Investments glossary


Tontine is the name of an early system for raising capital in which individuals pay into a common pool of money; they receive dividends based on their share of returns from investments made with the pooled money. As members of the group died, they were not replaced with new investors so the proceeds were divided among fewer and fewer members. The surviving investors quite literally profited from the deaths of people they knew—a feature that many considered macabre. Even in their heyday, tontines were regarded as somewhat off-color.

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