Part I: Investing Behavior:
What are the various types of investors? Complete the interactive investor profile questionnaire at http://pfp.missouri.edu/research_IRTA.html. According to this instrument, what kinds of investments should you consider? Write an introduction to your essay that provides a profile for yourself as an investor. What else can you find out about investing behavior–for example, does your profile change over time as you age or does it remain the same? How would your profile assist you and your financial advisor or investment advisor in planning your portfolio?
Part II: Recognizing Fraud
What is a pyramid scheme exactly? Have you ever participated in or invested in such a scheme? Have you ever been a victim of one? Research and discuss this topic in this part of your project. According to research, why can it be difficult to detect a pyramid scheme? What are some possible tip-offs to this kind of fraud? Why are pyramid schemes unsustainable? Who are the victims? Provide a diagram illustrating the dynamics of pyramid schemes.
Part III: Famous Scandals
Survey the Web site of a 2009 60 Minutes CBS broadcast on the Madoff affair, which includes articles, video, and links at https://youtu.be/s68FR1MXT8Q. According to this site, who discovered the Madoff fraud and how? Who were Madoff’s victims? Visit the support group Web site created for the victims at http://berniemadoffponzisupportgroup.blogspot.com/. In the CBS video, how did Madoff defend himself? Read a Wall Street Journal article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123111743915052731.html, explaining how Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was able to succeed. How did investor biases contribute to this success? How did biases in regulatory oversight contribute to the fraud? Sample some of the videos of the congressional hearings on the Madoff scandal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOKSkaQoF_I. Why did representatives and senators focus their criticism on the Securities and Exchange Commission?