Frazer Rice has spent his career as an investment manager advising the extremely wealthy. He has combined this with a political career—working in the offices of Governor George Pataki and Representative Susan Kelly—and a law degree, advising the SEC and Merrill Lynch. The Bedford native produces a podcast focused on eclectic interviews with newsmakers and has written a graphic novel and a screenplay. His first book, Wealth, Actually: Intelligent Decision-Making for the 1 Percent, was published in 2018.
Why do you love Bedford?
Bedford is at just the right intersection between being close to the city and all the cosmopolitan things that come with, while having this small, close-knit community feel to it.
Favorite Bedford childhood memories?
In the winter, when school got cancelled, I would dream of my place on the Olympic bobsled team while sledding on local hills.
Something no one knows about Bedford?
I lived next to the house owned by one of JFK’s mistresses, but that’s a two-bottle-of-wine story.
You ran for state assembly here at the age of 34. How would you encourage other locals to get involved in politics?
I think that the first thing to do is go to town board meetings and get involved in committees to see how the decision-making process works. That’s how to learn how people who have differing interests work together to get things done. That’s ultimately how you foster understanding.
What local groups have inspired you recently?
What the Bedford Playhouse has done, in order to bring arts in a more formal way to the community, is very significant. It’s a great community builder. It was something that didn’t happen without controversy, but people will agree that it got to the right result.
What was the inspiration for your book, Wealth, Actually? Writing a book was a personal Everest that I wanted to climb—in addition to becoming the lead singer for Van Halen, which I realized early on was not in the cards. From a career standpoint, I wanted to graduate from being a cog in the industry to being a voice in the industry.
What are the most compelling trends you have seen in the investment world?
People are now mixing the idea of doing good things for society in addition to doing well for themselves. For example, there used to be the prejudice that if you were investing for the environment, you had to give up performance. You can now do both.
Think about actively pursuing investments in the environmental/sustainable sector rather than thinking about withdrawing from things. It’s a more productive discussion to try to generate positive outcomes with your dollars than to try to avoid negative ones.
Speaking of doing good things for society, what is your favorite charity?
Defy Ventures harnesses the talents of currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and youth through advocacy and career support. There are fewer distinctions between successful entrepreneurs on the outside and prisoners on the inside than you might think. Many times, that distinction is only a matter of opportunity and circumstance.