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Sunday, October 15, 2023

Top 20 Richest People and How They Made Their Fortunes

The top crust of the top 1% own a disproportionate stake of the world’s wealth, having accrued billions in their lifetimes – whether from family fortunes, business ventures, investments, or a combination of all of the above.

The reality is that these affluent individuals have a major influence on the world’s economics, politics, and society – and the top 20 richest people in the world include heirs, entrepreneurs, investors, and even politicians.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top 20 wealthiest people in the world and just how they got to where they are. 

Top 20 Richest People

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20-11

In the bottom ten, we have a lot of heirs to family fortunes – and some of them are even from the same family.

20. Charles Koch

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— Charles Koch Fdn. (@ckochfoundation) September 1, 2023 ↗

Net worth: circa $60 billion

Opening up our list is 87-year-old Charles Koch, who has an estimated net worth of some $60 billion. The son of Fred Koch, founder of America’s second-largest private company, Koch Industries, Charles has been the company’s chairman since 1967. The company specializes in oil refining and other fossil fuel activities.

In 1983, Koch and his brother David, who passed away in 2019, bought out his family’s stakes in Koch Industries. The Koch family is one of the richest families in the US and are well-known for their political influence. Charles Koch, in particular, sponsors many conservative organizations.

19. Alice Walton

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Closed Tuesdays pic.twitter.com/mRihCS9TwP ↗

— Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (@crystalbridges) September 3, 2023 ↗

Net worth: $64 billion

One of the only two women on this list, Alice Walton, 73, is an heiress to the Walmart fortune and has a net worth of $64 billion. Through the family fortune, Walton has earned about $10 billion in dividends.

In addition to the Walmart money, Alice has had a lucrative career in the finance industry and founded a now-defunct investment bank, Llama Group. Presently, she focuses on her art gallery and other art patronages, such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

18. Rob Walton

Mission complete ✅ Check out what went on behind-the-scenes with the stellar team that made the epic @Oreo ↗ drone delivery dunk a reality. pic.twitter.com/1HHoy1tQHH ↗

— Walmart (@Walmart) August 29, 2023 ↗

Net worth: $65 billion

Alice’s brother Rob Walton surpasses her in terms of his fortune, which amounts to roughly $65 billion. The 78-year-old served as the chairman of Walmart until 2015. Before that, he had put his law degree to use by working for Walmart’s law firm.

Rob owns about 13% of Walmart. In addition to this, he is the owner of the Denver Broncos American Football team, together with his daughter and other influential individuals. He also has a large collection of automobiles.

17. Jim Walton

Net worth: $66.5 billion

The richest Walton on the list is Jim Walton, the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He’s 75, and like his brother Rob, he owns a 13% stake in Walmart.

Before 2016, Jim also served on the company’s board, and he’s currently serving as the chairman of Arvest Bank – another brainchild of the Walmart company. He’s also a shareholder in the bank with a 44% stake.

16. Michael Dell

Net worth: $70 billion

Michael Dell, the 58-year-old founder of the computer giant Dell Technologies, which he still holds a 50% stake in, comes 16th on our list, with a $70 billion fortune. He’s also the sole owner of the private equity firm MSD Capital, which manages his assets. 

Unlike many others on our list, Dell is a self-made man, having begun his business venture from his college dorm. Through MSD Capital, Dell owns several Four Seasons hotels and several Texan developments. He also has numerous real estate investments.

15. Amancio Ortega

Net worth: circa $70 billion

The first non-American on our list, 87-year-old Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega has a fortune of around $70 billion. He made his money from the Zara and Massimo Dutti fashion brands – operated by Inditex – following his early passion for fashion. He makes around $400 million a year in dividends from Inditex.

In addition to making a fortune from several successful fashion labels, Ortega has several real estate investments, including in an Amazon building.

14. Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers

Net worth: $88 billion

The second woman on our list is the heiress to the L’Oreal fortune. Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers inherited her share of the cosmetics giant from the late Liliane Bettencourt, who, prior to her death, was the richest woman in the world.

The family of the 70-year-old Bettencourt-Meyers owns a third of L’Oreal today. In addition to the company, she makes money from her books of religious commentary.

13. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $92 billion

The richest man in India takes the 13th spot on our list. Mukesh Ambani is 66 and earned his fortune of $92 billion in the chemical industry. His company, Reliance Industries, operates in the petrochemicals space and owns the Jio telecom and broadband service.

In addition to the business, Ambani owns a cricket team, The Mumbai Indians, and is a founder of the Indian Super League.

12. Carlos Slim Helu

Net worth: circa $95 billion

The only person from Central America on the list is 83-year-old Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Helu. He’s been investing in shares since his teenage years and managed to get enough capital together to start his own investment firm, which eventually formed part of Grupo Galas. 

Today, Slim owns several telco companies and has stakes in many Mexican businesses in a range of different industries. His wealth is estimated to be $95 billion.

11. Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: $96 billion

Former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate, 81-year-old Michael Bloomberg has a fortune of $96 billion. He’s the majority shareholder of the business media giant Bloomberg LP.

Bloomberg started out on Wall Street before launching Innovative Market Systems, which subsequently became Bloomberg LP. Bloomberg also serves as the chair of the U.S. Defence Innovation Board.

