This post originally appeared in Money Stuff.
A good statistical fact about asset management is that asset managers who grow up poor tend to outperform those who grow up rich. This is just a statistical fact, though; it is not universally true, nor is it causal. Growing up poor probably does not give you better insight into security selection than growing up rich. It’s just that growing up rich makes it relatively easy for you to get into asset management: You play the right sport at the right college, you get the right internship at the right bank after interviewing with the right frat brother, you move to the right hedge-fund job after exchanging the right sailing anecdotes with your interviewer, you raise the right amount of startup capital for your own hedge fund from the right father-in-law, etc. etc. etc., at every step of the way things are easier for you. You can end up running a hedge fund without ever proving your investing acumen to a skeptical audience.