James Richman: How Asperger’s Syndrome Helped him Succeed

Every child is wonderful, but some children are fated for exceptional excellence and accomplishments. While it is difficult to tell at an early age whether our children are destined to one day have their names in encyclopedias and history books, there are avenues that allow us to see quite early indications. MENSA, the international high IQ society, and The National Association for Gifted Children have tests and available lists of clues and signals that some children may be destined for incomparable excellence – just like James Richman.

Starting out as a child genius, he has built his reputation as a remarkable and successful investor. With various ups and downs in his early life, he can easily be seen as someone with an inspirational and moving journey. Society’s assessment in James’s early years may seem that he was socially inept. However, the same ‘weakness’ proved to have led to him finding his innate skills in finance, making him a prodigy in the space. The main objective of his investments is not about having mere profits. Instead, the finance tycoon focused his attention on philanthropy and became involved in various investments that would leave a positive influence in the society.

Discovering his gift at a young age

At an early age, Richman was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome — a form of high-functioning autism that made it difficult for him to develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Even though developing communication skills proved to be difficult, people with Asperger’s syndrome tend to learn faster than the normal person. They have a different learning capacity than others, giving them the ability to learn quickly.

Other well-known persons with Asperger’s syndrome include co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, musical genius Mozart, and actor extraordinaire Anthony Hopkins. Recognizing patterns is one of the telling signs that a child is a genius. Gifted children can easily spot and recognize repetition not only in colors and shapes, but also in repeated behavior and activities.

Congruently, James is known to have had a habit of recognizing patterns at a very young age. To this day, that is still one of his known innate talents.

Discovering his extraordinary skills

Earlier on, young James would focus his playmates’ attention to patterns even though some of them cannot fully grasp what he was trying to point out. Since then, people close to him notice just how easy it was for him to notice certain audio and visual patterns not easily recognizable to most. As this became customary for young James, other children would mock him and tease him for being peculiar.

According to sources who knew him as a child, he would also be able to foresee small events. With his skill of recognizing patterns, James was known to be able to remember key events and examine their potential next occurrence. Such skill has proved to be his most powerful instrument as the years went by.

Apart from his skills in identifying patterns and assessing future events, James also had unsatisfiable curiosity. Experts say that this is another indication of a genius child. One of the possible causes of his immense interest and curiosity is the fact that his mother had a background in psychology. This made him very curious about the world and his surroundings.

Not presenting the learning methodologies crucial for his learning developments, formal schooling started to become uninteresting for young James. Having such remarkable skills, interests, and curiosity, he eventually dropped out of school at 15. At 16, he reportedly decided to explore the world on his own.

Always hungry for learning

Society tends to judge and disregard those who are ‘different’.  Most people link being different to being wrong. Having uncommon skills and unique learning capacity, young James became a victim of society’s judgment and arrogance. Such tumultuous experiences in his childhood would not deter young James to constantly find patterns everywhere he goes. According to sources close to the investment magnate, he would go into a half-conscious state when focusing on something. Then again, even as a genius, James was not at the top of class standings.

He would see patterns that are very far from the lectures in class. His Asperger’s syndrome also led him to have highly repetitive pattern recognition. Partnered with immense curiosity, his love for patterns made his thoughts often wander during classes. As a result, people close to James recollected how he had hard times interacting in school. He was often alone and called names not only by his classmates, but also by his teachers. Judged by his unique learning capacity, James was known to be ridiculed and labeled as good-for-nothing.

Fast forward to his adulthood, the finance tycoon has successfully managed his private fund, JJ Richman, for more than a decade. He reportedly has taken stakes in a parade of successful high-profile tech companies such as Uber, Tesla, Google, and many others.

Staying humble despite exuberant achievements

Despite his unusual decisions on investments, the results of James Richman’s decisions were on point, making experienced investors turn their heads to him. James’ budding private investment firm even survived and blossomed in the most recent financial crisis, making him gain even more popularity and recognition in the finance industry.

He is known to have used his own money in the business which means that his personal success is closely tied to that of his clients. Unlike his contemporaries, he mainly works with private wealthy individuals and families usually within the ultra high net worth and qualified investors bracket.

Even with whopping success with net worth rumored to be in the several billionaires, James has remained humble and has kept a low-profile.

His private asset management for fellow billionaires

The billionaire finance magnate has successfully made a name for himself in the world of wealth management and private investments. With ten years of increasing profit of his private investment fund, it is no surprise that James has reached the success that he deserves. Knowing about his difficult childhood, we cannot help but wonder how different things would have been had he had an easier childhood.

If he was not ridiculed by his peers and teachers, will he still be just as successful?

The story of James Richman is a great example of how one’s past cannot define his future. He was jeered at in school but was able to get up and eventually lead a successful life. It just goes to show that one can always turn his life around.