Last week, our family took a trip for our kids’ winter break from school. On the long drive, I had the chance to listen to a podcast, The Just Enough Family. It details the rise and fall of Saul Steinberg, an American businessman that rose to great wealth by the age of 30 only to lose almost all his assets later in life. The most intriguing aspects of his story were:

  1. He didn’t appear to put much money aside as an emergency fund or build his personal wealth (almost all his wealth was in his company stock) – I.e. He didn’t diversify his wealth.
  2. He lived an exceptionally lavish lifestyle (planes, cars, house staff, etc.)
  3. He enabled his entire extended family to live a life of luxury

Towards the end of his life, the excessive risks he took ended up bankrupting his company and the Steinberg family lost much of their wealth. Learn from Saul’s mishaps and follow some of the basic tenants of building wealth by doing the following:

  1. Have an emergency fund and always try to diversify your wealth
  2. Live below your means
  3. Make sure you are not enabling those around you to live irresponsibly

The podcast is powerful story of the potential windfalls that can be made through ingenuity and entreprenuership, and a cautionary tale about living above your means and not saving for a rainy day.

Listen to it here:

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