For those who are especially aware of historical politics, or who simply follow the lives of billionaires, the name Ross Perot Jr. might be familiar. It was a bit of a mystery when his father, Ross Perot, dropped out of the 1992 Presidential race, citing concerns over the safety of his family. The Perot name seems to come up at some point every election year, as the senior Perot’s story of candidacy as an outsider makes for lively conversation. Now Ross Perot Jr., also a billionaire, has echoed some familiar concerns surrounding safety in a Bloomberg Business profile published this week. His position is that cyber threats threaten the nation’s financial systems, so he advises that land investments in his home state of Texas are the soundest answer to mitigating the situation. It is an investment tactic that have served both he and his father well.
Perot’s personal net worth is reported to be $2.1 billion, and he holds an investment that he feels is safest from threats in the form of land. Sharing his vision for why he feels secure in this endeavor, he predicts that the time will come when cyber security affects the assets of many. He warns that one day, we could wake up and find that a major bank has been taken down by a cyber attack. With that news, all of its records could possibly disappear.
His concern is interesting, given the amount of wealth both Perot Jr. and his father have accumulated thanks to technology. The elder Perot was the founder of Electronic Data Systems (EDS) (a company that was sold to General Motors over thirty years ago) and Perot Systems (which sold to Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion).
Ultimately, the point that Perot is making may have been lost in the shock of his statement. Land and real estate have long been among the investments of choice for those who can afford to buy when the price is right. He adds that he buys when the market dips, and is bullish on Texas, Southern California, Memphis, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and Atlanta. Wherever the digital part of our lives go, there is little doubt; that which is tangible will always have special value and there is little threat of land disappearing in the middle of the night.