I regularly read financialsamurai.com, and came across this article the other day.  Its a fantastic article written by Sam that brings up an interesting concept, and backs up his argument with fact-based research.  Take are read, and leave your insights in the comments.

I don’t care how rich you are. If you don’t have your health, you might as well have nothing. This is why I have a whole Health & Fitness section. Think back to the times when you were sick. Every time, I’m sure you were willing to give up everything just to feel better again.

I’ve got to admit something that’s bumming me out. I’m disappointed so many readers proved my derivative theory correct when I wrote, “Proof Your Weight Is Not Your Fault.” The post is about a convicted killer on death row who is asking to get his sentence commuted due to his weight. If you are 475 lbs and have spent the last 27 years in prison where there are no buffet lines, don’t tell me that genetics doesn’t have anything to do with this person’s weight.

My derivative theory hypothesized many readers would be vehemently against the statement that one’s weight is largely determined by genetics because it takes away people’s illusion of control. In financial speak, “How dare you say my wealth was not of my own doing?” or the now famous Obama mis-quote, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Readers of personal finance sites are generally fiscally conservative. Spend less than you make right?

I also hypothesized most dissenters would be fit and under 35, the median age of Americans. Have you ever seen those gossip magazines with some beautiful spokeswoman showing the efficacy of their latest anti-aging product? Well shit, of course it works if your model is 22 years old! In other words, there’s an annoying belief that if you’re fit, everybody else should also be fit. Otherwise, you’re just lazy. It’s like the 18 year old kid who eats all he wants and never gains weight, making fun of a 45 year old mother of three for not looking like Jessica Biel. Nice job punk.

The genetics post is meant to motivate folks who are struggling with their weight to stop beating themselves up so much. Don’t hate yourself for not looking like folks we see in magazines or on TV because they are anomalies magnified by the power of media to make it seem like they are ubiquitous. If we can love ourselves more, we can snap out of our funk and climb back up those stairs.

Another goal of the post is to break down stereotypes against those who are obese. I don’t know anybody who is out of shape who is happy to be out of shape, just like I don’t know anybody who is struggling financially who doesn’t want to be wealthier. The post was not directed at fit people. Yet for some curious reason, so many fit folks lashed out. Dear fit people, why does my post concern you so much? Compassion is a part of our humanity.

Now that you know the furtive reasons for my genetics post, it’s time to answer the most logical next question: Is there a positive correlation between physical fitness and financial health? To answer the question, I need your support.


Fact: Many people believe our weight and health is predominantly due to our own doing and not due to genetics. Carefully read the dozens of comments from the genetics post and see for yourself. Some are downright nasty, while others lash out yet provide no explanation for their viewpoints. If you are going to dissent, at least provide some articulate reasons why.

Hypothesis: Given dissenters believe our health is all about choices, all dissenters must therefore be financially well-off for their ages. Why? Because building wealth is also almost entirely about choices (study, save, invest, spend less than you earn). Forget about being born into poverty, growing up in a single family household, having a learning disability, and so forth. Dissenters of genetics believe that if you are poor, it’s your fault.

Solving the hypothesis: Let us compare a dissenter’s financials with the average net worth chart for the above average person. You can click the link to read more about how I derived the numbers. Since a dissenter is reading a personal finance site, they care more than average about their finances. We should also assume if people have a choice, they’d rather have more money than less money all else being equal. If a dissenter is congruent with their thinking, their net worth should comfortably match the average total net worth figures below. If a dissenter likes to say one thing and do another, then hey, welcome to society!

Age Yrs Worked Avg Pre-Tax Savings Avg Post-Tax Savings Avg Property Equity Avg Total Net Worth
22 0 $ – $ – $ – $ –
23 1 $ 12,500 $ 7,500 $ – $ 20,000
24 2 $ 30,000 $ 15,000 $ – $ 45,000
25 3 $ 45,000 $ 25,000 $ – $ 70,000
30 8 $ 154,500 $ 67,500 $ 17,500 $ 239,500
35 13 $ 273,000 $ 115,000 $ 30,000 $ 418,000
40 18 $ 410,500 $ 162,500 $ 70,000 $ 643,000
45 23 $ 573,500 $ 200,000 $ 117,500 $ 891,000
50 28 $ 771,500 $ 237,500 $ 162,500 $ 1,171,500
55 33 $ 1,011,500 $ 275,000 $ 225,000 $ 1,511,500
60 38 $ 1,306,000 $ 312,500 $ 290,000 $ 1,908,500
65 43 $ 1,670,500 $ 375,000 $ 375,000 $ 2,420,500
Source: FinancialSamurai.com


In order for my social experiment to work, every dissenter must speak up and tell the truth whether their outstanding physical fitness matches the above average net worth figures in the chart. I’m not even including my “outstanding net worth” charts for you to compare. If I did, the figures would be more than double what I have for each age group.

Please don’t provide excuses as to why your finances are not above average if you are physically fit. It’ll just make you look like the out of shape people you dislike.

It’s far from conclusive whether the majority of folks who are “ideal weight” also have “ideal finances” and vice versa. Perhaps people with more wealth are fitter because they can afford $8 carrot juices and $100 an hour personal trainers? Perhaps people who are fitter have higher self-esteem and will therefore take more risks that could lead to much greater wealth? Everybody’s idea of the perfect body or the best income for maximum happiness is different.

Let’s not force our ideals on others. That’s like the government saying who gets to be happy. Forget that. If you believe your health and fitness is almost entirely due to your own doing, then look inward into your own financial situation and ask what’s wrong.

– See more at: http://www.financialsamurai.com/is-there-a-correlation-between-physical-fitness-and-financial-health/#sthash.W2snEkR2.dpuf

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