Recouping losses for burned investors
Recouping losses for burned investors
James Nix, 45

On crusade since: 2000

Day job: Senior attorney, Illinois Securities Department

Achievement: Recouped more than $1 billion for investors in settlements with major firms

Why he's a hero: Nix has spent 12 years battling financial bad guys and recovering investors' money from Wall Street giants.

In 2008, the ex-accountant helped negotiate a $1 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs after the market froze up for auction-rate securities it and other banks sold. In 2011 he got millions from Schwab to settle losses in its ostensibly safe YieldPlus bond fund.

Says Nix: "For some defrauded investors, recovering money is a matter of life and death."

By Penelope Wang and Joan Caplin @Money - Last updated July 11 2012: 12:39 PM ET
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Champions of the small investor

Vanguard founder Jack Bogle and his diehard online followers were chosen as MONEY Heroes for their commitment to spreading investment advice that preaches simple, low-cost, diversified investing.

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