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TOPIC: A Recipe for Riches by FORBES

A Recipe for Riches by FORBES 4 years 11 months ago #85681


A Recipe for Riches

by Duncan Greenberg
Friday, October 9, 2009provided by FORBES


Want to become a tech titan or hedge fund tycoon? Up your chances by dropping out of college or going to Harvard and working at Goldman Sachs.

Are billionaires born or made? What are the common attributes among the uber-wealthy? Are there any true secrets of the self-made?


We get these questions a lot, and decided it was time to go beyond the broad answers of smarts, ambition and luck by sorting through our database of wealthy individuals in search of bona fide trends. We analyzed everything from entrepreneurs' parents' professions to where they went to school, their track records in the early stages of their careers and other experiences that may have set them on the path to extreme wealth.


Our admittedly unscientific study of the self-made members of the Forbes 400 yielded some interesting results.In summary:



Parents Had Math-Related Careers

The ability to crunch numbers is typically a key to becoming a billionaire. Often, mathematical prowess is hereditary. Some of the most common professions among the parents of American billionaires for whom we could find that information were engineer, accountant and small-business owner.


September Birthdays

Of the 380 self-made American tycoons who have appeared on the Forbes list of the World's Billionaires in the past three years, 42 were born in September--more than in any other month.


Tech Titans Who Dropped Out of College

Forget everything your guidance counselor told you: You don't have to go to college to be successful. Close to 15% of the self-made American moguls on the Forbes 400 never finished college. Many of the list's drop-outs made their fortunes in tech, including Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Michael Dell (Dell), Larry Ellison (Oracle) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).

Skull and Bones

Several current and former billionaires rounded out their Yale careers as members of Skull and Bones, the secret society portrayed with enigmatic relish by Hollywood in movies like The Skulls and W. Among those who were inducted: investor Edward Lampert, Blackstone co-founder Stephen Schwarzman and FedEx founder Frederick Smith.

Goldman Sachs

A stint at investment bank Goldman Sachs is a prime credential for achieving greatness on Wall Street. Of the 61 tycoons on our list who derive their fortunes from finance, at least six cut their teeth in Goldman's investment banking, trading, or asset management divisions. The company's crown jewel: its "risk arbitrage" unit, which launched the careers of billionaires Edward Lampert and Daniel Och, as well as former billionaires Tom Steyer and Richard Perry.




First, a significant percentage of them had parents with a high aptitude for math.
The ability to crunch numbers is crucial to becoming a billionaire, and mathematical prowess is hereditary. Some of the most common professions among the parents of Forbes 400 members (for whom we could find the information) were engineer, accountant and small-business owner.



Consistent with the rest of the population, more American billionaires and near-billionaires were born in the fall than in any other season. However, relatively few of them were born in December, historically the month with the eighth-highest birth rate.


Of the 274 self-made tycoons
on the Forbes 400, 14% either never started or never completed college. The number of precocious college dropouts is highest among those who forged careers as technology entrepreneurs: Bill Gates of Microsoft (MSFT), Steve Jobs of Apple (AAPL), Michael Dell of Dell (DELL), Larry Ellison of Oracle (ORCL) and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.



Forbes 400 members who derive their fortunes from finance make up one of the most highly educated sub-groups: half of them have graduate degrees. Roughly 70% of those with M.B.A.s obtained their master's degrees from one of three Ivy League schools: Harvard, Columbia or the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.



finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/10...od=career-leadership
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