The Heist Of The Century - Finance and Markets

Share This On Social

The story:

One morning in 2003, a man named August Van Camp took his pets for a walk. These were no ordinary pets being a pair of weasels, but that’s not what this story is about.

Mr. Van Camp liked to walk his pet weasels along a roadway in Belgium that was a frequent receptacle for litter. On this particular day, Mr. Van Camp came across a plastic bag filled with litter. Like he always did, he called the police to complain.

During his call, the police asked Mr. Van Camp to describe what he found. Among the items were the plastic bag, a half-eaten sandwich, a videotape, and some envelopes marked Antwerp World Diamond Center.

The police had recently been alerted to a robbery at the Antwerp World Diamond Center, so they were obviously interested. They compiled a body of evidence from the debris that pointed to one man, Leonardo Notarbartolo. Mr. Notarbartolo is a known member of a gang called the School of Turin. He was quickly apprehended and served ten years for his crimes, although he never gave up his accomplices.

The heist? It was called the heist of the century by newspapers of the time. Notarbartolo and his crew made it through ten layers of security and cracked an impenetrable vault only to be brought down by a bag of trash. If not for the one seemingly minor detail, they would have gotten away. The police had no clues until they got that call from Mr. Van Camp.

The takeaway:

There is no detail too small when it comes to your money. Take your time with your investments. Do your due diligence. Only pull the trigger and buy when you are comfortable with what you are buying. You might miss out on some big gains, but you’ll get consistent gains, and those are better, especially when you can avoid those big losses too.

Image: Google