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Biggest Investor Mistakes: iPonzi, Anyone?

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

Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

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Loading Up On Munis

Investing all your money in one asset class is asking for trouble. So when a man who'd received a windfall $17 million from the sale of a business met with planner Frank Armstrong and asked him to put every cent in municipal bonds, Armstrong turned him down as a client. "I wasn't going to preside over the demise of his family fortune," says the planner. It's true that muni bonds are low risk, and that's the problem, Armstrong says. "A zero-risk asset is a zero-return asset." The client, in his early 40s, was likely to see his portfolio eaten up by inflation without a more diverse group of assets, such as stocks and real estate.