The Top 25 Richest People in the World (And How They Made Their Billions)
David Koch – $48.1b
Being co-owner of the second-largest privately held company in the United States is bound to be good for your bank balance. David Koch has made his fortune through inheriting family business Koch Industries. He is the second richest person in New York City, and was once a candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1980! He owns 42% of Koch Industries and has helped the company flourish in a competitive market. David is also known for being a generous philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to prostate cancer research.
Charles Koch – $48.1b
The older brother of David, Charles Koch is also the co-owner of Koch Industries, also holding 42% of the global business. He is CEO and Chairman of the Board, and responsible for most of the decision-making that occurs. The company has investments in pipelines, fertilizers, chemical technology, and refineries. The company also is responsible for producing several brand names, like Lycra and Stainmaster. Charles has also made money through publishing three books detailing his business successes and philosophies. Along with his younger brother David, he has also been responsible for a lot of philanthropy and has donated hundreds of millions to charitable causes.
Carlos Slim – $51.5b
Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim is one of the poster boys for modern business success. The 77-year-old investor and magnate is undoubtedly one of the world’s richest people, and certainly the wealthiest person in Mexico. His conglomerate Grupo Carso is a hugely successful global company focusing on areas like health care, transportation, real estate, financial services, and sports. Slim has enjoyed such a successful career that his net worth accounts for the same as around 6% of Mexico’s entire GDP! But, he has also given a lot back, donating around $4 billion to notable causes and setting up his own foundation to help people.
Mark Zuckerberg – $58.9b
Where would we be without Mark Zuckerberg? Think about how important and influential Facebook has become in our lives these days. It’s important to understand how many people actively use Facebook, and how essential it is for modern businesses as well. The social networking site that Zuckerberg created when he was at Harvard, has become the most popular in the world. His $58.9 billion personal fortune is a testament to the success of his product. As one of the top 10 richest people on the planet, Zuckerberg has become a hugely recognisable figure in the business world.
Amancio Ortega – $68.5b
Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega has made his $68.5 billion fortune from the world of retail and fashion. This is such a lucrative industry to get into, and, the sky’s the limit for successful business owners. Ortega is best-known as the founder of Inditex Group, a Spanish clothing company, whose flagship brand is the Zara clothing line. The business has over 5,000 stores spread across 77 different countries, making it a hugely successful multinational brand. Additionally, Ortega has also invested in the property market, horse jumping, football, and has an interest in tourism. He looks set to expand his empire and increase his wealth in the future.
Vladimir Putin – $70b
Some may call him a nutter, others view him as a dictator, the one thing we can all agree on is Vladimir Putin’s wealth. The Russian President is one of the richest people on the planet, and much of his $70 billion fortune has come from investments, particularly in oil and gas. He has served as the Prime Minister of Russia, as well as three terms in office as President. He has been voted as Time magazine’s most influential person in the world, and Forbes ranked him the most powerful individual on Earth. With a personal fortune of $70 billion, it’s kind of hard to argue against that.
Jeff Bezos – $73.4b
Jeff Bezos has certainly changed our lives, and he’s probably done the same for you. Since he launched his global internet retail powerhouse Amazon, Bezos has changed the way we shop online. The former financial analyst formed Amazon in 1994, but it was a decade before the true scope and power of the company would being to be realised. And it has done him proud, netting him a personal wealth of $73.4 billion in the process. He is the third richest person in the world and has made his wealth all by himself. Amazon share prices have climbed by up to 67% in the past few years, and this has led to Jeff’s considerable fortune.
Warren Buffett – $79b
Warren Buffett is a living legend in the world of business. The tycoon is one of the most respected businessmen on the planet. Unlike the rest of the people on this list, Buffett has not made his billions from owning a company, having endless oil supplies, or creating award-winning search engines. His money has all been made through shrewd and sensible investment in businesses. He is also a notable philanthropist and is thought to have given away around 50% of his personal fortune. Buffett has also created the Buffett Partnership, a company that acquired Berkshire Hathaway; the move made him a lot more money as well.
Bill Gates – $85.6b
The world’s richest man, for as long as we can remember, has been Bill Gates. The business legend founded the software giant Microsoft in 1975, with business partner Paul Allen. He stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2008 to dedicate more time to his charitable foundation. Gates is renowned as a philanthropist and has donated half of his personal fortune to charity in his career. He set up the Giving Pledge to encourage the world’s richest people to donate the majority of their earnings to notable causes. Gates remains the wealthiest person in the world, and this doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.