Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ask the Broke Broker…Solvent Advice From an Insolvent Expert

Since the commercial real estate business is EXTREMELY SLOW, we here at Sperry Van Ness/Fiducia Properties are approaching things from a different angle and have chosen to dust this column off the hard drive and publish it for the very first time here today on Finley River. We hope you enjoy.


Today is the first of one installments of Ask the Broke Broker, the advice column which seeks to enlighten the business community on the proper usage of business terminology and paper clips.

Question: Mr. Broke Broker, what is the correct definition of a Statue of Limitation?

Mr. BB: Excellent Question! The short answer is I don't know. The long answer is that a Statue of Limitation is a figurine made of granite or marble which memorializes great business pioneers who risked it all and lost it, only to never try again. This term should not be confused with Statute of Limitation, which is the typical amount of time one may avoid paying his attorney before said attorney terminates your fiduciary relationship and free coffee.

Question: In common real estate vernacular, should I refer to a parcel of land as a track of land or a tract of land?

Mr. BB: Neither. I've checked with a variety of nationally recognized real estate experts (and game show host Donald Trump) and the correct terminology is "dirt."

Question: Mr. BB, I have another real estate question. I received a title report on my property which described my house lot as Lot 4, Bubba's Plat, First Edition. Shouldn't that be "First Addition," and if so, will my title be properly insured?

Mr. BB: You are very astute in recognizing this error. Should unforeseen encumbrances later surface which affect clear title on your lot, you WILL NOT be insured. Regarding usage of the term First Edition, intellectual property experts agree that usage of this term is precluded by a trademark secured by artist and former theme park owner and pineapple pitchman Kenny Rogers in 1967 when he and three other former New Christy Minstrels formed the group Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. By the way, tell Bubba to name his next plat after his daughter.

Question: Mr. Broke Broker, I don't know anything about sports, but in business settings I keep hearing terms like "slam dunk, " "hit it out of the park," and the "whole nine yards." What do these terms mean?

Mr. BB: Without resorting to "psychobabble," you are dealing with frustrated jocks who on the one hand, couldn't memo their way out of a paper bag and are skating on thin ice and need to signal fair catch or call time out. On the other side of the totem pole flip side of the corporate ladder, these specific terms all relate to guys who seem to be down for the count and are really, really, behind the cue ball. As a personal note, I prefer mixing it up and confusing co-workers in business meetings by exchanging the use of "whole nine yards" for the more preferred "whole enchilada."

Question: My accountant recommends I undertake something called estate planning? What are your thoughts on this topic?

Mr. BB: Contract your funeral director. This is a business column.

Question: No, no. I think estate planning has something to do with wills, trusts, etc. Does this change your advice?

Mr. BB: It depends. Please send me your asset list and I'll provide you the correct spelling of my non-pen name.

Question: What is the difference between "business dress" and "business casual."

Mr. BB: Depending on the retailer, about $275, or 353.54 New Zealand Dollars.

Question: Someone accused me of "tortuous interference of business practices." Should I be concerned about this?

Mr. BB: Not if you have a public defender who is well trained in corporate litigation.

Question: I heard someone talk about buying silver on margin. This is a new term for me. What is its origin?

Mr. BB: The term margin has its origin in ancient papyrus known as Big Chief Tablet. Often the silver crayon from the 64 Crayola set was used to color on the Big Chief Tablet, hence the phrase "silver on margin." Unfortunately I never experienced "silver on margin" as my parents would only purchase the 16 Crayola set which was devoid of the silver crayon.

This concludes today's Addition. We sincerely hope our time here has improved your business savvy. Keep those questions (and 64 Crayola sets) coming to Mr. Broke Broker where our motto is: Solvency—What's All the Fuss About?


  1. Mr BB: Excellent advice! I am relieved to see that you avoided the imbroglio of psychobabble sufficiently.

  2. This is hysterical! Better than the Best of Dave Barry! Great read Greg!!