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Why Dumb People Earn More Than Smart People

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Edited By: Andrew Gonzales

Music Courtesy of: Epidemic Sound

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#business #finance #careers

Dumb people make more money than smart people and it took a study conducted by really smart people to prove it. A study out of Sweden has found that top earners have lower intelligence than the people in income levels directly below them.

The Plateauing of cognitive ability among top earners drew on data from 59,000 men who had to take a compulsory military conscription aptitude test. It then tracked their earnings over their professional careers to find the relationship between intelligence and income. Before Tai Lopez gets any ideas for more shitty YouTube commercials or the hustle bros learn how to read journal articles and use this to encourage people to drop out of college, I want you all to know how this data really works.

The relationship between intelligence and income was strong, smarter people earnt more money but only up to six hundred and seventy thousand Swedish krona or sixty-four thousand dollars per year. After that intelligence didn’t mean much anymore and at the very top end of income earners, the 1%, dumber people actually did better.

So is this a sign that watching TikTok and reality TV is actually better for your career than going to college? Well maybe actually, for two important reasons but there are also two reasons why you should probably ignore this and keep studying hard if you want to get ahead financially. Reason number one why dumb people are doing better than smart people is that smart people fill in high prestige jobs that don’t have high salaries.

Academics and research scientists are some of the smartest people in the world, but they don’t get paid well. Doctors, lawyers and elite financiers also need to be very smart to get through demanding schooling and admission exams and these professionals ARE typically compensated very competitively BUT most of them don’t make it all the way into the 1%. In the USA to be in the top 1% of income earners an individual needs to make at least five hundred and ninety-seven thousand dollars before tax and that’s just the minimum to join the 1% club.

so it’s time to learn How Money Works to find out why dumb people are earning more than smart people and why this trend is completely meaningless for your own career planning.


  1. It's because they convince people to blow a ton of money on college, then they tell them equality and empowerment are what actually matter at their jobs, PERIOD. You can sugarcoat it and try to call it something else, but you'd be wrong.

  2. In the top 1%, it doesn't matter your grades because it's business or high paying job like sports and entertainment. If you're part of the majority, being a C student is not to your advantage.

  3. Prostitutes also make more money than most educated people. The point is that it's dumb to compare dumb people to smart people in terms of making money. Making a lot of money is related to business. Intelligent people are related to specifics fields. When you go to a doctor, you're not looking for the guy who makes the most money….you're looking for the one who is intelligent in his field. The doctor has a paycap because the amount of money they bring in from patients and insurance is capped. A woman who makes good cupcakes can replicate the product all over the world and become a billionaire.

  4. In my experience it's been more consistently "who" you know rather than "what" you know…and that can apply to being able to capitalize on opportunities in many fields. So..network, don't burn bridges, don't be scared to say hi or have a conversation/be friendly with people in influential and decision making positions. Be confident, but as the video says ..be honest with yourself and be humble also, not arrogant. Willing to learn, to hustle and sometimes fake it (a little), till you make it. Swing for the fences and ..when..you fall,.. get up, dust off and get back at it. Keep practicing, keep learning, keep pushing forward, keep smiling and keep being grateful for everything you learn or experience.
    That way..when the "who" you know has a need or an opening, you're the first person that comes to mind.

  5. This brings new meaning (or confirmation) to the old adage "It's not what you know, but who you know" that makes a difference in getting ahead in life.

  6. As they say on college campuses, “The A students come back as professors, the C students donate your next building.”

  7. Well, just look at the politician and how much they make.

  8. Why is the likes only 122

  9. Who is the the dumb work in engeneering sector ir IT sector?! Pay for the work and silencie yourself. No profit no product. PAY 👍

  10. Everyone needs more than their salary to be financial stable. The best thing to do with your money is to invest it rightly, because money left for saving always end up used with no returns.

  11. It’s frustrating that many still confuse the word “intelligent” with “educated”. The people described in this video as “intelligent” are actually the highly educated who tend to go into professions requiring advanced degrees. But they are still employees , which, by definition, means that there is a cap on how much they can earn. Steve Jobs dropped out of college, so he was not highly educated. But no one would ever claim that he was not intelligent. He used his intelligence, instincts and capacity for enormous amounts of hard work to build Apple and change the world of computing, and become extremely rich doing so.

  12. the usa has no startup as people dont have social life lines.

  13. From what I've seen, skipping the part where one person is smarter than another is that people who went to work instead of post secondary school education got started earlier with saving and buying. Because of my age, this meant that they bought houses when they were cheap in comparison to your income. They are only management by experience, not because they have a paper. They stay employed as opposed to not accepting a job because it is "beneath" them.

    The social pressure from being more educated is higher. You don't want to tell your friends what you make because they may make more, so you silently try to look more successful by spending. I know a guy who mops the floor after kids in a community center, with a house, a kid a wife and $250k in savings and he's 15 years out from retirement and has a pension.

    I learned my lesson when a guy who wasn't so bright told me he was going to retire at 45. He works at a plant that makes beer for a major brand. He has no idea how he got there, but he is there.

    I'm a grey collar worker and a necessary evil. We get paid more than what you'd think and we never get let go. People I know have 41 years doing the same job as myself or derivatives of it. I have no desire to be management at the company (you'll never make it longer that 5 years before you are let go on a re-org.) but I do have a desire to manage or direct (ENTJ personality, look it up). I focus on my investments and I am becoming very sophisticated and experienced. The payoff is far in excess what the company can offer and it will be my retirement and my security. This is where I use whatever intelligence I have as opposed to work where compensation is not proportional to input. The best part is that I love my job as well so I tend to outperform others, without much effort.

    Find out what you are good at and check your pride. You'll go further faster. Supplement experience with diplomas and certificates that you WANT and you'll get pretty far. Yes there are some people who are "Engineers" but their parents and family support them financially and emotionally. That isn't an option for a lot of North American families as they don't work in the same manner. If you can make as much as a lower paid engineer and stay beneath the social radar, you'll have more capital to invest.

    There have been numerous jobs where people in my position make more than their manager. Looking at the stats for USA, we make the same as the median engineer's pay. We have overtime and shift premiums that can add another $30k on top of that.

  14. You’re saying all the right things. Should tell them all the horrible things about Queensland. Like no culture, everyone is aggressive, it’s super expensive, you can get fined for everything.

  15. [(My guess: dumb people are risk- takers.)]

  16. So what is intelligence?

  17. Without Smart people skill & innovation & invention, the world will Stagnated.
    So I respect Smart people who give their all for lesser money for humanity ❤

  18. Smart people tend to overthink things and “dumb” people tend not to think hard about things.

    “Dumb” people in this case have the edge when starting high risk high reward careers like business ownership. Smart people think they have to learn and know everything before going in whereas business ownership is, in reality, a learning journey.

  19. Smart … Dumb … The article is dumb… Intelligence comes in many way … Not just IQ .. or uni grads …

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