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Are Billionaires the Smartest People?

As they say, if you work hard enough you can do anything. But it might not hurt to be really smart, too.

And when it comes to money, being smart might matter. A new study out of Duke University found a correlation between brains and wealth: “the top one percent in wealth highly overlaps with the top one percent in brains”, according to research scientist Jonathan Wai.

According to the study, 45% of billionaires rank in the top 1% for cognitive ability, while 38.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs ranked in the top 1%. But all billionaires are not created equal: those who made their fortune in tech or investments are more likely to rank at the top in brainpower, while retail or fashion billionaires are less likely.

And while billionaires might be smarter than CEOs, there is a little consolation: they are both smarter than Capitol Hill: 21% of Members of the House made it to the top 1%.


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