Rice’s engaging debut focuses on financial management for the very wealthy.
Private wealth manager Rice demonstrates a solid knowledge of financial planning and investing in a book squarely aimed at those with millions or even billions of dollars in assets. The book’s opening chapter, “Am I Rich?” sets the tone for a frank discussion of types of wealth—liquid vs. illiquid, business, and inherited. A subsequent chapter offers helpful counsel on elevating the wealth conversation to include family members. The remaining material covers the expected wealth management subjects: expenses, investments, types of assets, choosing and working with advisers, and creating a wealth management plan. While this content is fairly standard fare, Rice offers sound financial management (but not investment) advice based on his experience with high net worth clients. He presents information authoritatively and objectively and writes in a friendly, accessible manner. The author’s approach—to weave in typical conversations he has with acquaintances or prospective clients—is a clever method to answer typical questions and address common concerns as well as add personality and informality to what could otherwise be a dry topic. One dialogue, for example, highlights setting financial goals and managing wealth by asking the simple yet compelling question, “How Much Do You Cost?” This is followed by a comprehensive list of costs to consider. Another conversation leads to a valuable discussion of threats to wealth, including bad investments, taxes, divorce, lawsuits, and even extortion. The book does a particularly good job explaining in simple terms some elements of finance that may be troublesome for the wealthy, such as using hedge funds, owning real estate funds, valuing commodities, and investing in collectibles. Rice is sure to acknowledge the importance of the wealth management adviser, but he refrains from an overt sales pitch; he also wisely addresses the practitioner in a special introduction and throughout the book to enlist them as an ally. The book closes with some intriguing observations about the future of wealth management.
Wise, witty, well-targeted, and highly instructional.