Chapter 10

In Conclusion

Throughout this book, we have consciously made no distinction between individuals and institutions when using the term investor. We saw no need to make a distinction since they confront the same issues and challenges as they navigate differing investment opportunities and associated risks. Furthermore, while at times we are seemingly harsh on managers and their institutions, we are reminded that this is a harsh business. It is a business where retirements, basic comforts of life, and careers are at stake. It is also a business where people are paid vast sums of money to produce very specific results. These vast sums also have, at times, the ability to compromise moral and intellectual compasses. We have no doubt that investment banks were not designed simply to relieve investors of their money. These institutions play a valuable role in the efficient movement and disbursement of monies and the building of opportunities. Similarly, there is no doubt that the vast majority of people in the investment and money management industry are just trying to do their jobs on a day-to-day basis. However, like all industries as large and complex as this, the level of competence, service, and expertise is at best uneven. At times, the lack of competence is forgivable, if not understandable. Far too often in the recent past, it has not been. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a United States government commission tasked with the goal of investigating the causes ...

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