This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on Dec. 15 at 8:03 a.m. EST.Life at its best is bittersweet. I have had a good year investing. Some of my oldest friends are also my Limited Partners. My performance in 2008 is a sense of personal achievement for me. Through hard work, a skeptical and independent view and by virtue of hard-hitting analysis, I have made money for my investors in a challenging period. Meanwhile, many of my other friends have been caught up in the alleged Madoff fraud -- many others. As I related on Friday, if accurately reported, the Madoff Ponzi scheme is the biggest fraud of all time, bigger than Bayou and Enron combined. In that column, I detailed my experience of analyzing a Madoff account in 2005, the process of which made me an early nonbeliever because the numbers simply did not add up. I also enumerated six red flags that should have been picked up by investors (and their agents), many of whom put their entire investment capital with Madoff.