The rich get richer


There is obviously much truth to the title of this post. Just allow me to further substantiate it with my thoughts.

First, let me say something about my advice to smart students. The advice still stands, but the whole truth is that if you are smart but poor, it’s so much harder to reach that goal than if you are smart and rich, with all other things equal.

By growing their wealth, the rich get richer. Even if we grant that the poor can grow their wealth at the same rate as the rich, say at 20% per year, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize who will be richer in the end.

Now, with equal education opportunities in Singapore (credit should go to our government), the rich-poor divide should theoretically narrow in 1 or 2 generations.

However, the rich can do more for their children, like sending them to the top universities in the world. If their kids are smart, it’s not hard for them to get into MIT, Stanford, or the Ivy League universities, then work for a couple of years, and then get an MBA from Chicago GSB or Wharton. The poor can’t do this because getting an education at these universities costs an arm and a leg or two.

The rich kid will go on to land a job with a top investment bank and be a millionaire by his mid-thirties. Had the kid been born to a poor or middle-class family, he would have to work much harder and be much luckier to end up as rich. Most likely, he wouldn’t.

Rumour has it that most investment bankers come from rich families. Not surprising.

The day we see truly equal opportunities in education is the day we truly start to close the rich-poor gap. And I don’t think it’s easy to get there.


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  1. It is the contacts that a rich family brings, that gets the banker the job, silly. It applies everywhere, even in the government.

  2. machone, what you said is true. At the same time, there’s the upper middle class who have no contacts, but they can afford to give their kids an Ivy League education. These kids can then enter the lucrative ibanking field based on their “quality education”. No need for contacts.

  3. Pingback: Sell high buy high | - Your Salary in Singapore

  4. The rich will sure get richer because money makes money.
    The poor must know how to be less poorer, so one day they can invest in their small wealth, make profit and become rich as well.

  5. well, its a fact that no one can change. the rich will always get richer. however, i think as we get even older, when we drop out of the rat race in our retirement age ( ok, i know, still long way) but we would definately believe that money doesnt necessarily bring happiness.

    you gain some, you loose some. the rich might not always be the most fortunate people in the world.

  6. saying that being rich doesn’t bring happiness is like deceiving yourself cos you are not rich, so consoling yourself. Of course being rich does bring happiness, it’s just that it may not be everything cos you got to have good health and close family and friends, fulfiling work to make you happy. But being rich of course does bring happiness, you don have to struggle as much, and many opportunties come with being rich

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