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If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?

Markets

by Anthony J. Ogorek Ed.D., CFP™

As we slide into the Labor Day holiday after the summer of summers in Buffalo, NY, the presidential election cycle shifts into high gear. The bromide that ‘people don’t pay much attention to the race until after Labor Day’ may not hold true today with seemingly blanket coverage of the major party candidates. There is one major story or insight that has gone unreported until now. Let me share it with you.

The singular qualification that Republication presidential nominee Donald J. Trump cites in his quest for the Oval Office is that he is rich. Further, he extrapolates that since he is rich, he must also be smart; and by extension being a billionaire – he is very smart. Hence, only a very smart individual can straighten out the problems that so many of us view as intractable.

I am not trying to rag on Mr. Trump, but his candidacy does bring up an interesting point that deserves further exploration. How many of us accept the precept that you have to be smart to have a lot of money? That many people may talk a good game about their smart ideas, but only the really smart are able to convert ideas into net worth. Is money the ultimate IQ test?

As an advisor I can attest to the fact that society rewards certain types of intelligence or skill sets more than others. There are a wide range of people who may be truly brilliant in their respective fields; however, their expertise is not valued monetarily by society. Their work is frequently critical to our safety and well being, yet they will never be listed on Forbes 400 list of wealthiest individuals.

Many people view wealth in terms of relationships, rather than a number on a net worth statement. The latest research on ageing states that as we get older, relationships take on an increasingly important role in maintaining our mental as well as physical health.

There is no question that money has its benefits. There is, however, a distinction to be made between having riches and enjoying a rich life. The latter does not necessarily require the former.


716.626.5000 | prosper@ogorek.com