Over the holidays I have had a chance to catch up on some of my reading list. Every so often I come across a book I wish I had written-other than the Harry Potter series for obvious reasons–the latest book by Robert Frank is one of them. Everyone should read this book: The High Beta Rich–How the manic wealthy will take us to the next boom, bubble and bust.
It is immensely entertaining. Great real life stories that help us understand or remember the classic risks of money, the world we have lived in for the past 30 years, and the ramifications and opportunities this presents for those who are low-debt, liquid and prepared going forward.
It seemed particularly relevant that I finished this book while staying in a beautiful, fully equipped sprawling mediterranean home that we rented in the Camelback mountain area of Scottsdale this holiday for a very modest rate. (a cheaper weekly rate for our family than staying at a hotel, even booking through a discount travel site). Our rental was a beautiful compound of peace and tranquility. But the neighbourhood was truly surreal mansions that were selling for 10-30 million at the peak in 2008 and are now valued 50 and 60% lower. Amazing indulgence in non-productive, conspicuous consumption–20,000 to 50,000 square foot homes. Way too much house for pretty much anyone when it comes to upkeep, maintenance, taxes, energy consumption. But an amazing reference point for Frank’s great book. We humans sure are a curious little species.