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Seven Lessons I Learned from Bernie Madoff


This may be unpopular -- but the truth often is.

Editor's Note: Dr. Doug Hirschhorn is among the premier peak performance coaches on Wall Street and holds a PhD in Psychology, with a specialization in Sport Psychology. A regular contributor to CNBC, he currently hosts a weekly video blog for CNBC. Dr. Doug is the author of 8 Ways to Great: Peak Performance On The Job and In Your Life and co-author of The Trading Athlete.

While Bernie clearly made off with billions of other people's hard-earned dollars -- and is now going to be spending the next 150 years in jail -- I think there are some important things to consider.

Brace yourself, because what I'm about to say may be unpopular -- especially among Madoff's victims.

Here goes: We should thank Bernie for reminding us of some key life lessons.

In order to wrap our heads around that idea, we should start by spending less time raging at Bernie and instead focus on what we've learned. Only then can we transform this horrible event into a positive experience. We can't change the past -- so there's no point in living in it.

Life lessons from Bernie Madoff:

1. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. If someone makes their product sound like it's reserved for the elite -- and that makes you want it more -- be skeptical. There's more to the story.

4. People are way too trusting and easily manipulated, as P.T. Barnum told us a long time ago. There really is a sucker born every minute.

5. Always ask questions, especially when things are going well.

6. Do your own research -- don't just blindly trust a friend's recommendation. What if they didn't do their homework, either?

7. Take responsibility for your own personal and financial decisions.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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