Yeah, you don't need to be smart to be rich.
Not convinced? Then look around you; notice the rich people you know. And give me an honest answer -- are they all smart?
Even if you use all sorts of definition for smart, they will always be those rich folks who wouldn't meet up. And you know what the say about results? You can't argue with results. If the law of aerodynamics is not able to account for the flight of a bumblebee, then the law needs obvious revision. Explanations and laws are meant to explain what has happened perfectly, in order to be useful for predicting or building the future.
And I can give you a list of a thousand rich and dumb guys. They are all around us -- on the TV, in the newspaper and on billboards.
I consider it settled that not all rich guys are smart, as we have dumb guys that are rich. If you differ, you can skip the rest of this post.
Now to the interesting part. Why you don't need to be smart to be rich.
I'll like to start with some interesting cases.
Jide read Minning Engineering and graduated with a good 2-1. And like everyone, he applied to Shell, Chevron, Mobil and Total. He was called for interview at Shell, Mobil and Chevron. He was picked for the Shell Intensive Training Programme (SITP). He began earning other people's one year salary in one month. 20 years later, he has risen to the level of a senior manager. He is now extremely rich.
How did he become rich? He went to school like you and me, he didn't even do a masters. He got an offer with Shell. And that was all he did to become rich.
Tayo was Jide's class mate. Tayo graduated as the best in his class (topping Jide). Tayo also applied to Shell, Chevron, Mobil and Total. He was called for interview at all the four companies. None picked him. He got a job at First bank. He saved his first 2 years salary and went for a masters in France. He got a job with Lafarge France and got transferred to Lafarge Nigeria. 20 years later, his entire monthly salary is not up to Jide's monthly allowance (benefits besides basic salary). Tayo is just well off, he is not rich.
Why? He was not lucky to be employed by a very high paying company. Yet he's got more qualifications than Jide.
Kunle was both Tayo and Jide's class mate. Kunle graduated bottom of the class. His uncle is a politician and, as at Kunle's graduation, was the minister of aviation. The uncle made Kunle a special adviser, straight out of the university. He got Kunle several political appointments. 20 years later, Kunle is richer than both Tayo and Jide combined and doubled. And doubled again.
Seun was also in the same class. His grandpa owned Velvet group of companies. His dad was the CEO when he graduated. He simply joined the company after graduation. 20 years later, he is the CEO of the company. He's almost as rich as Jide.
Tinu was also in the same class. She has a flair for interior designs. While trying to get a job after university, she worked as an interior design freelancer. After 2 years, she stopped looking for a job and went full-time into interior designing, setting up her own company. 20 years later, she has grown the company into a cash cow. She's now rich.
Bayo was in the same class too. He's a gifted singer. He was always going from one event to another, singing. In his third year at University, he got lucky. A lady connected him with a very popular musician. Things got so good for him that he quit school. He became so popular and adopted the stage name, Whiz-B. 20 years later, he's still rich.
Only a smart guy can come top of a Mining Engineering class in a Nigerian University. Yet among these 6 people, he's the only one who is not rich.
There is a system that works, independent of your brilliance. Even if you're the dumbest guy in Nigeria, having Babangida as an uncle and getting political appointments will make you rich.
If you're not a jerk, taking over from your father as a CEO of a big company will get you very rich.
Even if your songs are brain dead, if you've got a great voice, a good manager and some luck, you'll become a rich musician.
If you have skills that meet a large need, like interior designing, and you're fortunate to start early without the distraction of a regular job; then you're set.
Being smart does help, but is, nonetheless, a luxury. It's not a requirement to becoming rich.