46%: those are the annual returns that scam-artist Bernard Madoff promised some investors to his fictional hedge fund. Numbers like those should be a tip-off to any savvy investor that the fund in question is a pyramid scam. No one can realistically promise such returns, and the chances of a fund producing similiar returns on a reliable basis is basically nil. I have to assume that these were rates Madoff promised widows and orphans and other unsophisticated investors. Anyone with any financial sense who heard such promises and didn't immedately run for the exit was simply blinded by his own greed.