What Baby Names Bring in the Big Bucks?

Could your baby’s name impact his future success? High-end recruiter The Ladders crunched some numbers around its members, and came up with some interesting insights into first names and future income or success. Their overarching theory, based on their 6 million members? The shorter the name, the better! People who went by three-letter monikers (like Bob, Tom and Rob) made the most money—and every additional letter in your name cost you $3,600 in annual salary. And that held true for both men and women—as most of the top earning names in the ladies’ category were short and sweet, like Lynn, Dana and Cathy.  One notable exception for the ladies was Christine, which ranked as the top C-level executive name for women, and was also on the top 5 high earners. (Maybe those ladies went informally by Chris when actually addressed at work?)

Another interesting insight was that informal nicknames trumped their more formal roots—so going by Bill instead of William, or Debbie instead of Deborah could help you earn more cash. My thought? Short, one-syllable names like Rob, Marc and Lynn are easy to pronounce, simple and straightforward. And who wouldn’t want a colleague (or leader), who was straightforward?

Admittedly, some of the names among the top earners, especially on the ladies’ list, felt a little less-than-fresh. Denise, for instance, is on a steep trajectory out of the top 1,000 names, and Cindy is following on Denise’s heels. On the boys’ side, Wayne recently had a sharp spike in popularity, but it’s still near the bottom of the top 1,000 names for boys.

Though of course, you’ll have to take all of this number crunching with a grain of salt. The pool of people in their sample is skewed toward high-level business folks (I’m sure there are plenty of Denises and Robs who have less than 6-figure salaries), and I can say with authority that despite our short-and-sweet names, my husband and I aren’t C-level executives.

But maybe this is food for thought as you pick your baby’s name. Look for names that are short and sweet, or that can be lopped off to a simple nickname.

What do you think? Could your name (or your baby’s name) be holding you back?

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Image: Baby names by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com

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