My late father-in-law, Bill Lindop, was quite an astute businessperson and was also known for his quick wit.
I recall him telling me about some of the bums that would approach him on the street and ask him if he happened to have any change to spare. Bill would look the person in the eye and say "get over to the other side of the street, I'm working this side.
On another occasion he had a chap ask him if he had a couple of dollars he could loan him.
He told the man to follow him and the two of them walked up the main street of Minden and as they neared the bend in the road on the main street, Bill said "do you see that building on the corner, well that's the Bank of Commerce, not me.
He had several occasions arise when people would ask him if he would back their note at the bank. This was something he would never do no matter how well he knew the person whom he would be dealing with.
One local man approached him about backing a loan and was amazed when Bill told him that he would not back his note but would gladly loan him the money he needed.
I don't understand" the man said. "You won't back my note at the bank but you'll lend me the money I need.
That's right, I'll loan you the money and you just sign an IOU for the amount you borrow plus the going interest rate the bank would charge you.
Well why would you do that?" the gent asked.
Look at it this way, if I back your note and you don't come good for it, I have to pay the bank and they collect the interest as well. This way, if you make good your note with me, I'll collect the interest for taking the gamble instead of them," Lindop explained. "You see banks do not lose on promissory notes even if a guy skips out on it" he said. "It's the fellow who backs the note that gets stung" he concluded.
That little chat made me a smarter man when it comes to loaning money.