Why Dumb People Sometimes Outearn the Smart Ones

This week’s exploration delves into an intriguing revelation: Dumb people can often outearn their smarter counterparts. It’s a controversial notion that has sparked debates, particularly as it challenges conventional wisdom about intelligence and success. In partnership with The Daily Upside, a valuable resource for financial insights, we will unravel the findings of a Swedish study and uncover the truth about why intelligence doesn’t always guarantee higher income.

The Intelligence-Income Relationship

The study conducted in Sweden sheds light on the correlation between intelligence and income. It found that while smarter individuals do earn more, there’s a surprising twist to this tale. Let’s dive into the details and explore what the data tells us.

Intelligence plays a vital role in determining one’s income, but it reaches a plateau at a certain threshold. Discover why the earnings of highly intelligent individuals cease to increase beyond a specific point.

The Pitfalls of High-Prestige Professions

One of the reasons why highly intelligent people might not always end up in the top one percent of earners is their tendency to gravitate toward high-prestige, but not necessarily high-paying, professions. Academic and research careers often attract brilliant minds, but they may not yield the financial rewards one would expect. Uncover the challenges faced by these individuals.

The Smart and Satisfied Dilemma

Doctors, lawyers, and elite financiers exemplify the apex of intelligence-driven professions. But the study reveals why many of them still don’t make it to the one percent club. Explore the reasons behind the income disparity even among highly intelligent professionals.

The Business Owners’ Advantage

The study highlights an interesting trend – a significant number of one percent income earners are business owners. But here’s the catch: they don’t need to be exceptionally intelligent. Find out why moderately intelligent individuals often outperform their highly intelligent counterparts when it comes to venturing into business ownership.


In conclusion, the study may challenge our preconceived notions about success and intelligence. The reality is that the relationship between intelligence and income is more complex than it seems. While being smart is undoubtedly an advantage, it’s not the only factor determining financial success.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that various elements influence one’s income, some of which are beyond our control. The key is to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, choosing a career path that aligns with your abilities and ambitions.

As we’ve discovered, intelligence alone won’t guarantee your place in the one percent. So, whether you’re pursuing an academic career or considering entrepreneurship, make informed choices based on your unique circumstances.

Remember, the road to financial success isn’t solely determined by your IQ; it’s also shaped by your determination, adaptability, and the opportunities you seize along the way.

So, the next time you hear about the intelligence-income paradox, you’ll be equipped to see beyond the statistics and draw meaningful insights into your own career planning.