Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Other People's Money 富裕家族の富の物語 by Justin Cartwright ジャスティン・カートライト

Ultra HNWI families spend a lot! UBS and Credit Suisse have moved away from investment banking and refocused on asset management. Private Banking services for the 1% are the next clear trend globally. This is about a rich family and the lifestyle that they lead. OPM is a wealth management term for "Other People's Money" and is still used today.

The plot involves a very old bank, a family office, and the people involved with running that money, not just the deals themselves. The main focus is on the many up and coming rich generations that feel entitled to wealth made by their parents or grandparents. The view seems to be "is all in the family and I deserve all of it!" This is the main story line. 

It is pleasant light reading for lazy days by the beach in the south of France, where it is partly set, or on vacation elsewhere. What kind of characters work inside a very old private bank? What are their old money customers like? Much is revealed about the attitudes of High Net Worth clients, and their typical actions around entitlement. 

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) There is a clear detachment with multi-generational HNWI families and their wealth. It is not about any return on capital, but more a return of capital with investments!

2) The south of France does seem to have a large number of British nationals spending away the family office wealth

3) Keeping hungry economically after financial success has never been easy to families to continue past second or third generations

What world do the super rich in Europe live in? That is what this book describes. It is ultimately a description of a recent period of time post Madoff, post Lehman, and the aftershocks that may be going on now that are being felt by private banks today. It may be fair to say that this book shows what is happening to families in Europe, and many families in China or Japan should take note. Lessons could be learned.

It is worth a read if that kind of fiction is what you seek. It is not a fast-paced hard core thriller about the famous financial "City" of London, England. I say this because it touches on the financial world, but does not really live or breath it. It is more of a pleasant fictional novel about people, who happen to be wealthy. I did not mind myself, but financial markets are basically just the scenery around the story, and not intrinsic to it. Highly Recommended!

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