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on May 5, 2013
The stories of the very wealthy falling into poverty usually arouse that guilty pleasure of schadenfreude in watching the lucky fail. The prose in this book is accessible to even the financial market ignorant reader. Given the fact that the top 1% of the population hold startlingly high percent of wealth, it would be impossible for this sector to fall without carrying many of the non- wealthy in the slide.

To illustrate the concept of the high-beta, or higher risk, more unstable wealth, Frank provides examples of individuals experienced in large losses. This also, in all honesty, provides the reader with lighter reading within the transmission of theory. I think it is a subject that bears understanding as the differential between the average worker and the average CEO surpasses the days of Rockefeller.
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on November 22, 2011
Through a collection of short stories of unrelated characters, the author uncovers the social conflict regarding the ultra wealthy. There are benefits to the lessons for wealth planners, future moguls, governments that need to forecast and budget for tax collection revenue and anyone whose livelihood depends on servicing the top 1% (or for anyone who just loves a great sneak peak into the destruction of wealth). We discover that wealth may not overcome greed, arrogance or basic stupidity.

I once heard a saying, "Everybody loves a great success story, unless it's not their own." I would imagine that many readers will get a hidden sense of enjoyment of seeing certain folks fall from grace or lose great wealth. There is a fine line between labeling a wealthy individual a "hero" or a "villain." Many Americans want or dream of obtaining great wealth. Yet at the same time they may distain those same folks for achieving what so few achieve.

I thoroughly enjoyed this subject matter and it was a wonderful follow up to Robert Franks' previous book Richistan. I would highly recommend reading "Richistan" first before moving on to this book, "High Beta Wealth."

This is storytelling at its finest. Short, crisp, fast moving, wonderful examples and practical lessons all wrapped up in 250 pages.

This book is financial entertainment albeit non-fiction which makes it even better. It will reinforce the dangers of debt (regardless of wealth or income) and will strike a nerve on multiple levels.

This is not a typical finance book which lays out a set of data and then proceeds to just explain what the raw data may or may not represent or mean. This is a fun package that contains some very interesting data points, is well researched, well summarized and has lessons for people and institutions that are not in the top 1%.

I recommend this book if you like Robert Franks blog "The Wealth Report" or his previous book Richistan. In addition, the book will be relevant in the future. This isn't a book that is the flavor of the month or that will be obsolete or inapplicable in a month or year from now. The stories and lessons will be of value in the present market slowdown and future market and economic slow downs for years to come.

I gave it a 5 start review for not only having valuable lessons and insightful research but for a high entertainment value. It was a pleasure to read and left me looking forward to future books from Robert Frank.
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on December 26, 2013
This book answered many questions I had and crystallized my thoughts. It masterfully states the story of the other America "Richistan" and dwells deep into the various reasons, causes and effects of the whole economic charade. The 2 billion valuations of Instagram and $3 billion valuation of Snapchat, if they never made sense to you - this book sheds some light around it. This book really opens the mind and debunks the stale Left vs Right mentality of governance and useless Classwarfare as well as if you are Rich means (implicit)Success - without regard for how.

The transactional speculative world and its by-product one-hit wonders are contrasted with the transformational productive innovation - building wealth.

I am extremely happy to have read this book, very educational and provides the clarity in the world we live in.
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on August 9, 2016
Loved this book!! Exactly what I was looking for in a book about the ultra rich. Very informative and interesting read! I think this author is fabulous as I had read another book he wrote on the rich---and that was great too!
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Robert Frank gives us vivid profiles of the high-beta rich, those who made their wealth through volatile stocks, before the Great Recession of 2008, and in doing so he shows that their wealth and the jobs they've created was built on a house of cards. It's somewhat of an accomplishment that he built trust with people who allowed him to visit them on their mega-mansions during their peak wealth and then allowed to visit them in their impoverished aftermath: divorced, bankrupt, still building the skills to acclimate to the world as an "average person."

In this sense, part of the book's appeal is voyeuristic, getting a close look at the excesses of people intoxicated by their quick wealth (many of the characters seem worthy of a whacky Elmore Leonard novel); the other part is educational: Frank's convincing thesis is that the high-beta wealth system that made these riches is dangerous for the long-term growth of any country and that the high-beta rich do not have a money-making model worthy of aspiration.

Highly recommended.
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on June 17, 2012
This book is boring. The author tells the same story 20 times. A guy is lucky to get rich, makes too many purchases, tries too hard to impress, is dumb with his investments, then his finances come crashing down. There is no insight, just stories about people who over extend themselves.
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on October 23, 2015
This book provides a new way of thinking about wealth and its meaning. It shows us the differences of between the current and the previous generation rich people.

It analyzes the reason behind the volatility of the modern rich. If you are going to build wealth, it is essential for you to learn how to preserve it. After all, what's the point to win big and then lose it all?
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on September 7, 2013
Robert Frank takes a complex subject and shines the light on it in a way that makes the complexities much easier to understand. The rich of today have protections that welfare recipients would look at in wonderment and envy. Crony capitalism really does work for the rich and priveleged.
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on February 24, 2017
great item
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on November 12, 2011
Usually financial type books are boring, that is EXCEPT High-Beta Rich. The author, Robert Frank, explains very well how the "haves" actually control, what they control and what usually happens with and becuase of them. I highly reccomend this book, you will not be sorry you bought it.
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