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Are Billionaires Born Lucky or is there a Skill?

Last updated on February 19th, 2024 at 12:34 pm

The morality of people being billionaires is a touchy subject but one of the main questions people have around this topic is whether or not those who have managed to reach the billionaire status got there purely because of luck or whether or not some skill is involved. Some people believe billionaires have simply hit the jackpot slots with all of the right things falling into place at the right time. Others argue that those who have become billionaires got there with their own dedication and skill. 

One of the most polarizing billionaires that is being discussed a lot at the moment is Elon Musk. He has managed to make a fortune through a number of immensely successful ventures including Tesla, Space X, and PayPal. Fans of Elon Musk boast about his intelligence and ability to understand what the future holds whilst also having an extremely admirable work ethic and drive. Others put a lot of his success down to luck. A point often brought up by those who don’t believe that Musk is solely responsible for his achievements is that his father was super wealthy, he was brought up in an Apartheid South Africa whilst being white and his parents owned an emerald mine.

Essentially, Elon Musk was given all of the tools to build an extremely successful empire and is therefore undeserved of his status of being a billionaire. So the question at hand is who is right? To dive deeper into this subject we need to look at some of the other billionaires in this world and see how they reached the same status as Mr. Musk. 

Billionaires’ Life Stories

There are currently 2688 billionaires in the world. To get a better understanding of how people have reached this level of wealth, let’s look at a few of the most famous ones.

Warren Buffet 

Starting with Warren Buffet who built his immense wealth over time as an extremely successful investor. He was able to accurately predict the movement of stock prices for a number of huge companies which made him an unbelievable amount of money. To be able to do this time and time again certainly takes skill and dedication. Warren Buffet would analyze the market for hours every day, reading any financial news that was released. He was very smart to be able to spot opportunities to make money where few saw them.

On the other hand, the man himself has described his financial journey as having luck being a strong component. He mentioned that being born in the time that he was, as well as it being in America, was very lucky. Because he was both male and white he had some opportunities that others simply did not get. The main takeaway from Warren Buffet’s story was that he was given the right conditions to flourish and use his skill to build his fortune.

Bill Gates 


Bill Gates is another billionaire who had some things in his life that certainly helped him get to where he is today. Back in the 1960s, not many people could get their hands on a computer however Bill Gates was one of the lucky few that could. His mother also held a high position at IBM which allowed him to secure a contract with them. This then set the foundations of a strong relationship that allowed Microsoft to get a head start and flourish.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is perhaps the best example of someone who came from nothing to become one of the richest and most successful people in the world. What luck did she have, you ask? Well, you could say Oprah’s natural intelligence and ability to perform in front of large crowds at an early age allowed her to thrive. She was never born into wealth, instead, she used the gift that she was born with to build her empire. 

Final Takeaway

After discussing a number of the world’s most influential and popular billionaires there are a few conclusions to the question at hand. There is certainly an element of luck where conditions are just right for someone to take advantage and make a lot of money. However, it cannot be ignored that not anyone would be able to reach the same level of success. It takes a certain kind of person with the drive and skill to use these advantages and make the right decisions throughout their lives to reach the status of a billionaire.

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