Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, December 26, 2008

Riches to rags -- What may happen if you don't diversify

Silverton_nancyA basic tenant of investing is to diversify -- that is, don't put all your eggs in one basket.  Failure to diversify can have devastating consequences as Nancy Silverton recently learned.

The following excerpts are from Claudia Eller, A noted restaurateur's recipe for disaster, LA Times, Dec. 24, 2008:

[Nancy Silverton], [t]he La Brea Bakery founder and queen of L.A.'s restaurant scene is among the legions of investors who've lost their fortunes in the alleged $50-billion fraud attributed to New York financier Bernard L. Madoff.

The financial pain is bad enough, Silverton says, but what makes it worse is that she ignored the advice of her father and others who warned her to diversify her investments.

Instead, after walking away with a profit of more than $5 million from the sale of La Brea Bakery in 2001, Silverton put all of her money in a fund affiliated with a Beverly Hills advisor, who in turn entrusted the funds to Madoff. * * *

Silverton said she lost her entire nest egg, including her retirement fund and money she had set aside for her children and their educations.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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