Forbes Forgot A Key Ingredient For Becoming A Billionaire

Forbes came out with a fun article highlighting the 5 ingredients helpful for reaching billionaire status.  Shockingly, 3 of the ingredients pertain to me, yet I'm far from big bucks wealthy.  The only time I ever made a move towards Warren Buffet status was last November when he lost $9.6 billion on paper and I lost less.

Maybe I'll wear the tie on Monday Steve.
Maybe I'll wear the tie on Monday.

5 Key Ingredients For Becoming A Billionaire

1) Have parents with math-related careers.

2) Born in September.

3) Dropped out of college.

4) Member of a secret society like Yale's Skull & Bones.

5) Worked a stint at Goldman Sachs.

I remember sitting next to Steve on a plane ride from Shanghai to Hong Kong 5 years ago.  The first thing I thought was, why is he flying commercial?  The second thing I thought was, I guess he really did have a lot of acne growing up!  Sorry Steve, I'm just being honest.  He was hosting a big Forbes-sponsored conference and he started going on and on about the emergence of growth in Asia.  He gave me a pep talk and said, “FS there's no stopping what you want to do, so just go out there and grab it!”

We exchanged business cards, his saying “CEO, Editor in Chief of Forbes Magazine,” mine saying “Waterboy At Your Service” and we went about our separate ways.  Eight months later, I get an unceremonious Christmas present in the mail with a tie that says, “Corporate Tool.” Thanks Steve, what a trip!  At least you got me thinking about your flat tax mantra that generated so many comments this past week.

There's a 6th ingredient for becoming a billionaire Steve forgot to mention.  That's simply to be like Steve and inherit it!

Hope everybody is having a good weekend.

Related Post:

Billionaires, They're Just Like Us

How Do Billionaires Avoid Estate Taxes?

How Do Billionaires Make Their Money?


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11 thoughts on “Forbes Forgot A Key Ingredient For Becoming A Billionaire”

  1. Heh, if only I had known back in the womb the true key to financial freedom was to inherit my wealth, I could have been born to different parents! Although, would I still be me, then, I wonder… Interesting article, and thanks for the laughs!

  2. Matt @ Self Improvement Resources

    I propose a 7th ingredient. You know, you can become rich by stealing and scamming people also!

    But, I don’t know if they wanted that type of thing in the article. Suspicion may arise. :)


    Interesting observation. I can’t understand why most of these folks were born in September. That seems completely random to me.

    1. Jane – It is pretty random the September one. However, maybe it’s because they have motivated rich parents who only decide to get busy in December during the holidays b/c they can afford to do so? I donno..

  4. My wife has 3 of the 5 mentioned, I’ve gotta show her this and remind her that she was born to succeed ;)

    Should I drop out of college now I wonder, with 3 more courses to go? I think I’ll stick it out.

  5. John DeFlumeri Jr

    Pick your parents, it’s the right thing to do!

    Nice article, with an accurate observation!

  6. Haha. Cute article. I hope readers read it for fun, and not advice.

    It seems similar to books that do a survey or study of what it takes to be the millionaire next door. They look for common traits, and guess that those are the factors.

    However, I think it suffers from the survivor’s bias. We are left in the dark about the countless people who dropped out of college . . . and are not millionaires . . . much less billionaires.

    Cute read though. Started reading your blog recently. Enjoyable.

  7. Cool story! I guess it’s really good to know what a lot of billionaires and CEOs look like in addition to knowing their names. I probably would have sat next to him and not known who he was unless he had his business card sitting out on his tray table. that’s neat you were able to have an interesting conversation with him and then get a surprise souvenir later. cool!

  8. Gen Y Investor

    That’s a really good point about inheriting your billions. Although the majority of people on the Forbes’s 400 list are self made (ie: Buffett, Gates) There are a good deal of them that have inherited their fortunes like the Waltons. BTW, it’s pretty cool you got to meet Steve Forbes

    1. Hey Gen Y – You’re right, I was just poking fun of Steve. This is just a weekend fun piece I wrote when the Forbes article just came out, and I forgot it was in the que. The que is getting loooong, and I think at least one other blog highlighted this article, so I had better get it out.

      Steve was pretty nice, and he was traveling with his Forbes Asia editor. I’ve got to go find his business card. It was fun digging up the tie in my closet. After all these years, it was just sitting there, in its white box and gold string ribbon.

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