Intelligence is better than wealth, because intelligence can be used to gain the other but not the other way around.
He’s well-known for getting something out of nothing, but what the other peasants don’t know is everything that becomes his wealth. So he gets a fake cow made, because for the intelligent, believing in a lie long enough causes it to become a reality. (It doesn’t stem from the imagination, but from the kind of quiet willpower that causes the dreamworld to bleed over into the real world.)
He has the favour of the entire village, and finds that wealth is a relative term when he’s poor, but turns obsolete as soon as he’s alone.