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Rich doesn’t equal smart

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SCOTT JAGOW: Wealthy people are smart. You think that’s generally true or false? Well, a new study from Ohio State University says intelligence doesn’t really have much to do with being rich. In fact, smart people might have some disadvantages when it comes to money. Steve Tripoli explains.


STEVE TRIPOLI: Admit it: You always believed this about your rich neighbor, didn’t you?

Ohio State economist Jay Zagorsky says the keys to building wealth have little to do with smarts.

JAY ZAGORSKY: Staying married, not getting divorced, thinking about savings. But, intelligence really isn’t one of the key driving forces.

In fact, people at the middle of the smarts spectrum have the fewest money problems.

Why are smart folks maxing out their credit cards? Zagorsky says he’s only guessing at this one.

ZAGORSKY: It may indicate that there are some very intelligent people who are leading financially-risky lives. And maybe, some of these people believe that “Well, I’m fairly smart, I can earn money whenever I want. I can take financial risks.”

That’s an intelligent guess, by the way. Because the one financial area where smart folks do have an edge is income.

It’s just that, they’re not smart enough to save a whole lot more of it than the rest of us.

I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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