The Korean Family Business Wealth Formula

Few stories grip your attention quite as strongly as those that involve someone with a relative lack of advantage rising up and surpassing another that did, in fact, have superior advantages. Aesop covered it. Shakespeare covered it. F. Scott Fitzgerald covered it. A hundred years from now, stories will cover it.

With that narrative arc in mind, I have begun studying how the families of Korean immigrants, with next to no capital and the extreme social disadvantage of not having a strong command of the English language, arrive in the United States with nothing and die with fortunes estimated worth millions of dollars. What are they doing that a native-born American, born into a middle-class family, that dies with an average amount of $164,000 to his name, does not?

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