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The High Beta Rich


Robert Frank’s new book “High-Beta Rich-How The Manic Wealthy Will Take Us To The Next Boom,Bubble And Bust” is based on interviews with more than 100 people with net worths (or former net worths) of $10m or more. These include the Blixseth family, former billionaires who had to lay off all 110 staff in their enormous residence; the Siegels, who had to abandon the largest private house in the US before it was completed; and Jack Warner, who built a fortune from various business, but ended up a penniless handyman.It is also a tale of how the financial crash of 2008 has affected the US more generally. It includes numerous unemployed former butlers, unoccupied mansions and falling tax revenue for fiscally-pressed state governments. In addition, Frank tells the story of upmarket repo men who specialise in repossessing planes, yachts and the like from indebted millionaires.So basically Frank revisits the lives of the people he profiled in Richistan, and follows up on what has happened to them in the years since he wrote the book in 2006. By 2011, some of these rich people have since gone from riches to rags, or merely to less affluence. His follow up on the people whose jobs it was to serve the needs of the rich shows how many of them are now finding it hard to secure stable jobs from the rich since the 2008 .Since the book with vivid sketches of how the rich, and the formerly rich, really live  is a sequel to Richistan, published in 2007, in which he profiled the lives of the rich before the recent financial bust, do read it before starting on this one. Read more of this post

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Robert Frank On Richistan


wealthymattersRichistan: A Journey Through The 21st Century Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich” is a book by Robert Frank who writes “The Wealth Report,” a Wall Street Journal weekly column and  blog.The book is an eye-opening, educational and at times amusing summary of Frank’s years of analysis of the “new rich”.They came to his attention in 2003 when he noticed that statistics from the Federal Reserve Board showed a curious pattern: the number of millionaire households in the U.S. had doubled since 1995 and showed no sign of slowing.

So what is Richistan?  Frank  defines it as the domain–effectively an exotic country(stan)-of the world’s households that are worth $1 million or more.

So who are the denizens of Richistan?

According to Frank, less than 10 percent of Richistanis are from Old Money -the community of bluebloods whose ancestors made their money in the first Gilded Age-and only 3 percent are celebrities. The rest are: Read more of this post

The Meaning Of Wealth


wealthymatters.comFollowing is a very interesting article from the WSJ on what wealth actually means to people from different countries round the world.It’s interesting reading why people might actually want wealth in the first place and what they choose to do once they have it.The most interesting question is ,of course ,why people  choose to do what they choose to do?

Wall Street Journal by Robert Frank
Monday, May 24, 2010

We like to think the reasons for seeking wealth are universal. Humans, by nature, like to be comfortable, like to have power and like to have the choices and freedoms offered by lots of stuff and money.

Yet it turns out there are some regional variations in the meaning of wealth around the world.

The new Barclay’s Wealth Insights study, released this morning from Barclay’s Wealth and Ledbury Research, finds that the emerging-market rich view wealth very differently from the older-money Europeans and the slightly less nouveaux Americans.

The study surveyed 2,000 people from 20 countries with investible assets of $1.5 million or more. They shared some common themes: a vast majority of rich people from all regions agreed that wealth enables them to buy the best products and that wealth gives them freedom of choice in their life. Most also agreed that wealth is a reward for hard work. Read more of this post

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