Donald Trump and Bernard Madoff both own property in Palm Beach, Florida, so it makes sense that they frequently crossed paths in the city's tony social circuit. In his new book, Think Like a Champion, Donald Trump explains why he said no to Madoff's invitation to invest money in his funds. "He'd say, 'Why don't you invest in my fund?' I didn't know much about him and I'm not a fund guy so I said no. I had enough going on in my own businesses that I didn't need to be associated or involved with his," Trump recalls.
That turned out to be a smart move. Trump says he knows plenty of people who invested their life savings with Madoff. "He is without a doubt a sleazebag and a scoundrel without par," Trump writes. The lesson, he says, is to do your "due diligence" before trusting someone with your money.
"I think we would all do well to pay heed to all of our transactions no matter how much we might respect or like someone. But the main lesson is never to invest 100 percent of your money with one person or one entity," Trump says, sounding more sensible than he does most Sunday nights in the Apprentice boardroom.
- For more, read: "Bernie Madoff Lesson: Diversify."