Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme stole over $65 billion from 11,000 investors.

These were successful individuals and institutions with millions to invest, so how did they all miss the signs that Madoff, who died on April 14,  was a fraud who was stealing their assets?

The simple answer: they put trust over research.

The signs were obvious: Madoff’s FINRA report revealed he’d been censured three times for his trading activities, he’d received fourteen cautionary letters for technical/reporting violations, and was fined $45,000.

If Madoff’s investors did their research, many of them could have avoided him completely. But they didn’t. They trusted Madoff and he abused that trust.

It’s smart business to only ever trust a financial adviser after conducting an objective research process that properly evaluates them. This can be an involved process, but it’s imperative to secure your financial livelihood with the right person. When doing your research, it helps to know who to avoid. Here are sixteen crucial red flags from our book, 5 Steps For Selecting The Best Financial Advisor, for you to consider when looking for a financial adviser.

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