10-6

10. Sergey Brin

Net worth: $109 billion

The first Google co-founder on our list is Sergey Brin, a 50-year-old entrepreneur who was born in Moscow. Thanks to his majority stake in Google and various management positions held in the company over the years, Brin’s fortune is close to $109 billion.

Brin currently serves as a board member of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. He also has several real estate investments and a yacht. Together with Larry Page, who also appears on our list, he owns a private airport and two jets.

9. Steve Ballmer

pic.twitter.com/bB5pN3gcX1 ↗

— Steve Ballmer (@Steven_Ballmer) August 2, 2022 ↗

Net worth: $114 billion

Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft and the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, takes the ninth spot on our list. His shares in Microsoft and his ownership of the basketball team have earned him a fortune of $114 billion.

Interestingly enough, Ballmer has a reputation as “the worst CEO,” thanks to a number of unfortunate decisions during his time as CEO of Microsoft. Nevertheless, he has likely collected dividends of some $12 billion over the years.

8. Larry Page

Net worth: $117 billion

Google co-founder Larry Page is 50 and has a fortune of $117 billion. Until 2019, he was the CEO of Alphabet and is now a board member for the company. Page owns 6% of Alphabet.

In addition to Google, Page is an investor in “flying cars” startups and asteroid mining. He has a private island in Fiji.

7. Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth: $118 billion

At 39, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest person on our list, and he has a net worth of $118 billion, which has doubled in the last year despite a disastrous previous year. 

Zuckerberg’s fortune comes from Facebook, which he founded in college. At present, Zuckerberg owns about 13% of the company, now known as Meta.

6. Warren Buffet

Mary Rhinehart, a Berkshire CEO, is successfully running a $2.5B company in a male-dominated field #LeanInTogether ↗ pic.twitter.com/MNgeXvee18 ↗

— Warren Buffett (@WarrenBuffett) March 5, 2015 ↗

Net worth: $120 billion

The oldest person on our list is Warren Buffet, who’s 93. His fortune amounts to approximately $120 billion. Dubbed “the greatest investor of the 20th century,” Buffet runs Berkshire Hathaway, which controls hundreds of companies across sectors like insurance, FMCG, and finance.

Engaged in business from a young age, Buffet bought his first land from the money he made as a paper boy. He became a millionaire at the age of 32.

5-1 

Like this infographic? Feel free to use it on your website or blog, but please remember to give us credit by linking back to techreport.com/statistics/top-richest-people ↗ in your post.

Out of the top five richest people on our list, four operate in the tech space. Let’s find out more about them.

5. Bill Gates

Ready to get unconfused? https://t.co/yTWdrGuk0Q ↗ pic.twitter.com/wE2P69joUw ↗

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) August 25, 2023 ↗

Net worth: circa $130 billion

Once the richest man in the world – until 2008 – 67-year-old Bill Gates opens up the top 5 with a net worth of nearly $130 billion. The founder of Microsoft and creator of Windows now owns 1.3% of the company.

Gates is primarily focused on philanthropy today. He also owns large areas of farmland in the US.

4. Larry Ellison

Net worth: $134 billion

Number four on our list is Larry Ellison, 79, the founder and CTO of Oracle, Inc. He owns a third of Oracle’s shares, bringing his net worth to $134 billion.

In addition to Oracle investments, Ellison owns shares in Tesla and an island in Hawaii. He also has a diverse real estate portfolio and owns a tennis facility and a tournament.

3. Jeff Bezos

Honored to be on this journey with @NASA ↗ to land astronauts on the Moon — this time to stay. Together, we’ll be solving the boil-off problem and making LOX-LH2 a storable propellant combination, pushing forward the state of the art for all deep space missions. #Artemis ↗pic.twitter.com/Y0zDhnp1qX ↗

— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 19, 2023 ↗

Net worth: $162 billion

The 59-year-old founder of Amazon has an estimated net worth of over $162 billion. Until 2021, Jeff Bezos was the richest person in the world. He launched Amazon as a bookstore, which then grew into the world’s biggest online retailer – with a little help from an investment from Bezos’ parents.

In addition to Amazon, where he retains a 10% ownership stake, Bezos owns The Washington Post newspaper and a rocket company, Blue Origin, which he used to fly into space in 2021.

2. Bernard Arnault

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— LVMH (@LVMH) September 1, 2023 ↗

Net worth: $208 billion

The richest European on the list and the only person in the top five who isn’t in tech, 74-year-old Frenchman Bernard Arnault and his family made their fortune in luxury goods. He owns LVMH, the managing company for brands like Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Marc Jacobs, Dior, and other fashion names. He has an estimated fortune of $208 billion.

Arnault started out in his father’s construction company, which he later turned into a successful real estate venture. The fashion industry is Arnault’s largest source of wealth, however, and he also owns a stake in Carrefour. 

1. Elon Musk

pic.twitter.com/SjvwQ9Dwul ↗

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 3, 2023 ↗

Net worth: $248 billion

The richest man in the world is 52-year-old entrepreneur and influencer Elon Musk. Today, his wealth is believed to exceed $248 billion, far surpassing the fortunes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Musk is the majority owner of Twitter, now X, and has a 13% stake in automotive giant Tesla. In addition, he owns over 40% of space exploration company SpaceX and is a founder of the construction enterprise The Boring Company.”

References

Michael Maren
Michael Maren
Former marine biologist who likes to spend as much time in the tropics as possible, due to a horrible time I once had in Alaska. Brrrr.

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