Having a high IQ isn’t money in the bank, according to new research that shows smarter doesn’t necessarily mean richer.
A nationwide study shows people of below average and average intelligence are just as wealthy as those in similar circumstances with higher IQs.
In fact, researchers say the highly intelligent may be more prone to financial troubles.
"People don't become rich just because they are smart," says researcher Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at Ohio State University's Center for Human Resource Research, in a news release. "Your IQ has really no relationship to your wealth. And being very smart does not protect you from getting into financial difficulty."
Intelligence Doesn’t Make You Rich
In the study, published in the online journal Intelligence, researchers analyzed data from a nationwide 2004 survey of more than 7,000 baby boomers born between 1957 and 1964.
The results confirmed previous studies that have shown people with higher IQ scores tend to get paid more than those with lower scores, with each point increase in IQ scores associated with $202 to $616 more income per year.
But despite having higher incomes, there was no relationship between total wealth and IQ. Researchers found those with higher IQs were not significantly better off financially than those with average or below average intelligence, which suggests that those with high IQs don’t save as much as others.
"Financial success for most people means more than just income," says Zagorsky. "You need to build up wealth to help buffer life's storms and to prepare for retirement. You also shouldn't have to worry about being close to or beyond your financial limits."
Smart Not Immune to Money Woes
Researchers also found that people with higher IQs were slightly more prone to financial difficulties. For example, more than 12 percent of those with an IQ of 90 have maxed out their credit cards compared with less than 8 percent of those with an IQ of 75 and below.
Even the super smart with an IQ over 125 weren’t immune from financial woes, with 6 percent having maxed out their credit cards and 11 percent occasionally missing payments.
Zagorsky says the findings show intelligence isn’t necessarily a factor for explaining wealth.
“Those with low intelligence should not believe they are handicapped, and those with high intelligence should not believe they have an advantage," says Zagorsky.
This article was reviewed by Louise Chang, MD.
SOURCES: Zagorsky, J. Intelligence, April 24, 2007, online edition. News release, Ohio State University.