In his classic book, The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley writes about something he coins “economic outpatient care.”

In a nutshell, he suggests that if the average lawyer or accountant received cash gifts from family members during their lifetime, they’d lose part of their brain, and end up with far less eventual wealth than lawyers or accountants who didn’t receive handouts.

“Losing part of their brain”–those are my words, not Stanley’s.

With the exception of two vocational groups (school teachers and college/university professors) the statistics rang true for every profession.  If you receive financial “help”, you’re statistically going to hurt.

Here’s a list of the most hopeless professionals who end up with far less wealth during their peak earning years, if they actually receive gifts from family members.

The average accountant tops the list.  Give this guy or gal money, and they’ll statistically have significantly less wealth than if they didn’t receive handouts.  There’s serious irony here, no?  Lawyers are also financially challenged when receiving cash gifts.

Here’s a listing:

  • Accountants with 43% less wealth than professional contemporaries who didn’t receive cash gifts
  • Lawyers with 38% less wealth than their non-receiving contemporaries.
  • Advertising/Marketing and sales professionals end up with 37% less
  • Entrepreneurs?  36% less
  • Senior Manager/Executives?  35% less
  • Engineers/Architects/Scientists?  24% less
  • Doctors?  18% less
  • Middle Managers?  9% less

So here’s a question:

Would we see the same kinds of statistics for people who didn’t at least help, somewhat, with their college expenses?   I think we would.  Paying for a child’s entire educational expenses, I think, puts them at a disadvantage.  Of course, there are plenty of individual exceptions, but as a group, I think that kids who don’t help with their college costs will end up as useless with money as the average accountant, suffering from economic outpatient care.

Do you agree or disagree?