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The Best Advice Bernie Madoff Ever Got: A Sucker, And By That We Mean Potential Investor, Is Born Every Second. Get Somea That.

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Unfortunately, he wasn't interviewed for the latest issue of Fortune, for which the cover story is "The Best Advice I Ever Got," but presumably that's what he would've said. People who were actually questioned for the article include Lloyd Blankfein (who said the best pearl of wisdom ever laid on his ass was "empower a subordinate"), Mohamed El-Erian ("Push beyond your comfort zone"), Jim Rogers ("read"), and Meredith Whitney (who lied and said the best piece of advice she ever got was "set realistic goals" when we all know it was "establish a safeword beforehand"). The wisest thing anyone ever told Julian Roberston was that you'll make a lot more friends/clients getting hammered and doing magic tricks at parties than you will talking shop.

The best advice I ever got came from my sister Wyndham [who later became an assistant managing editor at Fortune]. She called me one night after we'd been to a cocktail party in the early 1960s and said, "You're becoming a business bore. No one is interested in talking all night long about stocks. Quit being a business bore." After trying to refute her, I realized she was right. So I stopped being a business bore. I found other topics to discuss. And I found that when I ceased being a business bore -- and quit pushing my views about the market on everyone -- that people came to be more interested in any advice that I might have to give. At the time I was a broker starting out, and it helped me acquire clients. I think the same thing is true as a parent with your kids. If you give advice, it's not nearly as well received as when it's asked for.

If any of you leading lights have some wisdom to impart, please do so at this time.