MEANING: noun: A form of investment in which participants pool their money into a common fund and receive an annuity. Each person's share increases as members die until the last survivor takes the whole.

ETYMOLOGY: From French tontine. Named after Lorenzo Tonti, a Neapolitan banker, who started the scheme in France. Earliest documented use: 1765.

NOTES: A tontine was also used a way to raise money for the state, often for fighting wars, as the fund went to the crown after the last person died. Crown funding via crowdfunding. As there was a perverse incentive to hasten the demise of other members of a tontine to increase one's share, eventually it was made illegal. Tontine has been used as a plot device in many works of fiction


TINTINE - a naive whose adventures were chronicled first in French comic strips and more recently a movie. Any wealth she garnered during her escapades went toward the wellbeing of her out-of-wedlock daughter, poignantly described by Victor Hugo