There’s an old saying that many attribute to Warren Buffett: “The more you learn, the more you earn.”
And there’s some truth to that. An Ohio State University study found that the difference in having an average IQ of 100 and an above-average score of 130 translates into earning between $6,000 and $18,500 more a year.
But that same study found that there’s actually no strong relationship between those higher incomes and actually building wealth. There’s little evidence, for instance, that higher intelligence correlates to better financial behavior, such as not running up credit card balances. Yet there’s some evidence that people with higher IQ’s may not be saving as much as other folks.
Nowhere is this disconnect between intelligence, income, and savings more evident than in recent patterns on where the best and the brightest are moving to and where America’s best savers live.
In its latest installment of the annual Brain Concentration Index, Bloomberg found that the cities with the highest concentration of businesses with a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) background and workers with advanced degrees and education in science and engineering are primarily in the West.
Boulder, Colo. saw the greatest per capita concentration in its population of “smart people,” followed by San Francisco. Yet according to a recent analysis by GOBankingRates, San Francisco is the absolute worst place to save based on cost of living. Meanwhile, the average home price in Boulder is nearly three and a half times that of the national average, according to Zillow.
High-tech jobs, business tax credits, and probably a good quality of life and recreation have driven the intellectuals to these spots. But there’s little overlap between cities attracting the smart crowd and cities where residents are successful savers.