FR: It’s More Than Just Luck for the 1%

Article: It’s More Than Just Luck for the 1%

My final “Fool Revisited” piece today was a “response piece” to my colleague Alex Planes’ article on The Luck of the 1%. At the time, the Occupy movement was happening, and Alex used very poignant examples of how reaching the upper echelon of wealth in this country is often more about when you happen upon something – like meeting Bill Gates before he founded Microsoft – or simply being able to take advantage when opportunities present themselves. His article also uses a very prescient quote from our current president, back when he was just a flailing New York real estate developer and reality television host, proving that the idea of luck may not be as farfetched as we think.

In my article, I acknowledge that there is some luck to the vast success of the 1%. Using the Forbes 400 list as a guide, however, I tried to identify three people from that list who combined luck with perseverance and found a place on that esteemed list. The three people I profiled – Larry Ellison of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) and Michael Dell of, well, Dell – each overcame some level of adversity on their way to the upper reaches of wealth, showing that while luck is important, there are other factors that contribute to the success of some of our most prosperous businesses. Continue reading