Lawsuits of the Filthy Rich: Patricia Cornwell v financial management firm

Dorothy Sayers, a much much greater mystery writer than Patricia Cornwell (in fact, Sayers is one of the greatest), wrote a stunning mystery called “The Nine Tailors.” The “tailors” are bells.

This story in the Daily News rings so many of my bells.

First, Patricia Cornwell writes mysteries. I am an addict of mysteries. But I don’t read Cornwell. Tried her once, was not impressed.

Second, Patricia Cornwell is a writer who makes a massive amount of money from her writing. I am a writer who doesn’t make a massive amount of money from my writing. Am I jealous? Absolutely not. Why?

Because, third, “Patricia Cornwell is suing Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP for $100 million, charging the New York City wealth management firm fleeced her.”

Yeah, well. I have several things to say about that beyond what Anchin, Block is using as its defense: “‘Where did the money go? Ms. Cornwell and Dr. Gruber [Cornwell's wife] spent the money,’ said James Campbell, the attorney for the financial company.” And indeed, fourth, the list of things Cornwell allegedly spent her money on does not make me empathetic. Nobody needs to rent a $40,000 a month Trump Tower apartment.

Fifth. How many spikes can I put into that last paragraph? Renting an apartment [from Donald Trump?] for that kind of money? Why didn’t she buy a place? Like a whole building or something, oh, never mind.

Sixth. Mostly, though, whatever she spent her money on, I will never understand the idiocy of people — mostly rich people but I know a bunch of not particularly rich people — who turn their investments over to financial advisers. I met a “financial adviser” once. It takes far less time, and far less in fees, to invest your money yourself.

Do not envy rich people because they have financial “gurus.” A financial “guru” is someone just like you who decided at some point he/she could advise other people about how to invest their money. Do it yourself. You will do no worse than a “guru,” and it’ll be a hell of a lot less expensive.

P.S. Cornwell claims that her fortune (what it was isn’t stated) “had shrunk to under $13 million — the equivalent of only one year’s net income for the top-selling writer.” The more I read of this story, the more bemused and irritated I get.

P.P.S. Here’s the last paragraph: “This isn’t the first time Cornwell’s personal life has grabbed headlines. In the early 1990s, she had an affair with a married FBI agent, which came out years later after the agent’s estranged husband was convicted of trying to kill his wife.” I think this is a MAJOR OMG, right?

P.P.P.S. Oh go read Dorothy Sayers.

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