwise, clients make it too easy to be cheated by unscrupulous managers.