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Why Big Smarts Don't Necessarily Equal Big Money.

Does a high IQ automatically mean financial and social success?

No. But why? Wouldn't a person with a high IQ be more likely to see financial and social opportunities?

It's more complicated than that. A few things to consider are:

1) Interpersonal Skills
This is probably the most important thing to financial success. Those with outgoing and pleasant demeanors are much more likely to score good contacts. And the saying, "It's not what you know, but who you know," is very real.

2) Nepotism
Nepotism is the act of preferentially hiring a friend or relative over other more qualified candidates. While usually illegal in government, it is alive and well in the private sector, and it is for a reason. Who are you more likely to trust with your money, a friend/relative or a virtual stranger? Employees are a gigantic liability, and if you know the person you hire you are that much safer. Hiring friends/relatives gives a boss an easier line of communication with the employee. Also, there is (usually) more devotion from a friend/relative.

3) Personality
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." This factor is a big wild card. Talent does not necessarily lend itself to desire. So you may be a mathematical genius, but if you want to be an actor, then you aren't going to make any money with your high-paying mathematical skills. There is also the case of just not wanting the hassle.

Which is better:
- A $100,000/year job working 80 hours/week plus overtime, or
- A $30,000/year job that is always 40 hours/week.

It depends on what the person prioritizes. If you value free time, then all the money in the world may not be enough to convince you to give up most of your free time. Laywers typically work 60 hours + per week. They are often paid very well, but is the status and money worth the long hours? That's a personal decision.

4) IQ
This is how we started this whole conversation. A high IQ can result in a lot of things, and not always wealth. A smart person is more likely to go to college. On average this will result in a higher salary than a person that does not go to college, but there is the concept of "opportunity costs." A person that goes to college to get a specific skill (say, engineering or accounting) is highly likely to seek employment in that field. The salary range is around $60-80k per year for these jobs. But a highly driven person that either does not go to college, or goes to college to get a degree that is not marketable on its own merits, is more likely to take risks and also go in various directions. They are more likely to chase money from job to job. They are also more likely to look for opportunities wherever they may arise. This more risky route can result in inferior opportunities. But drive and IQ together make a formidable force. A high IQ can help someone in this situation, but tenacity and resilience are the key factors.

Don't let an average IQ make you think that you can't make a lot of money. And don't think that college is absolutely necessary. I believe that everybody should go to college, because college makes you smarter. There is absolutely no doubt to this. Being smarter is always a valuable asset. It can help you make good decisions about all aspects of your life, and it can let you see depth in subjects that you never would have without the extra smarts. But college is not necessary for success. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world who is currently valued at about $60 billion, DROPPED OUT of college. Granted, he was going to Harvard, so he already have a pretty hefty brain on his shoulders. But he made his money because he saw an opportunity to make money, and took advantage of it. (He and his mom helped convince IBM to use his operating system, MS-DOS, to run their new personal computers. He did not even write the core of this program. He purchased all rights to MS-DOS from the original programmer.)


So, if you want to make a lot of money:
1) Be tenacious and resilient. "Invention is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration," as quoted by Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison never went to college, but he never stopped his own personal education.
2) Learn to be a nice person, and befriend people. And be sincere about it. Insincerity will not get you far.
3) Stay sharp and look for opportunities. You may have to learn a skill. Get a book, get a video. The price of a book is not a waste of money. I personally took $80 worth of books and turned them into a $50,000/year job.
4) WANT to make a lot of money.

Good luck!



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