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BRW magazine puts out the Rich 200 list of the top 200 richest people in Australia each year, and has looked through all the names on their Rich List since the magazine was founded in 1984, to see which names are most common for rich people. They then suggest that parents may like to choose these names for their babies, in hopes that they will then become rich, or at least not look out of place just in case they ever do become rich.

You probably won’t be staggered to learn that the most common name on the Rich Lists was John, with fifty men of this name being included since 1984.

Top Ten Rich List Names for Boys

Girls names were rather more problematic, since only 7% of the Rich List have been women, and only two female names have turned up more than once – Rose and Christina, of which there are just two examples of each. Despite having virtually no data to work with, they still manage to come up with a Top Ten for girls names as well. It seems to be based on simply putting the rest of them in alphabetical order.

Top Ten Rich List Names for Girls

You can probably see a major flaw in their name-your-baby-the-rich-way plan, in that the names on the boys list are classic names which have retained high levels of popularity over time.

John has never been off the Top 100, and was the #1 name from 1910 to 1940; it didn’t leave the Top Ten until the 1970s. So there are lots of rich men named John, but there are also lots of high school teachers, auto mechanics, scientists, discharged bankrupts, and murderers named John as well. It’s not so much a “rich man name” as an “everyman” name.

Even BRW admits that an unusual name will not disqualify you from wealth, because there are people on the Rich List named Ranald, Sinclair, Wolf, Brettney, and Merlin as well. (They also include Iris for some reason, although Iris is not particularly unusual even now, and was Top 100 from 1900-1940.)

John and Rose are nice names, well worth choosing if you like them, but they won’t make a difference to your child’s bank account. A name cannot magically bring wealth, and if you look at the Top Ten of the Rich 200, you can see that at least half of them inherited all, or the bulk of, their fortune.

The richest person in Australia is Gina Rinehart, who got her money, not because was named Georgina, but because her wealthy father died and left her his fortune. In other words, if you would like your children to be rich, the best thing to do is become rich yourself, and leave them all your money in your will. They will be able to inherit from you no matter what their first name is.

How did most people on the Top Ten get rich? Mining and property development. So go buy a mine, and turn it into a block of flats, and your child is well on its way to financial security.