The question of whether rich people are rich because they’re smart has been debated and argued about for centuries now. There is no easy answer, as there are many factors that contribute to wealth, including intelligence, hard work, luck, and opportunity. Some people believe that intelligence is the key to wealth.

They argue that smart people are better able to think critically, solve problems, and make sound decisions. Basically, they think a degree is better than no degree. This gives them an advantage in the workplace and in the world of business, where they are more likely to be successful and earn a high income.

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Others believe that hard work is the most important factor in determining wealth. They argue that anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard enough. This is certainly true in some cases, as there are many examples of people who have come from humble beginnings and achieved great wealth through hard work and dedication. And let’s be honest, most rich people in the world are dropouts for example Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and even Ray Dalio.

Success By Chance?

However, it is also important to acknowledge the role that luck plays in determining wealth. Some people are simply born into wealthy families, while others are lucky enough to make a lucky investment or to be in the right place at the right time. Opportunity is another important factor. Some people have more opportunities than others to become wealthy. This may be due to their education, their social connections, or their location.

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So, are rich people rich because they’re smart? The answer is not simple. But a few researchers have tried to find out the answer to this question by doing a study.

A recent Swedish study was conducted and the results were shocking. The results concluded that cognitive test scores of the top 1% of earning people did not show a drastic difference from the scores that those who earned slightly less got.


Predictably, the socioeconomic status of families has a predictable impact on the quality of education received. This is proved when considering the availability of expensive schools and private tutors, which offer personalized instruction that is highly effective. It is worth noting that access to high-quality education can significantly influence one’s future income. It is important to acknowledge that family socioeconomic status doesn’t solely affect wealth through education. Inheritance and social networks also play prominent roles in this regard. This is especially true for entrepreneurs, as their investment capabilities and connections are crucial for achieving success in business ventures.


Hence, intelligence, education, and socioeconomic status collectively contribute to an individual’s income. Nevertheless, these factors alone are insufficient to fully explain the disparities in wealth among individuals. Interestingly, a recent study suggests that luck also plays a substantial role.

The study emphasizes that the distribution of wealth differs from the distribution of intelligence. Intelligence tends to follow a “normal distribution,” with most individuals falling close to the average. In contrast, wealth adheres to a “Pareto distribution,” which reveals that 80% of a country’s wealth is controlled by only 20% of the population.

So, are rich people rich because they’re smart? Or are they smart because they’re rich? It’s a chicken-and-egg question. It’s possible that intelligence leads to wealth, or that wealth leads to intelligence. Or maybe it’s a combination of both. The truth is, I don’t really know. But it’s an interesting question to think about.

So, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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