Thomas Fitzsimons: The Irish Founding Father

Very few people know the name of Thomas Fitzsimons. He was one of the least well-known Founding Fathers of the United States who usually played a subordinate role to some other key figure such that historical glory has proved elusiveness.

Nevertheless, Fitzsimons could claim to be one of the most prosperous of all the founding fathers, building an estate much larger than that of his peers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Benjamin Franklin.

Fitzsimons was born in Ballykilty, in County Cork, Ireland in 1741. This was the worst time to be born into the world in the entire history of Ireland. The history books recall this great famine as “The Year of the Slaughter” (or the “Biliain an Air”) because the potatoes failed to an oomycete infection, the grains frosted, the milk spoiled, and the lakes were both frigid and contaminated. These conditions resulted in the death of over a third of Ireland’s population.

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Post-Dating A Check Accomplishes Nothing

A few months ago, a friend of mine—who is a lawyer, no less!—got involved in a dilemma in which he wrote a check to a construction company that was post-dated, and the construction company deposited it immediately.

He had just finished getting a deck added to his backyard, and he had a final payment due for approximately $4,800. He had $3,500 in his bank account at the time the work was completed on a Tuesday—the same date that the construction company requested final payment.

My friend wrote a check for the $4,800, mentioned that he didn’t get paid until Friday, and requested that the construction company deposit the check a day or two after his pay day. Sure enough, the construction company deposited the check the next day, and the bank processed it and my friend had a negative -$1,300 or so balance in his account.

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Peeking at California’s Mesothelioma Attorneys

Since 1988, California juries have awarded approximately $42 billion in damages to victims of mesothelioma that have dealt with the cancer that manifests itself two to four decades after asbestos exposure.

Unfortunately for the victims, companies have been able dodge asbestos liability by filing for bankruptcy, establishing a trust fund for future mesothelioma litigation which limits the recovery potential for the affected persons that bring the lawsuit, and then continue on with their business as if they didn’t leave behind a trail of cancer-inducing harm in their wake.

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ExxonMobil Stock This Generation

The ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM), the largest of the “Seven Sisters” that originally comprised the Standard Oil Trust brought to the market by John Rockefeller in 1882, provides one of the most important lessons on what it means to be a long-term investor.

With cyclical stocks, I find it difficult to pound it into both the heads and hearts of my audience just how long it can take for an investment thesis to come to fruition.

If you invest in the oil majors, you almost have to dedicate yourself to become an income investor because the investment returns in the sector are so non-linear.

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How Does A Reverse Mortgage Work?

Reverse mortgages work by permitting a borrower to take out money with no immediate requirement for repayment (the house is offered as security for the reverse mortgage lender’s loan).

There is nothing particularly unique about a reverse mortgage that separates it from other real estate transactions except for the fact that the date upon which the bank collects repayment is less definite than traditional loans that involve real estate.

Typically, these types of mortgages come with three variations. Some lenders provide borrowers with an immediate lump sum payment, others provide smaller lump-sum payments in a manner that mimic a home equity line of credit, and the third option—which is most recently discussed, involves a lender paying the borrower a fixed monthly income.

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