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Don’t bank on brains

Intelligence can give you a leg up when it comes to making money but can’t do much to help you keep it.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2007 22:54 IST

Intelligence can give you a leg up when it comes to making money but can’t do much to help you keep it. This is the conclusion reached by economic scientist Jay Zagorsky of the University of Ohio after extensive research. The study of over 7,000 Americans, whose activities were followed since their teen years in the late 1970s, has revealed that brains certainly play a role in bringing in the big bucks, but this does not mean that you will be laughing all the way to the bank in perpetuity. It certainly gives an altogether new meaning to the term smart money.

This separates money-making and money management. How often we have heard that underperformers in school rake in top dollars while the intellectually brilliant end up at the bottom of the heap. The timing of the report’s release is interesting as now is the most angst-ridden time of the year when taxes have eaten up most of your paycheck and you are hoping for that all important increment. And we as editorial writers can vouch for that. If you can’t put your money where your mouth is, all the intelligence in the world does not add up to much.

For those of us working stiffs, the bad news in the report is that the very rich don’t get there through pay packets, howsoever fat, but through entrepreneurship and inheritance. So if you don’t have a rich uncle tucked away somewhere or are not big on business sense, you are not going to make it to the top league. But then we must not let the bottomline worry us too much. One must be lofty about such matters and live by the adage, ‘wealth may seek us, but wisdom must be sought’.