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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fool and his money... cautionary tales on the risks of riches, October 4, 2011
This review is from: The High-Beta Rich: How the Manic Wealthy Will Take Us to the Next Boom, Bubble, and Bust (Hardcover)
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"The smell of espresso and freshly basked croissants fills the private-jet terminal of Orlando Sanford International Airport." This visual detail makes Robert Frank's writing vivid and convincing. He goes on to describe how a Repo Man and his partner recover assets from the rich. Amazing skills they have to pick up private jets and luxury yachts that have fallen into the hands of creditors.
The stories are scary - a reminder of how easily fortunes are made and lost. The book is peppered with quotations, statistics and charts. "In 2007,..., the richest 1% of Americans held more than $3.5 trillion in residential real estate, or about 34% if the nation's total." The author highlights the spending differences between rich and poor Americans. The top 1% earn 20% of the US's income and pay 38% of federal income taxes.

A particularly sad story is the demise of stores in the Rocky Mountain resort of Aspen and the corresponding drop in house prices. From a small town, the author moves to the state of California. The analysis of state income follies and overspent budgets is shallow, but highly readable.

Finally the author gives some ideas for surviving in highly volatile stock markets. He encourages savings and rainy day funds.

This books dire warnings and heartbreaking examples should be read by all who want to avoid a financial catastrophe. Thorough research and clear writing makes this a great book for anyone interested in wealth, from butlers to billionaires.
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Initial post: Oct 18, 2011 11:47:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 18, 2011 11:51:06 AM PDT
I really enjoyed the book and I think you covered it well though I would have liked an antecedote or two. This one was one of my favorites: In the Palm Beach mansion built by Tim and Edra Blixseth Rich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, notices the nearly fishless 100-gallon aquarium in the center of the living room. He asks Edra where the coral had gone. She replies, "It got repossessed."

I think the real key to this book by Rich is that it shows you that the richest 1% don't stay that way for long. I think in these days of demogoguery it's a good thing to remember, and hilarious to watch. They could all stand to learn from P. T. Barnum's The Art Of Money Getting personally.
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Location: Portola Valley, CA USA

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