The Wall Street Journal asks an interesting question: What role does luck play in getting wealthy? They discuss whether or not success in money matters is simply a matter of being skillful and working hard or if luck plays a factor as well. Here's a quick summary of them wrestling with the question:
It is possible to work hard and not get rich. Think of social workers, musicians and, frankly most of the labor force.
But is it possible to get rich without skills and hard work?
In a study by PNC Wealth Management of 1,500 Americans with $500,000 or more in investible assets, 37% of self-made wealthy agreed that “the money I have made so far has come from being at the right place at the right time.”
It's quite an interesting question. Here are my thoughts:
1. There are certain steps that anyone can take to become wealthy (relative to the majority of people). These generally won't make you "$100 million wealthy", but you'll be quite well off compared to most people.
2. Even to become this wealthy, you'll need a bit of luck. You'll need to get into the right school, need to meet the right people (including a spouse), need to get the right job opportunities, need to avoid major financial disaster like a prolonged disability, etc.
4. Even if you get lucky, you need to have at least an acceptable level of skill/knowledge as well as be willing to work very hard. As the piece quotes one person, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
What do you think? Does luck play a role in the financial success on most people?