Forbes magazine is full of it: Go to college to become a billionaire

I’ve already railed against Forbes for insinuating that a college degree doesn’t help a person become a billionaire, but they’ve come out with another idiotic article claiming the same thing.   In my prior article, I showed that billionaires in the Forbes 400 list were actually 6 times more likely than the general US population to hold a bachelor’s degree.
Forbes has stated that two-thirds of these billionaires at least have bachelor’s degrees, compared to roughly 25% of the general population.  This new Forbes article goes on to state that “[o]f the 274 self-made tycoons on the Forbes 400, 14% either never started or never completed college.”  Really?  Hmmm, so that means that “self-made” billionaires, presumably those that didn’t start with ludicrous wealth, are even MORE likely (86% versus 66%) to hold college degrees than “regular” billionaires!

In fact, a self-made billionaire is 6.1 times more likely to have a college degree than not (=0.86/0.14.)  Also, it’s not too hard to show that a random person with a college degree is 18 times more likely to be a self-made Forbes 400 billionaire than a person without a college degree*!

You can bet this guy has a college degree!

If you’re not heir to a fortune already, finishing college (or even graduate school) might be the best wealth-building move you can make.  Investing in yourself often pays much bigger returns than anything you could get out of the stock market.  (Save and send your kids too, they’ll thank you later.)

* To prove this, let’s assume a population of 1000 people.  Let’s also assume, for round numbers, that 14 of these are self-made Forbes billionaires.  (It doesn’t matter how many billionaires you assume, the numbers still come out the same.)  We know that 12 of these billionaires have college degrees (86% of 14), and 2 don’t.  We also know that 25%, or 250, of the general population have college degrees.  Therefore, of the 750 people without college degrees, only 2 of them are Forbes self-made billionaires, which works out to 0.267% (=2/750.)  Of the 250 people WITH college degrees, 12 are self-made billionaires, or 4.8% (=12/250.)  Therefore, a randomly-selected person WITH a college degree is 18 (=4.8%/0.267%) times more likely to be a billionaire than a person without a degree! QED: GO TO SCHOOL IF YOU WANT TO BE RICH!

Protect Ya Check – Method Man vs Tax Man

Disclaimer: I wrote this article solely to make bad puns off the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album classic “‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 chambers)“.

The same rapper that cautioned us to safeguard our neck has been neglecting his paycheck, or rather, the state income taxes that didn’t come out of it.  New York state has brought the muthaf’in ruckus as they prepare to “R.E.A.M.” Wu Tang Clan’s Method Man for dolla dolla bills y’all.

Before you start to chastise the hip hop star with cries of “shame on a nigga” for tryin’ to run game on NY state, note that poor Method Man defended himself on the grounds that “I’m a pothead…I go on the road and forget everything else.”

Don’t shed too many tearz for the man, though, he’s probably worth millions, especially considering the wealth management services he has access to as a Wu member.  Just remember, the tax man ain’t nuthing ta f’ wit!

‘Kias Suck’ or ‘Why You Should Pay for Value’

Ever wonder why Kia cars are so cheap?The above is an interesting graph of car reliability.  It’s no surprise that Japanese automakers lead the way, but I was surprised that the American manufacturers aren’t too far behind (~25-30% more problems.)  Kia still seems to be WAY behind the curve… (apologies to my Korean in-laws.)

Does anyone know how Hyundai stacks up?  If so, please post a comment with some data.

It’s good to keep things like this in mind when buying anything you want to last or use a lot.  The general lesson is to consider total costs of ownership over the lifetime of your purchase (not just the original purchase price.)  This applies to thinking about future car repairs as well as dry cleaning costs & time for dry clean-only clothes.

Remember that a low up-front price doesn’t always mean less costly over the long term (that’s a lesson that a cheap bastard like me still has problems learning.)  Value is what really matters; a combination of the price you pay and the quality you get.  As I’ve gotten older, busier and more crotchety, saving time & headache has become more valuable to me.

In light of all this, I recommend buying quality, hassle-fee products & services, and keeping those quality items for as long as they’ll last.  It’s better to own fewer items that you’ll really love and use rather than a lot of cheap stuff that wears out or needs to be constantly replaced or maintained.  This rules goes for clothes, cookware, cars, etc.